I've watched the Olympics on television over the years and always felt entirely detached from the athletes performing. Unlike most other televised sports like Basketball, Football or Cricket, there aren't many twists or turns. The 800m starts with 8 participants, one of them will finish first, then second and so on... you already know what's going to happen, the only variation is whether one of the first three atheletes happened to be born in an NHS hospital or not.
Now I find myself crying tears of joy, and whooping with delight at another Team GB medal. How has this happened?
The difference between this Olympics from previous events is that the television coverage has changed, you are given a mini biography of how each performer has overcome adversity and trained for hours each day for this event, you get to see their family members and see the pride that they have. Then when you see the athlete finish, you see the delight or sorrow on their faces, you are emotionally invested in the performer.
You get given this emotional rollercoaster every 15 minutes, with the protagonists and event changing every day for two weeks. It's the greatest show on earth.