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  • Seven years ago on July 6th 2005, Britain won the bid to host the Olympics in front of a cheering and disbelieving crowd in Trafalgar square.

    In London the next morning, amid copies of newspapers awash with patriotic celebration, the mood was unusually jubilant.
    It was the first and only time I have ever seen a widespread outbreak of people smiling and chatting to each other on the underground, breaking the unspoken-but-religiously-adhered-to rules of tube etiquette.

    An hour later, the merriment cracked and fell apart with the series of bombs that created panic and bloodshed across the capital.

    I was lucky enough not to be on one of the trains that exploded.
    Instead my train slammed to a halt and sat in unexplained darkness in a tunnel under Kings Cross station for over an hour amid confusion and fraying tempers.

    When we were eventually allowed to file off the end of the train, it was into a station full of smoke, fear, pain, and images I have chosen to forget.


    In 2012, the opening ceremony of the London Olympics paid tribute to the victims of the bombings that were no longer with us.
    As athletes from around the world joined together on a London stage, we breathed a sigh of relief and allowed ourselves to enjoy a celebration denied the first time around.

    The truth is that I wasn’t among those who were in favour when the Olympic bid was originally being developed.
    But I was proud to be among those celebrating when the day arrived.
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