By Arachne

Constructs and achievements

Millions of people think that there is an Olympic Park in London. They have seen it on TV. They have even been there. But in fact there is a cunning series of 35 bridges and walkways over a large reclaimed brownfield site that is cut and crosscut by railways, roads and the River Lea and its tributaries. At park-level, it feels as if there is solid ground underfoot with landscaped slopes and steps down through wildflower meadows to riverside walkways. But 115 metres up Anish Kapoor's Orbit sculpture, it becomes clearer what a fiendishly clever bit of engineering has created this illusion. It has me glowing with delight.

Another construct needed to get the most out of the Olympics is one I am missing. However hard I try I don't care how many medals Team GB gets (I'm ducking now). I don't feel patriotic and I'm uncomfortable, when there is a Brit in competition, at the wild cheering that athletes who happen to come from other parts of the world know is not for them. I'm aware that not having a sense of nationality is a position of the privileged (ask a Palestinian or a Kurd or a Celt how to manage without) but I guess nationalism was a bit of programming I didn't get as a child.

What does move me is tenacity and determination to overcome the odds. Peter Norfolk is a 'quad' (having a disability in at least three limbs) tennis player who has to tape his tennis racket to his hand to play. His dexterity is compelling. I watched him win a silver medal today in the quad doubles. The other three players were just as inspiring.

The best, though, was the blind women running 100m. I had a lump in my throat as they started, and held my breath for all 12.79 seconds of the race, trying to imagine what it takes to trust someone to guide you running that fast. When Terezinha Guilhermina went to collect her gold, she and her race guide, Guilherme Soares de Santana, took each other in a ballroom hold and danced to the podium.

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