Much as I enjoy watching sport [and, Grud help me, even taking part sometimes], the Olympics always come tinged with a sadness for me. Let's leave aside the Jamie Hewlett animation that's been omni-present on the BBC for weeks on end - it was enjoyable the first few times, but irritating as f**k ever since. Let's ignore the fact I'm living in the UK which makes it almost impossible to see Kiwi competitors in action, unless they're alongside a Brit.
No, my melancholy dates back to the Seoul Olympics in 1988. My mother was dying from liver cancer at the time, diagnosis coming way too late to make any difference. Watching the sporting endeavours and exuberance on TV was a welcome diversion, something to take your mind off the reality of what was coming. But ever since then, I can't help associating the Olympics with that loss. What should be a thing of joy is also a thing of sadness.
Thinking of you, mum.