This reaction wasn't a one off. It is well known we are a nation that craves international success and responds very positively when it arrives. It was evident in the euphoria of a full Lord's Cricket Ground a couple of weeks ago when a single Ashes test was won, and who will ever forget moments such as the Ashes series victory in 2005 or that last minute drop goal in the Rugby World Cup Final in Sydney?
Many of these victories came on the back of significant, long term and focused investment of public funds into the sport concerned. Yet though we are a nation that thrives on sporting triumphs, anyone looking to argue the case for continuing to invest in elite sport during these tough economic times cannot rely solely on our appetite and need for sporting success. It is undoubtedly an important factor, but there are other reasons for continuing such investment.
The first is quite simply that without public money, and the National Lottery funding in particular, the very existence of some sports at an elite level would be called into question. 'Professional' sports like football, rugby, tennis and cricket have sufficient revenues to continue to perform at the highest level without having to rely on public funds.
But what about sports like sailing, rowing, athletics, cycling, canoeing and swimming? Ben Ainslie, Steve Williams, Christine Ohuruogu, Chris Hoy, Tim Brabants and Rebecca Adlington all created moments that helped lift the nation through those two weeks in August. All of them have benefited hugely at some stage of their career from Lottery and government funding.
It is possible that these sports could carry on, but whether they would be able to achieve the heights that we are beginning to demand of them is questionable.
Olympic sport is now a sophisticated science where nothing can be left to chance and anything that can make as little as a 1% performance improvement can mean the difference between gold and nothing. The technological advances in coaching, training, sports science and the equipment our athletes use will not stop after 2012. Their need to concentrate 100% of their effort to their discipline won't alter just because the Games have left town.
If we want our sportsmen and sportswomen to continue to achieve the heights they did in Beijing, we need to make sure that we continue to invest in them.