I’m writing this from my couch while semi-watching Andy Murray vs. Roger Federer battle it out for the Men’s Tennis gold medal. Although this is just one of the many medal events at London 2012 it is also, perhaps, one of the most significant for the host nation. As I write Murray is up one set to love and 2-0 up in the second set. Less than a month ago Federer beat Murray in the Wimbledon final but now, the day after perhaps the most glorious day for British sport since England lifted the Football World Cup in 1966, Andy Murray is all over R-Fed and if it keeps going like this Great Britain will have another gold medal to add to the tally. Federer is playing like he is scared. Scared of Murray. Scared of the crowd. Scared of Britain. If Federer, who is probably the greatest man to have ever played the sport, wins this, I will be extremely surprised. I will also be pretty disappointed.
Unlike us Aussies, the British don’t really know what glory feels like these days. It’s been nearly half a century since anything like this has happened to them.
They won three gold medals on Saturday night. I remember the jubilation of Sydney 2000 when we smashed those arrogant American closet gay frat boys in the pool then the next week had Cathy Freeman make history in the 400m.
As a kid living in Sydney, the Olympics were the first time I really felt any sense of pride about where I am from and who we are as a people. After the Olympics ended we won a whole bunch of other shit too. We also didn’t go into recession, live in Wolverhampton or have any riots that lasted longer than a day. The British deserve this. Probably a lot more than we did.
Wimbledon is a sea of Union Jack’s. The crowd seem to be more confident that their boy can get up against the same opponent who outclassed him less than a month ago. At the beginning of the third set Murray is up 6-2 6-1. Its an absolute bloodbath, The sun is shining and Great Britain no longer look like sad old rockers reliving past glories. They are vibrant, proud and looking forward to the future. It’s like Cool Britannia but with more energy and less cocaine.
Third set. 5-4. Murray has won the first point, Federer the second. Murray with an ace makes it 30-15. Holy shit! Another ace! 40-15! Can he do it? Can Andy Murray win a Gold Medal at the Olympics? He hasn’t won a grand slam title before. Just 28 days ago he lost to Federer in the Wimbledon final.
Ace. Against the odds, Andy Murray wins another gold for Team GB.
I am so happy there is a nation of people experiencing the sheer joy we had in 2000. In recent years the UK have been through some serious shit, both in the real world and in the realm of sport. London 2012 not only represents a period of great success in the sporting history of Great Britain but a turning point on how the rest of the world see this small yet prolific country.
I cant tell if Andy Murray is naturally a super relaxed guy or he is just completely overwhelmed by what he has just done that he has forgotten how to express emotion. One thing is for sure this has been one of the moments of London 2012 for me.
Now what to do for the 5 hours before Usain Bolt?