17/08/2012


Olympic Rings

With the Olympic Games now over, it’s time to look back on what has been an amazing time to be British and especially a Londoner. In this week’s post, we’re going to look at the feel-good factor that has been spreading across Britain.

Britain is an unusual place.  It is part of Europe, but also not part of it.  It is part of the European Union, but it doesn’t use the Euro.  It has a Queen who has no real power.  It goes under many different names (Great Britain, The British Isles and The United Kingdom etc.) and is made up of four independent countries.  Its population is a diverse one, and perhaps this is why the British are so eccentric

For many of us, our default setting is to grumble and in the lead up to the London Olympics, boy did we moan.  It was going to cost too much money, it would cause too much disruption and so on.  And then something strange happened, something out-of-the ordinary for us British.  We became happy and proud of our country once more.  If you have been fortunate enough to be in London over the past few weeks, you may have experienced this phenomenon: people smiling at each other, people talking with one another on the tube. It has all been very un-British.  And it was all down to the feel-good factor of the Olympic Games. 

So why do we feel good?  A large reason must be the fact that Great Britain and Northern Ireland (yet another name for this country), or Team GB for short, punched above their weight winning 29 gold medals and 65 medals in total, finishing third in the overall medal table.  As a relatively small country, we are not used to having so much success in any sport, and it took many of us by surprise.  But perhaps the main reason people in London and across the country have been so happy is that the Games were a success.  They were well-organised, well-attended, safe and secure and they showed London off to the world in a very positive light.

Having no Olympics to watch on TV this week has been a strange experience for some of us.  It’s like something is missing from our lives.  But the feel-good factor is still there, and of course the Paralympic games start very soon.  I think the question that many British people would like to ask now is can we do this every year please?

Thanks for reading and good luck to Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympics.

By Andy

Glossary

feel-good factor - (adj.+n.) something which creates happiness in a lot of people

diverse - (adj.) very different

eccentric - (adj.) having a different character to most people

default setting - (adj.+n.) most common mood

grumble - (v.) to complain in a quiet voice

moan - (v.) to complain in a loud voive

out-of-the-ordinary -  (idiom)  very unusual or exceptional

phenomenon - (n.) something that is impressive or unusual

to punch above your weight - (idiom) to perform to an unexpectedly high level

to take sby by surprise - (idiom) to do something that nobody was expecting

in a positive light - (idiom) in a good way


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