This summer has already provided us with some fantastic British sporting achievements. Andy Murray became the first British Men's Wimbledon finalist in 74 years, Bradley Wiggins became the first ever Brit to win the Tour de France and the England football team performed better than most expected them to. These stories would usually dominate the sports pages for the majority of the summer and although they have had their moment in the spotlight, this year they have been overshadowed by the fact that the we are hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
An event on this scale is only likely to happen once in anybody's lifetime and the whole country have been keen to take an active part in it, whether it be attending the games, watching the torch relay or simply showing their support for Team GB. The Olympic Games will give us a plaform from which we can develop future sporting champions.
It is not just sport that has been provided with an exciting opportunity to improve itself both now and in the future by the Games, there is also a big opportunity for businesses in the UK.
A major sporting event can help to provide a boost to a country's economy even when it's taking place on the other side of the world. The Olympics is being held in our own country and could help to kick start our struggling economy.
Visitors from all over the world will be arriving in the UK over the next few days, and while their main reason for visiting will be to attend Olympic events they will also have plenty of spare time to spend in London. They are unlikely to spend all of the time stuck in their hotel rooms - they will be visiting the popular tourist sights in London, shopping and eating out. All of this will help to boost the tourism industry at an already busy period.
There have also been thousands of jobs created by the Olympic Games, from construction workers to shop assistants. Although many are temporary, it will still have provided thousands of people with new skills which they may not have obtained otherwise, and this can only benefit them in the future.
It's not just London based businesses that will be able to benefit from the Games. Starting this weekend, for an eight-week period, the Government has extended Sunday trading hours. Although unlikely to create a significant number of extra jobs it should boost spending and provide overtime so that workers can boost their earnings. The football is being played across the country, giving other cities the chance to benefit from the buzz of the Games.
However if you read any articles in the media on the impact of the Games, they are not so positive. The first concern that was highlighted was what the impact of free wi-fi offered in London would have on the country. Media reported that the country would not be able to cope and that people and businesses would be left without any access to the internet - this has recently been ruled out.
Then there's the criticism of the Olympic Lanes. Yes these are not ideal, traffic in London is notoriously bad and removing a lane will only make things worse, but imagine this - it's the day of the 100m final, the stadium is full but the race is delayed as Usain Bolt is stuck in traffic 20 minutes away from the stadium. Surely suffering from a couple of weeks of traffic chaos is better than the embarassment this would bring.
There's also been all of the controversy surrounding the security for the Games. Again, it's not ideal and it hasn't reflected very well on us as a country, but during the Games I would be highly surprised if there were any significant issues.
There were also concerns about how Heathrow would handle an unprecedented number of visitors and that there could be huge queues. Imagine that - queues at an airport during an extremely busy period! The actual truth is that so far Heathrow has coped extremely well. The fear that there would be aboslute chaos at the airports was made worse when the Border Agency staff announced they would be going on strike in the lead up to the Games, not the only workforce to threaten such action. Thankfully this has now been cancelled as an agreement has been reached, although to be honest I don't think they ever would have actually gone through with this and can only hope that others threatening to strike action also see sense, at least until after the Games.
Media in the UK seems to enjoy looking at the worst case scenario and then presenting it in a way which makes it appear as though this is what will happen. The recent Euro 2012 was a perfect example of this. Yes there were a few issues, but largely the tournament took place with little incident and the host countries enhanced their reputation across Europe. It is for this reason I prefer to look at things from my own point of view, rather than those portrayed in the media.
It's very difficult to judge what impact the Games will have on our economy. As you can see from above there are both opportunities and threats that we must overcome. Over the next few weeks the focus of the entire world will be on our country, and putting on a successful Games can only enhance our repuatation - surely that can only be a good thing.