One of the downsides of living for so long in Australia as a patriotic, sports-loving Brit was getting used to losing. Pretty much all the time.
Sure there were some glorious exceptions – the 2003 Rugby World Cup (13 years ago!) and the triumphant Ashes tour of 2010-11 – but by and large it involved eating a great deal of Green and Gold coloured humble pie.
Cricket, Rugby, Rugby League. It seemed that every time there was a match-up between Australia and the Old Country, it was the aggressive, competitive Aussies who would ultimately triumph.
It’s March 28th tomorrow. Just a regular date in the diary eh?
Sure, some may celebrate the birthdays of actor Vince Vaughan, ex-cricketer Nasser Hussain or all round loon Lady Gaga, not to mention Teachers Day in Czech Republic and Slovakia or Serf’s Emancipation Day in Tibet, but for most it is a pretty ordinary date.
Whilst the Olympics are now becoming yesterday’s news, the last week and a half has given the British public a chance to embrace another marvellous spectacle of sporting and human achievement – the Paralympic Games.
With the upbeat and raucous London 2012 Closing Ceremony over and the British public reluctantly waving a tear-stained farewell to the departing athletes, we are now all hoping that the Olympics-fuelled euphoria can somehow become the start of a new era of British positivity.
One word that I have heard bandied about a great deal over the last fortnight is ‘Pride’.
A few days ago, opinionated Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson sent out a rather revealing Tweet.
Having been one of the (many) critics of the London Olympics in the lead-up, he too was forced to re-evaluate hi stance, tweeting “Off to America today. Trip planned months ago to get away from Olympics. Thought it’d be dull. Mistake. Big mistake.”
As the Olympics enter day seven, it is a case of so far, so good on all counts.
With blanket media coverage and large crowds thronging to the venues (except, of course to those where the so-called Olympic family has selfishly demanded loads of tickets and then not shown up to watch) it is fair to say that the British public has embraced the spirit of the Games.