Britain has enjoyed its most successful Olympics and Paralympics in years - testament you may think to a training regime that has been instituted in recent years to make up for mediocre past performances. Turning on its head the more usual cry of "Jolly good show; getting the bronze medal was an awfully good effort". Even the Aussies were surprised, but couldn't resist taking a swipe at the fact that many of the gold medals were won from a "sitting position". Now then, jealousy will get you nowhere.
There is no doubt in the minds of the British team at least, that quite a lot of the difference in their performance has been as a result of the availability of funding channeled from the lottery. Funds that have been put into the building of new facilities and have helped to defray the costs of some of the athletes who could not otherwise afford financially to take out the necessary time for training.
So, something is clearly going right. The facilities are better, there is time to train and so now all we need to ensure is that the competitive spirit remains. The will to win. The British tendency - and I am not critical of it, in fact absolutely the opposite - to be good sports, and by and large to prefer fair play has, sadly, provided us with a reputation for "choking" when it comes to the big events. For not having that desire to come out on top. No single-minded determination.
Given the recent results, then, we seem to have taken a dramatic step forward. And for the next step? Well, why not try and bring something of the competitive spirit back into the schoolyards. Surely, properly channeled this should be the foundation for future generations of athletes with a will to win. To compete with the rest of the world, who take their games seriously.
"Ah but", says a section of the governing bodies and teachers in schools, "if we lionise successful children on the sports fields, we are going to permanently scar those who are less talented". I guess this means we need to bring everything down to the lowest common denominator. Make sure nobody runs faster than the slowest person on the track so the slowcoach feels good! Well, I bet the slowcoach doesn't actually feel good, and knows exactly what is happening.
And now we have the professional sports bodies joining the fray. England's Football Association has now decreed from this season that the scores of matches played between teams of young people must not be published, that league tables cannot be kept and that prizes should not be awarded. The rationale? It is to allow young children to nurture their skills without facing the pressure to win.
Look, pressure is all around us today. The number of young adults who find the pressure of life generally to be too much for them saddens me. They are depressed; they seek solace in binge drinking. It's a modern phenomenon. Adults too face pressures, but I think that perhaps those of us who have reached a certain age are better equipped to deal with it, than the younger generation.
I know I'm getting old and crotchety. Policemen are looking very young, a sure sign of old age, and I am much better at remembering what I did as a kid than what I had for lunch yesterday, but please - if this is where Britain is headed, then get used to being the perennial runners-up. Or, teach children properly, and at an early age, that an element of competition is healthy, and that while you may not be a good runner yourself, the good runner may not be good at other things.
The best thing Britain can do, to honour the present breed of Olympian, is start to nurture their successors.