THE record books show that Team GB won 185 medals when London hosted the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.
Yet this only tells part of the story – the fact that the UK is on track to beat a major tourism targets two years ahead of schedule is, in some respects, testament to the sporting, economic and cultural legacy created by Sheffield’s Lord Coe and his whole team who became the ultimate ambassadors for Great Britain plc.
The Olympics were an invitation to the world to come to these shores – and VisitBritain, who hoped annual inbound visits would reach the 40 million by 2020, believe that they will do so this year. However there’s a caveat. In a candid BBC radio interview, Lord Coe said he hoped the spirit national unity that came to define these Games, and showcase British values globally, is not put at risk by bitter divides over Brexit.
They’re wise words that need to be heeded from a leader who recognises the power of sport to both unite and energise.