After an anxious few days when several hotly-tipped Olympic gold medal hopefuls have come away from their events empty-handed or with lesser riches rounds their necks, athletes from Team GB have finally stood atop the Olympic podium.
If you could hear the collective cheer going up around the country, from offices in Inverness, nursing homes in Cardiff and traffic jams in Swindon, it would be quite a clamour. These Games have become a huge national enthusiasm and succeeded in piquing the interest of even the most curmudgeonly sports-phobe.
Full honours go to the nation's new darlings, Heather Stanning and Helen Glover, who won Team GB's first gold, for rowing. In their wake came Bradley Wiggins, securing gold in the cycling time trial. All in all, it was a fine day for Britain and for Scotland, Stanning being a Lossiemouth girl, and a fine day for women's sport, at a Games when the gap could finally close between the medal tally of male and female athletes.
These victories and the clutch of other medals secured by British athletes in sports ranging from equestrian to gymnastics, are their just rewards for years of hard work. With their determination and dedication, the winning athletes embody the spirit of the Olympics.
Yet so does sportsmanship and poise in defeat. For some British athletes, the abiding memory of these historic home games will be of crushing disappointment, among them judo medal hopeful Euan Burton, from Edinburgh. "I've been working for this for more than a quarter of a century, so no, there's no positives to be taken," said the distraught Burton after losing his preliminary bout and watching his hopes of a medal evaporate. Fighting back emotion, he paid gallant tribute to his opponent, Antoine Valois-Fortier, saying: "If I say it was my mistake it's a disservice to my opponent. He caught me with a beautiful bit of judo."
Such good grace is as much a measure of character as the ability to clinch gold. Burton's fans and supporters will sympathise with him in his distress and will hope the day may come when he can exorcise his painful memories with further success.
With so much at stake, it is essential that each and every match, race or contest is conducted fairly, so when athletes fail to rise to the standards expected of them, action must be swift and decisive. In that spirit, the decision yesterday to disqualify four women's badminton pairs was absolutely the right one. The women were found to have tried purposely not to win matches, in order to make for easier matches in the next round. Had they not been disqualified, their conduct would have brought both badminton and the Olympics into disrepute. It is hugely disappointing that such top-level athletes would attempt such a ruse. There is no place for them at London 2012.
Let us hope it proves to be an isolated scandal. As for Team GB, may yesterday's golds be the first of many.
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