Actually, I sense the Games will lift the spirits far longer than the recession we now appear to be in. Long enough, indeed, to see us through to the upturn in the market that the Olympics itself is cast-iron guaranteed to provide. (That’s the great thing about the Olympics: the economy is not dependent, for a lift, on Steve McClaren or Berti Vogts.)
I also sense the Olympics may do more to slim the nation’s youth than legislation on sat-fats, or the Tories’ support for GDAs (or all the other niggly intervention in food formulation at the expense of energy output. I certainly hope so.
So I was pleased to read that our success on track and field (and pool and velodrome) has already inspired a significant uplift in sales of bikes (up 130%), swimming goggles (up 135%), riding gear (up 135%) and sports nutrition products (up 155%).
And I have another dream: that we use the Olympics to put not just Britain but British food in the best possible light. I hate it when foreigners tell me our food is awful. Celebrity chefs, but also supermarkets, delis, farmers markets, wholesalers, and of course, the food and drink producers and manufacturers, have all played their part in ensuring the standard of food is higher than ever, or at least since the Middle Ages (or so Jamie Oliver tells us).
So let’s hope the organisers of the London Olympics don’t just hand over the catering and sponsorship to the highest bidder. Let’s hope they are guided and inspired by the health of the nation and the imaginative, food-loving foodservice blueprint offered by the new St Pancras station.