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Proud to be British right now

And did those feet, in ancient times,
Walk upon England’s mountains green?

Regular readers of this blog will know that I’m a big fan of sporting endeavour, of giving your all in the pursuit of glory. And, if that glory comes with an Olympic medal attached to it, then so much the better.

So, it will come as no surprise to any of you that I’ve been in a state of some excitement since Friday evening.

From the moment when Bradley Wiggins – the first Briton to win the hardest cycle race in the world – rang the bell to start Danny Boyle’s tremendous opening ceremony to watching Michael Phelps achieve his 19th Olympic medal last night, and seeing Helen Glover and Heather Standing win the first gold medal for women’s rowing just now, I have been hooked.

OK, the opening ceremony wasn’t to everyone’s taste but then what is? Yes, it was a bit cheesy, yes it went on a bit too long and yes, it was better with the sound turned down. But it contained so much that we have to be proud of.

The spectacle was one thing, but when a teary-eyed Sir Chris Hoy lead Team GB out to the sounds of David Bowie’s track Heroes, I was in pieces. And, it had a grinning David Beckham on a speedboat handing over the torch to my hero Sir Steve Redgrave. What more could an Olympic-obsessed girl want?

Since then, we’ve seen Becky Adlington win a bronze in a faster time than she won gold in Beijing, Lizzie Armitstead ride through the most appalling weather to get a silver, the men’s gymnastics team achieve a historic bronze medal and Zara Phillips receive a silver medal from her mother. And, in the same team, Tina Cook win silver on a horse that she nursed back from the brink of death last year – seriously.

Some of our swimmers have been a revelation and two of them powered through to reach the breaststroke final tonight.

In a vague attempt to make this relevant to the day-job though, one of the things that I was so heartened by at the Opening ceremony was the slight of Sir Steve Redgrave running the torch through a line of construction workers who helped to build the amazing Olympic Park.

It was competed under time, under budget, with a shed-load of UK manufacturers’ products and it looks magnificent. A testament to what the British construction industry can do when it puts its mind to it.

Apologies to those readers for whom London2012 is just a big waste of south-east-centric money. Rest assured, normal service – whatever that is – will be resumed in two weeks time.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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