“London’s games are Great Britain’s games”. So said the iconic BBC commentator Barry Davies, at the start of the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics. A 4-hour extravaganza, it was a show that stunned and delighted the world.
The start of the 30th Olympiad showcased the UK’s creative and organizational genius. It was a stylish reminder of the huge impact of our small North Atlantic nation has had on broader humanity. And what did this high-octane celebration of Britain’s shared history and culture kick-off with? Successive choruses sang with reverence and respect by sweet-voiced schools kids from the UK’s four corners.
We had Jerusalem, Danny Boy and the Welsh tearjerker Bread of Heaven. And, at the heart of the mix, from a place integral to our on-going island story, we heard the Flower of Scotland.
While the UK is four distinct countries, each with its own identity, we’re one coherent nation. Cobbled together, in a form that somehow works, our joint history of achievement and success is as rich as any on earth. That’s how we presented ourselves during that masterful Olympic Opening Ceremony in July 2012 – and the world roared back its approval.