The incredible day

Everyone in Britain yesterday today will have been touched in some way by the Olympics. Like the opening ceremony, the events that unfurled last night in the Olympic Stadium were dream-like.

Watch the action in the BBC’s brilliant video montage here

This Olympics is not about medal tables – we should not link our medal count as a measure of the games success. Indeed it is the way with which we accept our success which will better define our games. In this the athletes have shown us the way. Magnanimity is not necessarily patronising, the sharing by Jessica Ennis of her triumph with the other athletes in the competition was , to me, a defining moment of the evening.

Another, the way Mo Farrah looked round to check the progress of his American training partner who finished with the silver. These were a reminder of the extraordinary sacrifices these athletes have made and the alacrity with which they  share their glory.

Another, the  magnanimity of our men’s heavyweight rowing four after their stunning victory at Eton Dorney – view it here.

Talking of magnanimity, well done whoever took the decision to make the beach and so much of the shoreline “free to watch” at Weymouth.

We spent the day on the Nothe watching the women match racing in the 6m Elliott class, or  sat on Weymouth beach watching the tennis and the cycling and in the Dorset Yacht club watching the rowing. We sat in the sunshine on grassy knolls that provided a natural terrace falling down to the sea below us.

Here is an excellent commentary on the sailing which demonstrates the lunacy of taking this sport at all seriously

Many nationalities sharing information on what was going on , sharing binoculars and sharing their tales of sail-racing. Not that that made any difference as no-one knew the first thing about what was going on till we consulted our smart phones.

We drove back to Poole with the hood down, the wind rushing through our hair, adrenalin pumping. We had watched the sailing even if we had no idea why.

We watched the track and field looking out in the brief lulls over the waters on which today the Finn and Star classes will fight out for the medals.

For me, yesterday was one of those incredible days, to rival marriage days , child birth days and the dimly remembered sporting memories which for me started as a four year old when my Dad made me watch the 1966 World Cup Final.

Which brings me to the final memory – England‘s football team losing on penalties.

Could anything be more grounding!

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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