Kevin McCallum Masthead
August 17 2012 at 11:47

Thank you for the music, London. Yes, the music. I’ll remember the 2012 Olympics for the music. It was all about the music. Oh, and the athletes … and the volunteers … and the price of beer. So, apart from the athletes, the volunteers and the price of beer, I’ll remember the Olympics for the music.

It was everywhere and it was good. It’s been five days since I left London and every time I hear “Heroes” by David Bowie I want to run with my arms wide open, get an Olympic tattoo and do a Mobot with a half-twist dive into a Bolt before finishing with a Cameron-in-repose-on-the-lane-rope pose.

The first time “Heroes” was played was for Team GB at the opening ceremony as they walked into the Olympic Stadium. I have never ever seen a roof blown off a sporting venue, but the 80000 there came as close as dammit to bending the girders.

I heard it several more times during the Games, but none better than when Mo Farah won gold in the 5000-metres with a run that had every one standing for the last 400-metres. More than one British athlete said that crowd gave them extra |energy. Bernard Lagat of the United States, who was fourth, said the crowd had given Farah an “extra 10percent”.

The DJ at the stadium seemed to be using my iPod and on that last lap for Farah he played Massive Attack’s “Unfinished Sympathy”, but by the end it was drowned out by the roar of the crowd.

Roar, that was another word I used too often during the Olympics, but I struggled to find another to describe the noise of the fans inside the Olympic Stadium. It was raw joy, uncontained pride and delirious celebration in a man who had come from Somalia at the age of eight. As he performed his lap of honour, celebration rang out once more.

On the morning Oscar Pistorius made history, the Olympic Stadium DJ played “Do you remember the first time” by Pulp. Jarvis Cocker, the lead singer of Pulp, was in the stadium that day as a guest of the in-stadium. I may have swooned. Pistorius ran well that day, and qualified for the semi-final.

After Usain Bolt had flashed across the line to begin some of the greatest celebrations seen by man, the stadium DJ dropped Dizzee Rascal’s “Bonkers”, which goes a little something like: “Some people think I’m bonkers. But I just think I’m free. Man, I’m just living my life. There’s nothing crazy about me.”

It was the perfect description of Bolt. He is the showman with substance, the superstar without a shred of arrogance. I watched every single one of his races. I don’t remember them every playing “Heroes” for him, which is a pity. He deserved it. Farah deserved it. Pistorius deserved it. They all did. Thank you for the music, London.


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