London 2012 on the road in Liverpool
Without a doubt, the greatest privilege of my working life has been to report for the BBC from the last five summer Olympic Games.
I wasn't at home to share them with everyone in the UK.
When friends talk about waiting up till the early hours of the morning to watch Steve Redgrave (now Sir Steve) win his fifth gold on BBC TV (while listening to BBC Radio 5 live's commentary, of course), I actually envy them. I was in Sydney, in a half-empty cafe close to Bondi Beach, but it was mid-morning and the few Aussies around me were bemused by the lone Brit leaping around on her own.
The organisers of London 2012 want to send out a message that these are Games for the whole of the UK.
The interactive map on their website is dotted with flags from Glasgow to Cardiff, from Belfast to Brighton.
Some are sporting, some are cultural. The vast majority are in London of course, centred on the Olympic Park. Then there are the main venues away from the capital, Weymouth and Portland for the sailing, Eton Dorney for the rowing, the mountain bike course at Hadleigh Park in Essex, the Lee Valley White Water Centre, and the football grounds - Hampden Park, Old Trafford, the Millennium Stadium, St James' Park and the City of Coventry Stadium.
But look further afield and you'll find street football in Daventry, a celebration of Olympic and Paralympic sports in Fazakerley in Liverpool, and news that the Malawi Olympic team will have their training base at the University of Gloucestershire.
This Thursday we'll be taking our regular 5 live London Calling programme on the road, to see whether sports fans in the north west are buying into the Olympic spirit, with fewer than 500 days to go.
Joining me at the Epstein Theatre in Liverpool will be Olympic bronze medal-winning high jumper Steve Smith, Michael Rimmer, who won European silver in the 800 metres last year, and young track cyclist Becky James, a double Commonwealth medallist from Delhi.
Steve and Michael will be sharing their experiences of Atlanta and Beijing, and Michael and Becky will fill us in on their preparations for next year in London.
Southport-born Michael Rimmer will carry some local Merseyside hopes for 2012. Picture: Getty Images
We'll be hearing about the Olympic stars and great moments which have inspired them in the past. And Rob Young, who's the London 2012 co-ordinator for the north west, will be telling us about the local companies who've won contracts linked to the Games.
We'll also find out why one of the most star-studded Olympic teams, the Australian swimmers, have chosen to base themselves in Manchester before competition begins.
It's a week when the eyes of Liverpool turn to Aintree and one of the highlights of the year, the Grand National. Scousers are as passionate about their sport as anyone in the country and I'm looking forward to hearing what London 2012 means to them - and whether they'll be throwing extra support behind Liverpool's Olympic stars, like Michael Rimmer, gymnast Beth Tweddle and boxer Natasha Jones.
But I'm sure our guests will have to win over some sceptics, too.
Whenever we do a phone in on 5 live about the Olympics, there are a few callers who'll tell us that they're indifferent, or even angry, about the Games coming to Britain.
They claim that it's yet another example of London getting everything, that their part of the country will receive no benefit from the Games, and that they've no intention of paying out for travel, tickets and hotel rooms.
But I hope there'll be plenty in the audience who'll be planning to be part of what, for most of us, is a once in a lifetime experience.
Wherever I've been on my Olympic travels - Beijing, Sydney, Atlanta - I've seen Brits wandering around draped in the Union flag.
I believe that in this country, and all over the country, we celebrate sport better than anywhere else in the world. And that's one of the reasons why I can't wait for the Olympics to come home.
Eleanor and her guests will be broadcasting live from the Epstein Theatre in Liverpool from 1900-2100 BST on Thursday on BBC Radio 5 live. Details are how to get tickets can be found at https://www.bbc.co.uk/5live/liverpool/