Rio Olympics 2016: Miranda Hart's love letter to Team GB

Miranda Hart
"It has been a test of mental resilience and physical prowess to stay awake, set alarms, find the right channel, let alone deal with the nail-biting races. Frankly, I think you had it easy."

Comedian Miranda Hart kept us amused during the Olympics with her funny tweets. Here she thanks Team GB for their record-breaking Olympic success.

Dear Team GB,

I just want to say, and I confidently write this on behalf of my fellow Olympic watching fans: THANK YOU. A genuine, heartfelt thank you.

For over the last two weeks you have brought us, and indeed taught us, so very much.

We have been inspired by your strength, dedication, endurance and determination, as well as the importance of community and fellowship within sport as the united and supportive team you proved to be. Put simply, it all amassed to bring us many tears and many laughs.

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Daley and Goodfellow celebrate bronze for GB

'Laughs?' I hear you say. 'But we are serious athletes, every inch of our bodies are toned, we have muscles popping and poking about everywhere that make us run, jump, pommel and pike. You have only seen Tom Daley and Adam Peaty in tiny swimwear, you would be amazed at the rest of us with our kit off. We are Olympians - nay Gladiators. We are not to be laughed at.'

Well sure, absolutely. You are exceptional sportspersons and, don't worry, we have imagined most of you with your kit off. But Olympians or not, we have laughed. And I will tell you for why.

You see, your extraordinary success in London 2012 got us more fired up and interested than ever before.

Interested in you. In sport. In the Olympics. Many of us were inspired to get fit. Many of us were inspired to take up or rediscover a past love for a sport.

And we were all excited about what you would do in Rio and over the past two weeks have been joyfully stuck in front of the TV with a daily remote control-based workout.

If I had put weights in my remote controls I would now have the biceps of Andy Murray and the triceps of Louis Smith.

You may think it's stressful competing - try working out when and where to watch a particular event on the television. The Radio Times edition needed a heavy weight to lift it.

It has been a test of mental resilience and physical prowess to stay awake, set alarms, find the right channel, let alone deal with the nail-biting races. Frankly, I think you had it easy.

Suffice to say we were glued. And the laughs came because most of us were predominantly watching sports we have NO IDEA about! Seriously, NOT A CLUE.

No idea about any of the rules, regulations or regimes. All we knew was we really cared, we wanted to support you and we wanted you to win. But our sitting rooms and social media were awash with giggle-inducing questions and speculations.

For example:

BMX

Simply, there are massive adult men on tiny children's bikes.

Diving

Why do they all have tiny little towels they slap themselves with? And do they get extra points if, when throwing them to the floor from the board, they hit another competitor? (I definitely think that should be a thing in 2020).

Plus in diving, men lose their trunks. I mean, hello - funny. I can't have been in the only household that played bare bottom bingo.

And of course we had pun-tastic commentator Leon Taylor who, if he ever said a diver had "done a banana", we wondered whether he was talking about the dive or the Speedo adjustment.

Miranda Hart tweet

Volleyball

Why has one person worn the wrong outfit in the team? And, in beach volleyball, what happens if sand gets 'up there' - are you allowed a-sand-in-crack removal break?

Hockey

Why does the pitch seem to have the consistency of a leaking water bed? Why are they putting Hannibal Lecter masks on then throwing them away? What are the rules of a penalty shootout? Doesn't matter it's GOLD.

Miranda Hart tweet

Gymnastics

For starters there is constant mounting and dismounting (always funny), then there's the pommel horse - what IS that? And has anyone whacked their down-belows whilst doing the scissors on it?

And why on the floor do they have to do little jump-ettes and twizzles to the corner or side rather than just a normal step? It suddenly becomes ballet.

Dressage

How on EARTH do you get a horse to dance like that? It's a dancing horse for heavens sake! It's like a toy.

By the way, I now have a team from Twitter who are starting a campaign for human dressage in 2020. Humans dressed as horses, doing the trotting and galloping manoeuvres, with a team member next to them making clip clop sounds with coconuts.

Miranda Hart tweet

Cycling

Well, where to begin really! Lots of people agreeing with me it was essential to make the 'I am enjoying some cheese and Omnium' gag.

Comedy bronze there at best.

And lots of laughs at the man on the motorbike starting the race, who always looked like he never meant to be there and was lost. Like if he had a basket on the back with a baguette and a pint of milk and had just taken a wrong turn back from the shops and got caught up in an Olympic cycling race.

But suffice to say we were not laughing at you. Goodness me, no. We were laughing at ourselves.

Despite our lack of knowledge (and we are learning, I promise) we were with you every step of the way.

Truly. As I say, we really deeply cared. Our sofas became front row stadium seats and we acted as if we were there with you, though we had the advantage of anxiety-induced snack-eating (which I made a sport in itself).

I leapt off my sofa when we got that hockey gold and did a slightly embarrassing robot dance such was my delight. I fist pumped tennis style-y when Andy got his second Olympics gold. I trotted with delight for and with Charlotte Dujardin. I shrieked and whooped at the two diving medals. I high-fived so hard throughout the athletics my hands stung.

I bounced till I did a bit of wee when Max Whitlock won. I did a personal Hawaiian-esque canoeing celebratory move when Joe Clarke and Liam Heath got gold. To name but a few.

And there were of course many tears.

Many of joy as we watched and shared your celebrations and rightful pride standing on those podiums - 67 times. Wow. Particular shout out has to go to Mo, and Jason and Laura (who are frankly sickening!).

But many of heartbreak. Lutalo Muhammad losing with one second to go in taekwondo (no idea!) springs to mind, Tom Daley not getting to his finals, and Adam Gemili and all the other agonising fourth places.

We know how hard your disappointments hurt, but we couldn't be prouder of you.

The Olympics has been pure theatre. Nail-biting drama (and unexpected comedy). And why? Because you have literally and metaphorically run with the gifts you have been given and sacrificed yourselves.

You have pushed yourself to your limit to go for glory. You have shown us that through sheer determination dreams can be not only achieved, but shared. We have been roused. Roused, not aroused, just to be clear. Although perhaps a tiny bit in the diving...

Yours sincerely

Miranda Hart

P.S. Thank you also to BBC Sport, Clare Balding, Helen Skelton, Hazel Irvine, Gabby Logan and all you wonderful pundits, commentators and presenters for the amazing coverage you brought us.

Miranda Hart tweet