So it is not surprising that, in the run up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games, a number of people expressed fears that the games might cost the British taxpayer more than they were worth and leave little lasting benefit.
I don't in any way wish to criticise those who expressed those concerns in advance as it is precisely because people were alert to those dangers that more effort was made, under both Labour and Conservative & Lib/Dem coalition governments, to ensure that the games left a positive legacy.
But now that we see the results, we can celebrate the fact that London 2012 was not only one of the most successful set of Olympic and Paralympic games in living memory: there is evidence that they have left a positive legacy of increased confidence which continues into 2013.
This week the prime minister welcomed a survey of British businesses published by BT which shows that many companies are experiencing an ongoing boost to revenues thanks to the legacy of the games.
According to the survey, UK organisations reporting a growth in business say the Games boosted revenue by some 14 per cent – while those who expect that to carry over into 2013 also predict an 11 per cent increase.