Friday, 7 September 2012
Ten things to do now the Olympics are over
1. Eat cake. It’s ok everyone, you can stop clutching the telly hoping Clare Balding will come back and announce we’re doing the whole thing over again, with jazz hands. There’s a new bastion of national pride waiting in the wings to capture our hearts, and that is The Great British Bake Off.
Perhaps it isn’t fully embracing the Olympic legacy to start tucking into the battenberg before everyone’s hamstrings have fully contracted - but when you think about it, beneath the acres of buttercream and Italian meringue, the cake comp actually embraces similar attitudes of discipline, perseverance and personal (or yeast-fuelled) growth of the Olympics. These are people who care so much about their craft that they’ll weep over a soggy-bottomed pie. That’s a dedication I can admire.
2. Wait for the Paralympics. I am incredibly excited about the Paralympics, due in large part to Channel 4’s brilliant, and steadfastly nur-nur-we’re-not-the-BBC, marketing. Their ‘Thanks For the Warm Up’ campaign is doing a great job of breaking through my post-Olympic gloom and giving me cause to go, “YEAH! BOOM! More amazing humans being amazing!” every time I walk past a billboard.
3. Start your own Olympics. I’m currently trying to found the Have-A-Go Olympics, for people with little discernable sporting ability who just want to have a jolly good go. Bonus points will be rewarded for additional challenges, such as completing the 400m hurdles with two bags of Sainsbury’s shopping, or in a pair of new sandals.
4. Get really good at an obscure sport. It’s only a matter of time before speed Macarena hits the Olympic arena, and when it does I intend to be on that podium.
5. Buy the team kit and stand around nonchalantly in public spaces, stretching, until at least five people have come up, shaken your hand and bought you an ice cream.
6. Listen to everything Emeli Sande's ever recorded. She's a massive cultural icon, don'tcha know? Oh, you didn’t. Still, when her career has endured for decades and her songs have ascended into the realms of everlasting legend, we shall all look back and say, ‘Why wasn’t there MORE of her in the London 2012 closing ceremony?’
7. Buy up all the remaining Cadbury’s medals and melt down their foil wrappers to create your own replica medal. Then eat the chocolate.
8. Create an Animal Olympics using the pet of your choice. My mother is currently sewing tiny sweatbands for each of our guinea pigs. They’re really more telly-and-a-pizza creatures, but I haven’t the heart to tell her.
9. Use all the time you formerly spent listening to Olympic coverage on your headphones at work to learn a new language instead. Portuguese might be useful for the next time round.
10. Inspire a generation. This is a pretty big one, admittedly, but we should all have a go. Start small: teach a child to do a cartwheel. Take them swimming. Race them round the park, and tell them they’re brilliant.
Or if you don’t have a child to hand, cheer on a passing jogger instead.