Jim Fitzpatrick: Team GB are role models
By Jim Fitzpatrick
There were concerns. Not everyone was on board the Olympic bus. Then the fortnight finally arrived, the sun came out, and a spirit of goodwill, friendliness and unity seemed to spread among us.
It was uplifting to see spectators cheering on athletes from countries other than their own.
There are so many good memories of London 2012: Mo Farah forging ahead in the 5,000 and 10,000m; Jessica Ennis's gold in the gruelling discipline that is the heptathlon; Usain Bolt displaying a combination of athletic brilliance, humour and warmth; Games volunteers providing smiles and assistance all around us; the armed forces taking on duties in the wake of the security recruitment debacle with professionalism and the best of attitudes.
Trains and buses and tubes and DLR rose to the occasion.
In recognising the efforts of Olympian Bradley Wiggins, the West Ham boss Sam Allardyce referred to the "huge dedication and commitment our lads need to show in order to gain that extra advantage".
In an age of football prima donnas and TV celebs with no discernible talent or character to inspire a generation, Team GB and sports people from across the globe have offered us alternative role models that shine as brightly as the Olympic beacon.
■ Jim Fitzpatrick is MP for Poplar and Limehouse