Former prime minister Sir John Major has said he hopes the legacy of the Olympics would lead to great gains for the UK.
And he hailed the success of the National Lottery, which he set up while in office, in supporting British sport.
He told Today presenter James Naughtie: "I think it can be and will be a great national party.
"If you look at what the Lottery has done for sport, for athletics in particular - if you go back to the Atlanta Games in 1996, we won a total of 15 medals of which only one was gold.
"At Beijing, after years of Lottery money on facilities and elite training, we didn't win 15 medals, we won 47, we didn't win one gold, we won 19 gold.
"That's the impact of the amount of money that has gone into sport from the Lottery and the way it has been used both on facilities and on coaching."
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