IT might be all over for another four years, but the Olympic Games in Rio have inspired the nation once again – perhaps not to make all of us become the next world-class divers, hockey players or triathletes, but to feel the pride for our athletes and country.

Watching the British Airways flight carrying Team GB as it arrived at Heathrow on the news this week, it was difficult not to feel the emotion of the friends and family waiting, whether medals had been won or not.

And what a fortnight it was.

We cheered for athletes in sports we had never watched in our lives, felt the crushing blows of medal chances lost and the exhilarating highs of seeing a champion blaze to glory.

But it isn’t over yet – the Paralympic Games starts on September 7 and Team GB once again has some great medal chances.

Despite the controversy surrounding the Games, or maybe even because of it, we should be just as excited to watch some world-class sport.

It is a shame that ticket sales in Rio are down, that some stadiums will be disused and that some services such as transport will not be available in a bid to cut costs, but the Paralympic Committee has vowed that the athletes’ experience will not suffer.

Paralympians from the region include Richmond’s Mikey Hall, who is hoping for a medal in archery; rower Laurence Whitely from Northallerton; and wheelchair racer Jade Jones from Middlesbrough, who was inspired to get into the sport after watching Baroness Tanni GreyThompson.

So let’s get behind them in the way we have our Olympians and get ready for another nailbiting two weeks.