Post Olympic Blues
Now that the Olympic and Paralympic Games have left London on their four year journey to Rio, I feel a little down.
I was one of the sceptics in the months before the games. I didn't see the benefit of them. They appeared to be a burden and a drain on the nation. But, I've been pleasantly surprised.
I'm still (probably even more) opposed to what the games have become in terms of a massive corporate sponsorship event with disputes about what people can say, do and wear. I'm still highly critical of the Government handling of things such as the G4S fiasco, and I hope that is revisited to make sure that the taxpayer is reimbursed for any shortfall that had to be covered.
And then there was the bare faced cheek of David Cameron, George Osborne and Theresa May presenting medals at the Paralympics. How some people have the nerve I'll never know! The only heartening factor was the booing that welcomed them in the venues.
But, after everything that I'm sceptical or critical about, I still found myself riding along with the rest of the nation. The amazing performance from the GB athletes gave the people of this country a window into a time when things were happier and the public mood better. It gave people the opportunity to get together and support some truly inspiring people. It gave us a reminder of who we are. I'm honoured that I could be at the Paralympic Marathon, cheering on athletes from around the world.
And that's why I now feel a little down. Because now I know that it's back to normality. London will go back to how it was before the games. Volunteers will go back to their previous lives. The athletes will return to their training.
What else does normality mean in 2012? Attacks from the Government with the new Cabinet looking more right wing than any I can really remember. People struggling to make ends meet. People wondering whether they'll have a job or have any support if they lose their job. People suffering the worst attack on their living standards in my memory.
So, to the athletes I say "thank you". Thank you for making us smile and for reminding us that anything is possible. But, to everyone I say that the hard work begins now. October 20th is the next key date in our calendars. Let's get out on the streets of London and show that we too can claim that city as ours.