I always thought London 2012 would be a success, but never imagined it would be quite the triumph it has turned out to be.
From the brilliant opening ceremony to the festival of music and fun closing it, via mainly lovely weather, some epoch-making athletic events, and a home team performance that exceeded even the most optimistic expectations, the Games have given London two of the most remarkable weeks in a great city's rich history.
The question now is where it all goes from here. Do we look back, as the Australians and the Greeks have done after Sydney and Athens, and say: "Well that was wonderful, but it kind of went downhill from there?"
Australia's relatively poor performance on the field of play suggests they didn't get the legacy right from Sydney -- one of the key challenges for London now -- whilst the Greeks, at the epicenter of the eurozone crises, remind us the attention of the world will quickly revert to the state of the global economy.
I remember, on leaving Athens eight years ago, hearing both the public and politicians say this was the starting point for a new and better Greece. A lot has gone wrong since.
Even as the Brits were celebrating more gold, Bank of England Governor Sir Mervyn King was giving one of the gloomiest gubernatorial assessments of the future I have ever heard.
And we all know that after a party as fantastic as the one we have had, there is bound to be a hangover to come during the lull before the Paralympics open.
For the politicians, who have to lead the country through difficult times, capturing the Olympic mood and turning it into something of positive and lasting significance has now been added to their list of challenges.
Politics, banking, the media and the church are among many parts of national life that have seen their reputations lowered in recent years. It has felt at times in the past fortnight that sport is filling some of the gaps.
If politicians try too hard to associate themselves with the gold rush, it could easily backfire. They will find it hard to resist demands for more investment in school sport, or tax breaks for sporting clubs and activities, and any number of campaigns backed by a small army of new heroes.