The problem of course if you are going to do these things then they need a fairly broad brush, so accordingly we brainstorm and come up with
Bucolic Rural Idyll
Remarkably half-hearted attitude towards revolution and reformation
Essentially a poor country at the periphery of Europe until
Industrial Revolution !!!!!
Numerous 18th / 19th century writers / poets about whom I don't personally give a shit, and neither does Danny Boyle clearly
Empire / War (hmm, maybe recreating the opium wars through the medium of interpretive dance in Beijing not so hot idea)
Codified most sports played internationally
Scientists / Inventors, assorted
Children's fiction / detective fiction / thrillers (many of which known globally thanks to American made / financed films)
Minor but significant partner (with U.S.) in inventing computers / information technology
Obsession with weather despite the weather very rarely being anything remotely extreme
Numerous post-war popular beat combos including of course
The Beatles !!!!!
Swinging sixties (sigh)
Enormously centralised command-and-control mixed economy (recall that there used to be state owned furniture removers and travel agents) with welfare state / NHS etc.
Exciting vibrant multi-cultural megopolis
Many of which is what we got, some of it a bit lazy really. To each their own I suppose.
Personally, I would have gone for Sophie Wilson instead of Timbo, so many iPhones, iPads etc. have got ARM processors in them.
The trouble with the closing ceremony was that you can't really get the great and good to audition to see how their voices have held up.