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Donkin's World: London Olympics - Blubbing Marvellous!

"Iím a fairly hard-arsed and cynical old hack, or like to think so, but it hasnít taken much during these Olympics to unplug the tear ducts. When those chins begin to wobble, so does mine,'' writes journalist and author Richard Donkin.

Emotional isnít it? So bloody emotional. I know thereís an element of national hysteria in the way some of us - most of us here in the UK, Iíd bet Ė are getting excited about the London Olympic Games, and you know what? I donít care.

Iím a fairly hard-arsed and cynical old hack, or like to think so, but it hasnít taken much during these Olympics to unplug the tear ducts. When those chins begin to wobble, so does mine. Yes, I might expect it when we win an Olympic gold, but other things are creating those moist-eyed moments too. Interviews with proud parents Ė I canít handle that one bit.

Bert le Clos, the South African swimmerís dad Ė brilliant Bert, what a star, what the Olympics are all about. Yes Bert you made me blub Ė almost Ė because Iím a bloke and blubbingís so embarrassing, isnít it?

Well not if you work in telly land where everything is played for emotion. Having said that, I think even some of those hard-bitten commentators have been overcome at times.

That opening ceremony set the tone, making us all proud to be British again. The media tells us all the time that we have nothing to be proud about. They told us the transport would be chaos, that people would be held up coming through immigration, they ridiculed the recruiting of security staff, moaned about ticketing and even now, theyíre still looking for the downside.

But do you know what? This Olympic games is great. Itís proving a showcase for Britain and what Britain can achieve. The opening ceremony was a masterpiece of entertainment when it could so easily have fallen in to clichť and pastiche. And nothing went wrong. The bell gonged, the fireworks sparkled, the rosette flamed and formed and even the Queen joined in the best of jokes.

I wouldn't have missed it for anything.

And now that it's over what will we see? Weíll see economic analysis about how much the Olympics earned or lost because weíre obsessed about a ridiculous measure of output and productivity thatís supposed to tell us how we should feel or behave. There'll be medals tallies and some will work out how much each medal cost in monetary terms as if sweat and dedication are simply products or measures of lottery funding.

Maybe we should listen more to our hearts than what we see on TV or in the newspapers. How did it make us feel? For thousands, millions, of people at home and abroad, Iím sure it will make us feel a little bit better about ourselves, about what people can achieve when they focus on a goal. Politics and business can rarely stir the heart. But sport can do that. So donít be afraid to shed the odd tear of joy or sadness with the mums and dads and their gut-pumping offspring. Itís OK. Itís the Olympics. It's emotional.

Top 10 blub moments

Felix Sanchez floods the stadium, getting his 400m gold.
Chris Hoy Ė oceans of blub.
Jessica Ennis, "So happy" interview.
Oscar Pistorius qualifies for 400m semi-finals.
John Inverdale consoles British Rowing pair, Purchase and Hunter.
Bert le Clos Ė proud dad.
Rowers Sophie Hosking and Katherine Copeland: ďWeíve just won the Olympics.Ē
Alan Campbell, rowing bronze.
Mo Farahís kid and Missus joining him on the track.
Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce (womenís 100m).


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