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My Olympics: London shining bright

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Alan Mak, president of the Magic Breakfast, gives an Olympic Torchbearer's reflections on London 2012 so far

In June I had my moment to shine when I carried the Olympic torch for Magic Breakfast in Yorkshire. I didn't think anything would match it. But, over the last ten days it's London – and Britain as a whole – that has been shining brightly as the Olympics have come alive.

From Danny Boyle's magical opening ceremony to the heart-warming tale of the gold medallist taking the DLR home, the Olympics so far have been exciting, uplifting and energising.

Visit any Games venue – whether it be the magnificent Olympic Stadium or the newly-minted velodrome – and you'll be greeted by beaming smiles from Games Maker volunteers directing the crowds with comically oversized foam fingers. You'll also see plenty of military on duty, doing a fantastic job manning body scanners and checking tickets. Their professionalism, pride and good humour really does show the best of Britain to the world.

While I'm on the hunt for more tickets, so far I've seen the brilliant Jessica Ennis at the super Saturday, and I caught a few Hockey and Badminton matches. The buzz in the Olympic Park is overwhelming and patriotism feels back in fashion too: with chants for Team GB following them everywhere. On the track, in the pool, on court and in the field, the athletes' dedication and spirit is truly inspiring. I'm especially proud that the presence of the female athletes from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Brunei in London makes these the first ever Games where every country's delegation includes a woman.

Away from the sport, I spent the first Olympic Saturday with a Chinese business delegation and last Friday night at the Cutty Sark with UK trade and investment, where the Lancaster House British Business Embassy aims to secure £1bn from foreign investors during the Games period. Personally, I'm more interested in the £13bn Olympic legacy and whether any of the thousands of children we feed at Magic Breakfast who live in poverty and hunger in Olympic boroughs Newham, Hackney and Tower Hamlets can be the Olympians of the future.

For London to stay shining brightly, they must not be left behind. For now London can, and should, bask in the warmth that comes from the vibrancy injected by the Games that not even the changeable British weather can diminish. Even the trains are running smoothly (mostly!) and Rio 2016 has a lot to live up to!

Alan Mak is president and trustee of Magic Breakfast, a small charity which provides a healthy breakfast to 6,000 hungry UK primary school children each day. The charity has 100 schools on its waiting list. @AlanMakUK


This blog was first published in the Guardian on 5 August 2012

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