A golden chance to put down the Xbox and take up sport

I am not going to count my chickens, of course, but so far preparations for London 2012 are going outstandingly well. The venues are almost complete, on time and under budget. The velodrome is ready; the aquatics centre is ready; the stadium – once seen as a potential white elephant – is now being fought over by football clubs who want to use it. International pension funds are competing to invest in the village and other parts of the Olympic park.

The Westfield shopping centre is open and bringing thousands of jobs to the area. And the benefits of the transport investment are already being felt on the Jubilee line, where the number of trains per hour has increased, and in the new East London line linking Stratford with Croydon.

The ArcelorMittal Orbit has risen like some vast scarlet orchid, beckoning the world to a part of London that has been neglected for too long; and when the world arrives next year they are going to find a city that is open for business and ready to put on an epic festival of sport.

In fact, there is only one small question in my mind. We have a fantastic team of Olympians and Paralympians, some of them veterans of Beijing, and some of them only now showing their world-class abilities. But can we do as well as we did in 2008?

We racked up a total of 19 gold medals last time, a phenomenal haul. For a relatively elderly country of 60 million people, it was quite a feat to come fourth in the medals table. We beat some old sporting foes – France, Australia and Germany – and the word is that they have all been itching to put Team GB in its place come 2012.