It started with the torch and its incredible journey.
At the beginning though, I was one of those who really didn’t ‘get’ the whole thing. I was cynical and disinterested and thought it was taking up too much airtime – but something odd happened. I started watching – really watching – and soon became one of the millions entranced.
The power of that flame – and the stories of the amazing torchbearers – had me glued to the screen and it wasn’t long before the tears started.
When the torch came to my area it was an amazing experience. As the crowds cheered on the local torch-bearer, shivers ran down my spine – I had this overwhelming feeling of …what?
I have been trying to work it out. What power did this simple flame have over everyone?
I have come to the conclusion that it’s something to do with unity and community and ultimately wanting the best for each other and, if it’s not too mushy, perhaps it’s just a show of our humanity?
The culmination of the torch journey at the incredible Olympic opening ceremony was total genius. Getting elder statesman, Sir Steve Redgrave to literally hand over the flame to a younger generation of athletes was a master stroke by Danny Boyle and his team.
My tears started early on and have continued on a daily basis as the games have progressed. But, if you had told me six months ago that I would blubbing at virtually every opportunity, it would have fallen on deaf ears. I wasn’t interested. Now I’m a total and utter convert, sniffling and sobbing – and evidently I’m not alone.
Perhaps we, as a nation, generally don’t cry enough? Scientists have proven that shedding tears is actually good for us. Tears banish stress hormones such as cortisol as well as other toxins that accumulate when we feel stressed. I think a good cry makes us all much nicer. Perhaps we should all do it more?
What each and everyone of these amazing people – torchbearers and athletes alike has shown us – is exactly what we are all capable of, and, when the tears flow, we rejoice with them.
These last few weeks have been incredibly powerful. As this first stage of London 2012 comes to an end (the Paralympics will undoubtedly be even more inspiring) I hope we manage to take something positive from this whole experience.
Let’s try and keep that flame burning within – perhaps we can call upon it in our own daily and lifetime struggles. Let’s shed more tears, and perhaps we might begin to feel long lost compassion for each other. Let’s celebrate our achievements and strive for our own personal bests.
The 2012 Olympic Games will stay embedded in my memory – and as I wipe away yet another tear I say thank you to all involved in making them my own personal ‘Crying Games’.