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It's 10 years to the day since the London 2012 Olympics began and Danny Boyle's awe-inspiring opening ceremony wowed the world.
The ceremony, widely regarded as one of the best ever, featured cameos from Daniel Craig, Kenneth Branagh, Rowan Atkinson and The Queen. It also paid tribute to the UK's history, music, pop culture and perhaps most memorably of all, the NHS.
The event was hailed as a masterpiece and for many highlighted all that is good and great about the UK and essentially paved the way for one of the best Olympics in recent memory.
However, this was 10 years ago and it's fair to say that the UK isn't in the best of states right now.
Four years after the games the nation voted to leave the European Union, a decision which is yet to reap any significant benefits. In 2012 the UK was only two years into a Tory government led by David Cameron. 10 years and three prime ministers later the Tories are still in power and are already looking for their fourth leader in that time.
What else has happened since then? Covid? That wasn't good at all, as the UK recorded the highest deaths in Europe. The cost of living crisis has left everyone feeling the pinch on their bank accounts.
We've also had a migration crisis where people risking their lives to make a life for themselves in this country have been used as a political tool and are now being sent to 'processing centres' in Rwanda.
The decline of the UK in comparison to the 2012 Olympics has perhaps been best summed up by the priest, journalist and radio host Richard Coles who wrote on Twitter: "Ten years since London 2012. I remember watching the opening ceremony and thinking “we’ve cracked it — progressive, inclusive, outward-looking, and everyone’s cheering”. It’s the most wrong I’ve been since predicting in 1987 that London house prices could not rise any higher."
\u201cTen years since London 2012. I remember watching the opening ceremony and thinking \u201cwe\u2019ve cracked it \u2014 progressive, inclusive, outward looking, and everyone\u2019s cheering\u201d. It\u2019s the most wrong I\u2019ve been since predicting in 1987 that London house prices could not rise any higher.\u201d
Many other people's sentiments on the 10 years that have followed since the games pretty much reflected Coles' thoughts.
\u201cIt\u2019s ten years since London 2012 was a thing. Remember that opening ceremony and the games that followed, before for one reason or another this whole country went absolutely fucking batshit.\u201d
— Simon Harris - #LovelyBitOfSquirrel (@Simon Harris - #LovelyBitOfSquirrel)
\u201cAnyone else remember London 2012 when we were admired and respected throughout the world, when we had a reasonably healthy economy, when there was little social division? \nThat was just 10 year ago.\nThank you Boris Johnson.\u201d
\u201c10 years since #London2012 - how far we have fallen as a country since then. \n\nRemember all the optimism at the time? It\u2019s the hope that kills you.\u201d
— Dave Jones \ud83c\udff4\udb40\udc67\udb40\udc62\udb40\udc77\udb40\udc6c\udb40\udc73\udb40\udc7f\ud83c\udff3\ufe0f\u200d\ud83c\udf08\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6 (@Dave Jones \ud83c\udff4\udb40\udc67\udb40\udc62\udb40\udc77\udb40\udc6c\udb40\udc73\udb40\udc7f\ud83c\udff3\ufe0f\u200d\ud83c\udf08\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6)
\u201cI vividly remember watching this with our new baby and feeling so happy and positive about London 2012. How things have changed.\u201d
\u201cLondon 2012, the absolute best of what Britain had to offer, the pinnacle of what being British was about; the diversity, the openness, the welcoming island personified by the Gamesmakers. How far it\u2019s fallen in such a short time, hijacked by & for disaster capitalist charlatans.\u201d
Have things been all that bad though? At least the vaccine rollout got everyone out of lockdown and the football (if you're an England fan) gave us two pretty enjoyable summers before they eventually lost.
Others might argue that the country was already in decline before the games even began and the Olympics just helped paper over the cracks.
What do you think?
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