What goes around comes around. Britain came third in the last Olympics league table, lagging behind only America and China. And the editor of this site wrote that John Major deserved a Gold Medal “for starting the National Lottery and establishing the Lottery’s investment in British sport. The top people at Team GB have generously acknowledged that we wouldn’t be enjoying such a medal rush without this cricket lover’s vision”.
Four years have passed, Tim Montgomerie is no longer editor of this site, and the Olympics are not taking place in London. But Britain is again third in the table, at least as of this morning, and Mo Farah has just scooped his third gold medal. So it is time once again to praise Sir John (with whom this site has had its disagreements) for leaving a British sporting legacy that is lasting.
The media revels in exposing cock-ups: procurement plans that over-run, PFI scandals, aid money that goes astray, transport schemes whose costs soar above budget (that’s you, HS2). And so it should. We are less prone to give credit where it’s due. The last Olympics were one of the Cameron Government’s greatest moments (take a bow, Jeremy Hunt). But there would have been less success in London and Rio without Sir John’s decision.
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When we published this piece on Sunday, Britain was second in the table (see above). At present, we are second. Sir John’s contribution really does deserve a bit of publicity, so we will re-run this TD each morning for the time being.