I’VE always found the Olympics fascinating.
Everyone grows up with memories of the sporting extravaganza and, no matter how old you are, they remain fresh in your mind’s eye.
For me, I can still see Mary Peters winning the heptathlon gold in Munich in 1972, not sure whether she’d got the title until the scoreboard flickered and she responded with a beaming smile.
I also remember the exploits of Olga Korbut and Nadia Comaneci, who captivated the watching TV millions – most of whom didn’t have a clue about gymnastics but were just transfixed by the drama and spectacle of it all.
On the track you always think about Seb Coe and Steve Ovett, plus Alan Wells powering home in the 100m, and then there’s the politics to get your head around (although as a kid you just don’t understand all that).
Even this Olympics we’ve already had a flag mix-up involving the North Korean team, and it probably won’t be the last controversy attached to the London Games.
For the athletes, it really will be special. Representing your country is simply the best feeling in sport.
I was lucky enough to experience it when playing football for Hong Kong, when it was still under the British flag.
I qualified with seven years residency and played in World Cup qualifiers and the like.
It was only when we played in South Korea, and the Union Flag was raised and the national anthem played, that it really hit home I was taking part in international sport.
For the Olympians, we see only 0.01% of what they’ve been through with their performance.
All the hours they have spent training and working towards one goal often goes unnoticed, so when someone like Sir Steve Redgrave picks up five golds over a 16-year period, it really is quite mind boggling.
I really do hope he gets to light the Olympic Flame in the stadium tonight.
As far as the sport, I’m looking forward to seeing Jess Ennis try to emulate Mary Peters – and I hope the home support can give her that extra push.
There is something quite soft about her approach – she is not one of those people who is shouting from the rooftops – and she comes across as a very natural, decent person who just works very hard and wants to do well.
I’m also hoping Mo Farah can land gold, and if he could do the double that would be something special.
Good luck to everyone in Team GB!