I was a sceptic about the Olympics. A couple of years before I was arguing with my good friend (Dr.) Jon Cockrell. He was enthusiastically pro. I thought the Olympics would drain Lottery money to London from the North and other regions where it was needed, and the event would not be delivered on the grand scale required – it would be unimpressive. As the Park took shape and the Olympics approached I started to become supportive. Maybe it wouldn't be a lowest common denominator event like the Dome, and one that people could not easily participate in. I was annoyed at the ticketing fiascos and restrictive processes but was not trying to get tickets myself. A couple of months out I was beginning to get enthusiastic. We saw the Olympic Torch in Exeter the day after it arrived, I saw it in Liverpool (right by a runner from the University, with my good friend Richard Clein), we saw it in Keswick. Frances was there when the Torch was in Leeds. It was great. A party atmosphere. And people were involved and enthusiastic. The Olympics, London 2012, was great for London and the UK. They were also great for the sportsmen and women and sports fans around the World who were able to enjoy them.
There has been much good discussion in the press. Including of the spectacular opening and closing ceremonies by Danny Boyle and many thousands. Some of the BBC coverage was a little lightweight or partisan but a great flagship for the BBC too. These two letters from the Guardian I think made very good points: Huren Marsh (a refusenik, on the positives of the Olympics) and Francisco Panizza (a comment about the need for some fair recognition in politics), 13 August 2012.