Archive: July, 2012
Bob Ford, Inquirer Sports Columnist
What might become the greatest summer in the sports history of Great Britain – admittedly not the most difficult distinction to achieve – continued Sunday in Paris when Bradley Wiggins stepped from his bicycle on the Champs Elysees as the first Brit to ever win the Tour de France.
Combine Wiggins’ landmark victory in merely the 99th edition of the Tour with the delirium that attended Andy Murray’s advancement to the Wimbledon championship round, and even the continuing disappointment that is the English soccer team – a listless quarterfinal departee from Euro 2012 – can’t diminish local excitement. Forget being a habitual bridesmaid. England and the home nations that form the British Olympic delegation aren't usually even invited to the wedding. So this is heady stuff.
The London Olympics is set to begin Friday amid the unusual holiday spirit. There are dire predictions about dreadful weather, hopeless traffic snarls and assorted security botches, which is pretty much the norm leading up to any Olympics. The Brits may be a dour lot, but in this case, they choose to believe the good times will just keep rolling along for British sports. They might even be right. Great Britain finished fourth in the medal count in Beijing four years ago, the best showing since 1924. The Brit team is loaded again and aiming for its first top-three finish since the judges all wore bowler hats.