I am pleased to report a perfectly good night compared with the horrors of the previous one. It was our favourite sitter, Lillian, in whom both’ my lovely’ and I have the greatest confidence.
Today is the last day of these Olympic Games . Provided there is no incident tonight then I believe we are all be congratulated on putting on a major public event with such tight security that any breach of it was virtually impossible.
The vast stadia and arenas are quiet and eerily dark. The bright lights and the noise of encouragement from the crowd had faded away. Nations from every corner of the earth have been and gone. Having competed against each other in the spirit of the Olympic Games. Team GB and the organisation behind it, from the Police to the Chairman of the Organising Committee, are to be congratulated.
As has been emphasised throughout his Games, it is not the colour you go home with (Gold, silver or bronze) but the colour with which you came, that matters. In other words, the colour of the nation you have been honoured to represent.
As the host nation for the Games, we were determined to put on a good show and attempt to better the result we had achieved at the last Olympic Games, four years ago, in Beijing. Our tally of medals this time, amounted to 65(47)the tally for the Beijing Olympics. is shown in parenthesis, Our tally this time included 29 (19) gold medals,17(13 ) silver medals and 19 (15) bronze medals This gave us third place behind China, whose overall tally was 87 with 38 gold medals. Our nearest rival – in fourth place – was Russia with 24 gold medals and of a tally of 82.
After our success in the presentation of the Opening Ceremony the last event, on which, we will be judged, is the Closing Ceremony. Like all such events, the opinions on whether it was successful, are divided. As one critic put it I’m not sure you can review this Ceremony, especially when it is a mixture of pageant, pop concert, street party and presentation Ceremony. Frankly, this event did not appeal to me at all. But then at 78 years old . I would not expect to be representative of the British masses. The best description of this Closing Ceremony was a kaleidoscopic spectacle based on a mashed up symphony of British music or a raucous pageant of popular culture which
enthralled a nation and showed a capacity to amaze and charm. However, the overall feeling one gets from the critics is that there were strong reservations about the music not being representative of modern Britain music.
Whilst the Opening Ceremony did attempt to reflect modern British life, this could not be said of the Closing Ceremony. At least in the Opening Ceremony there was an attempt to introduce the British way of life, both urban and rural. The same could not be said for this Closing Ceremony which the music represented all that was noisy, ugly and bad but, as I have been prepared to admit, at my age I could not be expected to love the cacophony of modern pop music. As I mentioned earlier one critic spoke of the Closing Ceremony as including pageantry. I must’ve nodded off for a few moments as I cannot recall seeing anything that could be classified as pageantry. If we were attempting to present something quintessentially British then would it have been so bad to have brought on one of our Guards regimental band in full dress, marching to those tunes that have become beloved and representative of this nation.
Whilst doing my grumpy old men bit. I must say that if Rio’s contribution to this Closing Ceremony is what we can expect from them as a host nation then, thank goodness this sort of extravaganza is only possible in the Opening and Closing ceremonies. Of course, I am partisan but commenting on the event as a whole, there was not one criticism of the organisation, the accommodation and travel arrangements or the adequacy of the stadia or arenas. How fortunate we were to be able to host some of these events in historical venues-the Horse Guards parade for the beach volleyball; the Greenwich Maritime Museum for the show jumping and dressage; Lord’s cricket ground for the archery and Hampton Court Palace for cycling and so on.
Whilst we have had a surfeit of Olympics and enjoyable as they were, most of us have had enough. it is a great pity that the Paralympics, which follow on immediately, will not enjoy the same enthusiasm and support has the main games.