One thing I can say for myself is that I am not a massive sports fan - you can catch me watching my beloved Leeds Rhinos but that's where my sporting knowledge and enjoyment begins and ends. As you can imagine, this can be pretty difficult when we are celebrating a year of some fantastic sport within the UK, including Euro 2012, Wimbledon and the Olympics. At first, as you can imagine, I wasn't best impressed with the grandeur and hype of all the above events. Although they were massive for us as a nation I just could never get myself in the patriotic mood.
Nevertheless, this has started to change recently. After the Jubilee (I admit, I was bunting brainwashed), Euro 2012 (and forcefully been made to watch by my football enthusiast other half), and managing to attend a Olympic torch relay I can honestly say that my patriotism has started really started to kick start. To be honest, something we British aren't very good at is patriotism. Countries such as the USA couldn't be more patriotic if you tried, with this being reflected in many of their sporting events. Athletes, footballers, basketball players are forever singing the national anthem and pledging allegiance to the flag. How many times have we watched the England football team line up and only a couple know anything further than 'God save the Queen?'
I'm not suggesting that we become as hard core as the Americans, but it could be suggested that having a bit of pride in the UK and it's local sporting talent could do a little bit of good (perhaps England may win a Euro title if many of the footballers from its leagues were home grown?) We have many things to be grateful for in the UK so why shouldn't we be proud?
Furthermore, concentrating on many of the events celebrated and pending in the UK could be suggested to have brought us all a welcome relief from many of the concerns facing the UK and its economy. How many of us have actually spent a night at the pub? Or built up a bit of the British resilience and had Jubilee and Olympic parties with neighbours we may not have otherwise spoken to. I attended one of the Olympic torch relays and almost instantaneously felt proud and excited for the Games to begin later this month- and certainly in many years time a story I'm sure I will be telling my grandchildren! This year has been a year of many firsts and possibly events that I will not see again in my life time. I think it certainly is something to be proud of... bring on those gold medals!