Britain destined for Olympic success?
Can Olympic success come to Team GB?
Depending on who you ask, the answer is definitely yes or definitely no. There is a mystical sense that anything's possible, across the whole of the UK, with the camp dividing between those who think that the UK can never achieve anything and those who think that this time will be different. The two camps that either assume England can't win at football or that it will certainly win the Cup, and the two camps that either assume Andy Murray won't get into the quarter-finals or assume that he will be world number one in a matter of months.
The two lines rarely cross; people tend to either assume that any given athlete will do well, every competition, or assume she/he is poor - and keep that mentality for every competition. Perhaps, however, I'm about to shock you when I say that I have always been a cynic (that's not the shocking bit) who actually thinks Britain will do well in the coming Olympics.
It's easy to look at our football team and scoff, or bask in the celebration of a rare rugby tournament triumph, or assume that we're the underdogs in the Ashes no matter the circumstances... but Brits are much more happy with how we perform at cycling, at sailing, at rowing - and I'm sitting on that side of the fence for once.
And there's good reason for it. In Beijing, I had written us off as only going to win in those events, with no other hopes - but I was proved wrong as Team GB came in at fourth place. Building on that success, and with home advantage behind us, I have made my slightly optimistic prediction of what is to come.
Total: 75 medals
This represents a leap of about 50%, mostly in silvers and bronzes, from 2008, which I think is fair given the amount of attention, money and advantage that the competitors have been, and will be given. It would push Britain up into third place, ahead of Russia but behind the USA and China.
It would represent the first time that Britain broke into the top three since the 1920 Olympics, and the only time we got more than fifty medals outside London's 1908 Olympics over a century ago. It is certainly a bold prediction - but, at the same time, it predicts the same number of gold medals as the last Olympics, and is certainly a reachable target.
We'd need some luck, but I'm confident that we can impress on the world stage and, at the very least bag fourth place despite sitting as the 22nd largest country by population. Anything in the top four would be a major achievement, but bagging third place on the tables chart would really show the world Britain's best.
And I think we can do it.
The big scorers: Eleven (five gold, three silver and three bronze) medals for Britain in the cycling; ten medals (two gold, two silver, six bronze) in Athletics; eight (three gold, two silver, three bronze) in swimming and eight (two gold, three silver, three bronze) for rowing.
The moderate scorers: Six (two gold, two silver, two bronze) in sailing, five medals (two gold, one silver, two bronze) in boxing and five medals (one gold, two silver, two bronze) in equestrian with four medals (one gold, one silver, two bronze) for canoeing.
The lower scorers: Three (one of each) in gymnastics and three (one silver and two bronze) in taekwondo. Two silvers in the triathlon and two bronzes in each of pentathlon and tennis.
The lone winners: One silver for hockey, and one bronze for each of archery, badminton, football, judo and shooting. No medals for handball, volleyball, water polo, fencing, weightlifting, basketball, table tennis or wrestling.