Four days into the 2012 London Olympics, the host country was getting a bit edgy about the "most lavishly funded British team ever to have entered the Games." A few hours into Wednesday's action, though, and the country is breathing a collective sigh of relief.
Citizens here have high hopes for a team that secured 19 golds in 2008 and 47 medals overall. Banners throughout London proclaim the 2012 version of Team GB the greatest ever assembled.
The men's road cycling race on Saturday was supposed to be a sure thing. But Mark Cavendish came up short, eventually blaming rival teams of ganging up on him.
Next to disappoint was another cyclist. Marianne Vos of the Netherlands beat Great Britain's Lizzie Armitstead on Sunday. Rebecca Adlington, who owned the gold medal from Beijing, took bronze in the 400-meter freestyle in swimming.
Tom Daley and Pete Waterfield had a lead in 10-meter platform synchronized diving Monday, but fell to fourth. And so, one by one they kept falling short. Equestrian, canoe slalom, the women's synchronized high dive and more all saw golds going to athletes from other countries, prompting The Sun, Britain's wittiest paper, to simply proclaim in a headline: "Wanted: Gold Medal."
Publicly, British officials were keeping their hopes up. But privately, you had to wonder if they didn't think, "Here we go again."
"Don't panic!" begged the headline in the London Daily Mail. "No gold medals for Team GB (yet) but they will come along soon."
Now, with Heather Stanning and Helen Glover topping the podium in women's pair rowing Wednesday at Eton Dorney (the first female Olympic gold medal in rowing in the country's history), the gold is expected to start flowing. Next up? Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins, owner of three Olympic gold medals already, takes to the track in the cycling time trial.
Above image from The Sun Online