University of David
As a writer, I watched with something like awe the perfect narrative arc of it all. The opening ceremony, with its celebration of Suffragettes and immigrants and mixed-race couplings, was, it turns out, that perfect first chapter containing within it the seeds of so much that followed. We saw women athletes competing from every nation; women’s boxing, which was controversially re-introduced as an Olympic sport, gave Britain one of its new stars, the gold medalist Nicola Adams. Just a week after the Daily Mail, a right-wing newspaper, claimed it would be a “challenge” to find a happy mixed-race family in the country, Jessica Ennis, of Jamaican and white British parentage, won the heptathlon and a few million hearts. There may be no subject here more divisive than immigration, but if anything brought the nation together it was the Somali-born Mo Farah with his two astonishing gold medals, the second of them coming on the last full day of Olympic events, making the perfect ending to the story.