Well, that's that done for another 4 years. Or 2 years to the winter olympics - or 2 weeks to the paralympics. But anyway, it's all over - are we any happier?
It's a festival of sport, so maybe we all got some exercise and fresh air - but no, hang on, most of the country has been inside watching TV, which I learned recently consumes fewer calories than sleeping. So maybe it wasn't a fetival of sport at all, but a festival of TV. And beer of course, don't forget the reason this all happens - the sponsors.
If we really wanted to get the people of Britain up off the couch, the way to do it is not to spend millions on a TV show. Spend the same money on small scale local facilities and facilitators. Get real people out there in the world, knocking on doors and helping people find their special way of keeping fit. I've been lucky enough to find yoga and running, which suit me and fit into my life, but some people might need fishing and salsa, or rambling and crosswords, or maybe just lots and lots of trampolining.
The other thing I noticed was the importance of winning, I remember the olympics as being all about participating - "It's not the winning or the losing, it's the taking part". In this olympics it was all about winning. We beat the French and the Aussies - good going GB! But how good is winning really? The BBC had a nice piece about how empty the winning athletes felt afterwards. Once the mountain has been scaled they had nothing - except the next mountain and the next ensuing emptyness. No solution was offered, it was just a bit of bad luck that winning wasn't better. Winning is OK, but really, it's all about the journey, not the destination and if you can help one or two people out along the way then you might feel a bit better about yourself.
This festival of beer and TV is an example of the same backwards thinking that makes us look at taking the green option as making a sacrifice - something we would rather not do. As long as the green option is a hair shirt we won't take it and the ice caps will continue to melt. Happiness theory can flip this on it's head and show us that we can do the right thing AND be happy.
Winning isn't everything, money can't buy you love, go for a nice walk.