I've been trying to assess where Andy Murray stands now, in the wake of his sensational win over Roger Federer to secure Olympic gold. While I was actually watching the match, it seemed obvious that he was in the process of achieving something that was at least the equivalent of that elusive Grand Slam title, and yet somehow the elation doesn't seem quite as overwhelming as it would undoubtedly have been had he won Wimbledon last month. Perhaps that's simply because there are so many other events to distract us, but I still have a feeling that in a month's time we'll be back to asking "can he win his first Grand Slam?". However, regardless of what happens in the future, at least there's no longer any way that Murray's career is going to be looked back on as a failure, and that must be a huge weight off his mind. And the tennis event at the Olympics has also come of age over the last week - it's travelled a long way since the Seoul and Barcelona Games when it was regarded as a fairly pointless sideshow that half of the top players didn't even bother turning up for.
There's nothing more entertaining at moments of Scolympian triumph than observing the eager efforts of Political Betting's Tory contingent to Britify the gold medallist in question. In case you missed the fun, it went something like this -
He's touched the Union Jack! Astonishing! Look at the flag! Look at Murray! You see? No distance at all between the two! The Murray shoulder is in ACTUAL CONTACT with OUR flag! He's one of us!
He's singing the anthem! Oh my God! He's actually singing OUR anthem! OK, he's sort of mumbling it...but that'll do! He's one of us! No doubt about it!
He even knows the WORDS to the anthem! Well, he knows some of the words, anyway. At least seven of them. But nobody else knows the words to the anthem either, so that means...he's one of us! Irrefutable proof!
And he hasn't produced a claymore, started screaming "Death to the English" and attacked the Duchess of Cambridge! That's what we all expected him to do...but he hasn't! Incredible! True Brit!
Gosh, how that boy has MATURED...
For my own part, I don't possess the mind-reading talents of PB Tories, and I wouldn't presume for a moment to know what Andy Murray's views on the constitutional future of Scotland are - if, indeed, he has any such views at all. But what does seem reasonably likely is that he would be just as proud to compete for a Team Scotland at the Olympics, if such a thing came into existence. And what a supremely proud moment it would be for this entire country if Murray, as defending Olympic champion, was to carry the saltire into the stadium in Rio for its debut appearance at an opening ceremony in four years' time.
That can happen, if we make it happen. It's in our own hands.