The Games of the XXX Olympiad are over, having ended without terrorist attacks, without international incidents, without massive violence.
I was on vacation the past week and was busy pretty much all the time, so I barely noticed the Olympics even were taking place. Over their 17 days, I'd be surprised if I watched much more than an hour and 17 minutes of action. I didn't see one second of basketball, which used to be my favorite Olympic sport, and saw precious little swimming, diving, tennis, volleyball and others I enjoy watching, playing or both.
Even though I don't care for hype and national jingoism, I really have nothing against the Olympics. My daughter Katie loves 'em to death, my wife Roberta was a casual observer, and lots of friends spent hour after hour in front of their TV sets, riveted by the action. It's just that after covering five Olympics over 10 years during my AP writing career (1988 Calgary, 1992 Albertville, 1994 Lillehammer, 1996 Atlanta, 1998 Nagano), I kind of got Olympic-ed out.
The fact that I was able to pay so little attention to what was taking place across the pond was wonderful, because it meant there was no world-changing bad news.
The Olympics provide all kinds of zealots and wackos the perfect forum for their views, and there was legitimate concern that there could be some kind of major-scale violence in England. As spread out as the event is, it's pretty much impossible to have tight enough security. Mitt Romney was roasted for expressing his concern -- the one time it would have been OK for Mr. Truth-Stretcher to fib, he declined to do so -- but he was right.
So to have the games end Sunday, with a spectacular closing ceremony (or so I've been told) but without any bad news, well, that's a giant achievement.
A giant relief, too.