/ Travel & Leisure

We’re happy and we know it thanks to the Olympics

Three fingers painted with smiley faces

There’s nothing like a bit of gold and a spot of sunshine to bring out the best in Brits. We have that warm fuzzy feeling and we’re buzzing with pride. As a nation our outlook on life’s on the up – thanks to the Olympics.

The success of Team GB appears to have had an overall positive effect on the nation – and I’m not just talking about the trophy cabinet. Our research has shown that we were happier during the Olympics than the month before.

We’re regularly capturing the public’s feelings towards life satisfaction (the monthly Which? consumer tracker) to see if things are improving for consumers. When quizzed, the number of people saying they were satisfied with life overall increased to 62% during the first week of the Olympics from 53% in June.

People told us they were more satisfied with their household income, standard of living and leisure time than they were in June. Perhaps we all made a conscious effort to make time for the Olympics?

Community spirit for the Olympics

I’ve certainly enjoyed the feeling of unity and celebration as we gathered to mark the Games – and I have to confess I was originally a bit of a sceptic. I had nothing against them, I just didn’t realise it would bring everyone quite this much pleasure – myself included.

I visited the big screens in our local park and particularly enjoyed watching the opening ceremony with hundreds, if not thousands, of other local residents. I’ve also enjoyed the fabulous coverage of every sport you could dream of on the television and online – and trust me I’m not a sporting lady – especially when I finally discovered the red button on my TV!

Is it a London thing?

I’ve also enjoyed a very pleasant commute the past fortnight. Yes, the trains have been a bit quieter as those fearful of getting caught in the crowds have steered clear of London, but the journeys have also been more colourful. Lots of travellers have been dressed in their national colours, and Games Makers have taken pride of place on our trains and brightened up my mornings.

I’ve been fortunate to be surrounded by the buzz of events, living in the south-east and working in London, but have you felt the affects across the UK? What have been your highlights and what has lifted your spirits?


I’m not at all happy with the olympics.
They said it came in on budget – orignal figure £2.4 billion – final figure about £11.0 billion. If that’s on budget then I’m missing something.
Yet the government says it can’t afford £1.3 billion pa to provide more help for those who need to go into care !
At the same time it’s also proposing to spend £25 billion on HS2 – the fares will be even more expensive than the current ones, and thousands of people will have to suffer disruption where the line passes nearby. Many studies show that it is likely that the governments projections of passengers and income are vastly overstated.
Am I happy – NO i’m not.

Argus says:
13 August 2012

Redkite, unless you are in a position to know for a fact that the figures you quoted are true, then I suggest it’s worth piping down a bit.

You appear to have wound yourself up there with a load of conjecture.

The media build up messed it up for me.

They led us to believe that there would be huge security issues, mass traffic problems, and that generally we were not ready to host the Olympics.

As a result I stayed at home, didn’t watch much of it, and didn’t apply for tickets. Now it seems that it ran very well, and there were no problems and it was a huge success, with plenty of tickets available.

Thanks for that, I missed out.

Argus says:
13 August 2012

Probably best not to believe everything you read then Rich 😉

Phil says:
13 August 2012

You might’ve guessed that the British media would’ve accentuated every negative aspect, it’s what they do.

Well, the Olympics has left me on a high. I was lucky enough to go to the park, and one event, despite having no luck with the tickets system (some friends were very generous). But for the most part my excitement was built by watching all the medals roll in on TV. London has had a great atmosphere, and generally the success for Team GB has had a warming affect. You can’t not feel good after watching this video of the team:

Steve Lewis says:
13 August 2012

The opening ceremony exceeded my expectations & lifted the nation’s mood. My one real desire was to see Tom Daley get a medal & what a tense night that was – so pleased for him!

Sophie Gilbert says:
13 August 2012

Surrounded by mass hysteria I have felt a sense of absolute calm.

You must agree that the synchronised hero worship was outstanding, Sophie.

Sophie Gilbert says:
14 August 2012


I was one of the unlucky ones that couldn’t get tickets for the London 2012 Olympic Games..

The only ones I saw in the London2012 wesite were way over the top although I would have liked to have gone even just to soak up the atmosphere. I believe many people who went to the games and paid top prices just to be there will have quite a hefty price to pay not just today but well into past Christmas & New Year.

I believe there should have been more than enough tickets been made available as well as souveniors and not just be made available on eBay at some extortaianate price tag. I know the the euphoria of the games will go on in everyone mind for quite sometime to come, but now comes the reality of paying heafty bills for food, fuel & energy will bring down quite a lot more of us with a great big bump and with an on going longstanding hangover.

Mantequilla says:
14 August 2012

Watching from afar, it seemed to me that the Olympics was an outpouring of suppressed British nationalism and who can blame them. Being a middle-class wannabe takes time, money and effort, the Olympics was a welcome distraction for many of them and an ideal time for them to let it all out.

I’m actually a bit sad that it’s all over. I didn’t get as involved as most (I had no tickets and usually don’t care about sport) but I found myself really getting into the spirit of things over the last couple of weeks. It wasn’t just the British winning medals, but the genuinely lovely atmosphere of support that was felt. I live near stratford and seeing all of the fans mingling together (whatever their country) was a really lovely thing to see. And watching crowds groan and cheer for even competitors from countries they’d never heard of made me really happy – it was a nice way to bring everyone together, and turned out about a hundred times better than I’d expected it to be.