What can I say? I am speechless with excitement after my own eventful day at Paddington Station doing my Ambassador's bit. Suddenly there is not enough hours in the day to report on all the fantastic things that are happening here in the UK. What a difference a few days make to the atmosphere, the feeling of joy, the gushing inspiration and the creeping euphoria! People are now coming up to Ambassadors and extolling the Games: how well organised the various venues are, how easy it is to get to enjoy the performances and, best of all, the big screens around the country allowing thousands of local people to get in on the act.
The one thing that is unmistakeable: People seem so HAPPY! All the misery and gloom of the naysayers and crystal ball readers (predicting our poor performance) have slowly vanished as the people come to appreciate the growing remarkable success of our athletes. The investment in their training, continuing motivation and promotion has certainly paid off already, yet we are only half way through these remarkable Games. One has to be here in Britain to appreciate the transformation. One would not believe we are in a recession! There had been a lot of talk about all the money being 'wasted' on the Olympics in such hard times (after all the£9 billion to stage it aren't peanuts!), but it's already a repayment in lifting the nation's spirit and giving us HOPE - while encouraging people to also spend money. Who knows what that could lead to over the next few months, because hope is the greatest foundation for building and sustaining everything in our lives.
But back to Super Saturday!
GREAT BRITISH ACTION
Day 8 of the Olympics here in London had no equal. It was the day that Athletics - Track & Field - made its giant presence felt (with five Golds available). There were 25 Gold medals available to win on the day and Team GB made sure that it bagged at least 25% of them. We had never won 6 Gold medals on any one day in the Games for a century. Our total haul is often around that number! But here we were, Little Britain with its heart of gold, performing like the big guns and we loved it!! There is too much to report here so forgive the brief mentions. Lots of details can be found for each sport on the London2012.com excellent site, or the nbcolympics.com equally informative site.
The day started promisingly with action from individual Team GB members. Jessica Ennis in the Heptathlon secured her Gold medal in spite of stiff opposition, even though she was deprived of her fastest time because of an administrative mix-up with the hurdles. She was soon followed by Greg Rutherford who leapt to victory in the Long Jump, though he actually finished his performance before she completed her last event, the 800m.
Hot on their heels were Mo Farah, the first athlete in Britain to challenge the dominant Kenyans in this long distance race and beat them - and the first Black athlete to win a Gold in these Games. American Galen Rupp's Silver medal behind Farah completed the dramatic turn around in this race, which has been the preserve of African athletes up to now. Three other British team medals followed throughout the day in the rowing and cycling.
'I can't believe I've had the opportunity to come to my first Games in London and won an Olympic Gold medal. It's unbelievable,' said 26-year-old Ennis, who missed the Beijing 2008 Games after suffering a career-threatening foot injury.
THE JAMAICANS BEGIN THEIR GOLD RUSH
Elsewhere in the action, Jamaican sprinter, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce defended her Olympic 100m title. She wasted no time in leading the way for Jamaican athletes to show how they mean to go on by successfully running the race of her life to retain her Gold medal championship. Fraser-Pryce edged out American world champion Carmelita Jeter to win in a time of 10.75, with another Jamaican, Veronica Campbell-Brown taking taking the Bronze in 10.81. Jamaica, who placed a remarkable 20th in Beijing for such a tiny country and so few resources, had been rather quiet in the Games so far, but one cannot ignore them now as they get ready to dominate the sprint races.
Popular defending men's champion, Usain Bolt, virtually walked into the semi-finals of the men’s 100m, which promises to be the greatest race on Day 9, with three potential World record holders from Jamaica running in it: Usain, Yohan Blake the rising star, and Asafa Powell. It could be a Jamaican clean sweep, though they are likely to face stiff opposition from American, Tyson Gay.
South Africa's sensation, Oscar Pistorius, was also having the time of his life when he became the first double amputee to compete in both the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The 'Blade Runner', as he is dubbed, made it to the semi-finals of the 400m. Sadly, defending champion LaShawn Merritt crashed out with a hamstring injury.
Finally, the Olympic Swimming programme came to a glorious end with the incomparable Michael Phelps bowing out with the 18th Gold medal of his record-breaking career. It was gained from completing the butterfly leg in the 4 x 100m Medley Relay final as America claimed gold. The most successful Olympian ever was given a special award by FINA for his remarkable career in sports and the Olympics. He has certainly done America proud.
In Wimbledon, Serena Williams made it a double glory for America when she became the first woman to claim the Tennis career Golden Slam in both Singles and Doubles, after a clinical demolition of Maria Sharapova at Wimbledon.
This will be a day that will long live in our memory because it was simply perfect: on action, on enjoyment, on public involvement and on sheer appreciation. But the best could be yet to come because there are 23 medals ready to be won on Day 9 and, of course, that amazing 100 meters sprint with the world's greatest sprinters!!
25 Gold medals were awarded in the following 11 sports:
*Athletics(5) (Chen Ding, China; Sandra Perkovic, Croatia; Jessica Ennis, Great Britain; Greg Rutherford, Great Britain; Mo Farah, Great Britain; Shelley-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Jamaica)
*Badminton(2) (Xeurui Li, China; Zhao Yunlei & Tian Qing, China)
*Cycling (Team Great Britain)
*Fencing (Team China)
*Rowing(4) (Great Britain; Great Britain; Team Denmark; M Knapkova, Czechoslovakia)
*Shooting(2) (Jamie Lynn Gray, United States; Jessica Rossi, Italy)
*Swimming(4) (Sun Yang, China; Michael Phelps, USA; Ranomi Kromowidjojo, Netherlands; Team USA-Women;)
*Tennis(2) (Serena Williams, USA; M Bryan/B Bryan, United States)
*Trampoline (Rosannagh MacLennan, Canada)
*Women's Triathlon (Nicola Spirig, Switzerland)
*Weightlifting (Ilya Ilyin, Kazakhstan)
DAY 6 MEDAL LEADERS
1. United States 54 Total (26Gold, 13Silver,15Bronze)
2. China 53 (25Gold, 16Silver 12Bronze)
3. Great Britain 29 (14 Gold, 7Silver, 8Bronze)
4. South Korea 17 (9Gold, 3Silver 5Bronze)
5. France 16 (8Gold, 6Silver, 8Bronze)
(58 countries have won medals. 116 Gold medals of 302 available have now been decided.)
For detailed results and LIVE viewings
BBC Sport (videos might not be accessible)
London2012.com (Great pictures)