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Zaschke, Christian

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Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany | 13/08/2012

British athletes inspire new patriotism

A year after the violent riots in several English cities, the Olympic Games have strengthened Britain's weakened self-esteem, the left-liberal daily Süddeutsche Zeitung writes, happy that no politicians were able to make political hay from the Games: "Not Prime Minister Cameron, who was considered a jinx because British athletes seldom won when he was in the stands. Not London's Mayor Boris Johnson, who cut a good figure as a clown but had nothing relevant to say. Not opposition leader Ed Miliband, who was as good as invisible. The legacy of the Games extends far further than day-to-day politics. Nevertheless they were eminently political, because there is now a faint hope in the country: for a changed, modern, open UK. ... Team GB was able to awaken a patriotism that spanned all of the kingdom's regions and social strata. Britain got to know itself anew, as efficient, proud, joyful and a bit crazy. That is more than the boldest optimists had dared to hope for."

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