Good news of the week

After weeks of refreshingly joyous news stories courtesy of the Olympics, with papers and new sites stuffed with tales of inspirational achievement and pictures of grinning athletes, spectators, volunteers and even politicians, it’s been back to the business of reporting global woe as of the extinguishing of the torch on 12 August.

In an effort to reclaim the glory days of happy news past, and to get that Friday feeling off to an early start, we round up the good news of the week.

Andy Murray has been tipped by Goran Ivanisevic and Mats Wilander to win the US Open

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Ivanisevic, 2011 Wimbledon champion, said: “My pick for the US Open is Andy Murray. He played a really great Olympic Games and this will give him extra motivation and confidence.

“The US Open is his best surface so I believe he will do it. It doesn’t matter that Rafael Nadal has pulled out – Andy is ready, with or without him.”

Wilander, who has won seven Grand Slam titles, said: “My prediction for the US Open is Andy Murray winning. I’m not saying that just because he won the Olympics, it’s because he’s a different man.

“Ivan Lendl has helped him tremendously. He’s becoming better physically all the time, he hits his forehand better, but the biggest difference is emotionally. He’s more even-keeled, he’s more positive, and there’s not as much pressure for him 
at the US Open as there is at Wimbledon.”

Usain Bolt confirms he’ll be at Rio 2016

Usain Bolt has confirmed that he will compete at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, ending speculation that he would retire from athletics, and assuring that we haven’t seen the last of his lightning bolt moves.

Speaking at an event in Switzerland, Bolt said: “Yes, definitely I will be there [in Rio], as long as I’m fit and I’m ready. It’ll be a little bit harder but I’m looking forward to it.”

Referring to the debate over which events he will compete in, he added: “It’s just about making different goals… My coach wants me to do 400 metres, I want to try long jump. I could always try to aim for the records again, so there’s different things but after the season we’ll decide what we want to do and work on that next season.”

The Edinburgh trams have moved

Yes, it may have been at a rate of six miles per hour, but it has been confirmed that the trams are capable of motion, by journalists who were invited on a test run at the Gogar depot – the only part of the track to be finished, five years after the project broke ground.

Augusta National Golf Club to admit female members

The Augusta National Golf Club in the US state of Georgia, which hosts the Masters, is to allow women to play on its courses for the first time in its 80-year history.

Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina financier Darla Moore will be the club’s first female members when the new season starts in October.

Augusta national chairman Billy Payne said: “This is a joyous occasion. We enthusiastically welcome Secretary Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore as members of Augusta National Golf Club.

“This is a significant and positive time in our club’s history and, on behalf of our membership, I wanted to take this opportunity to welcome them and all of our new members into the Augusta National family.”

Rice, now a professor of political economy at Stanford, said: “I am delighted and honoured to be a member of Augusta National Golf Club. I have visited Augusta National on several occasions and look forward to playing golf. “I have visited Augusta National on several occasions and look forward to playing golf, renewing friendships and forming new ones through this very special opportunity.”

The Paralympics are nearly here

Just in time to rescue the nation from Olympic withdrawal before the newfound national good mood slips entirely into the realms of fable, The London 2012 Paralympic Games begin on 29 August.

Celebrate the imminent return to happiness another twelve days of gloriously life-affirming human endeavour heralds, by reading the stories of Scottish Paralympians competing:

And as if those weren’t enough reasons to be cheerful, The Hoff is in town. If you think you can cope with more joy, you can listen to his podcast for The Evening News here: