The Olympic Games have once again brought home the importance of sporting success to the national psyche.
In the UK, the number of gold medals won has become something of an obsession, whilst here in Ireland, we too have become consumed with the medal count and understandably buoyed by our boxers and caught up in the mania.
There are many people who could never have conceived of themselves worrying about the strength of the wind at Weymouth as happened with Annalise Murphy's Laser Radial class in the sailing competition over the weekend.
But the most important message of the Olympics must be the benefits of sporting activity.
The British organisers have adopted the theme of inspiring a generation and no better message could be imparted by this sporting spectacular.
If it helps to take children away from their Nintendos and from virtual reality and encourages them to immerse themselves in real life sporting activity, the massive coverage given to the Olympics would be entirely justified.
It is important too that we continue to invest in sport.
Boxing is by far Ireland's most successful sport and while the sport's high profile unit has been the beneficiary of significant Government investment, there are boxing clubs up and down the country working from the most basic of facilities.
For example, Moate Boxing Club, from where Olympic hopeful Joe Ward initially emerged, is based in an underwhelming facility in the town.
We cannot expect national sporting success whilst neglecting the grassroots. As someone said of Annalise Murphy, it's likely as a nation we will forget about her for four years until Rio 2016 and then expect a gold medal having failed to support the sport of sailing financially in the intervening period.