Saturday, August 11, 2012

Wrong About the Olympics

So.  I was wrong.

Well, that's not a thing I say very often.  Probably because, of course, I'm hardly ever wrong.  Obviously.

What I was wrong about was the Olympics.

When Britain got the gig a few years ago, the first thing that happened was that some overpaid designer came up with that terrible logo.  You know the one - it looks like a jigsaw puzzle that won't quite fit together.  Or - if you have a filthy mind, which I obviously don't -  like a copulating couple.  Anyway, it's hideous and I decided from that moment on that I didn't like these Olympics.

Then I heard about all the cuts in other areas that were happening to fund the Olympics, and all that corporate rubbish where McDonalds were a big sponsor - - - and yes, I have been known to eat the occasional McDonalds' burger - say once every six months - but I don't think that McDonalds and athletics sit happily together.

And then there was the scramble for tickets where big companies got lots and The Rest of Us didn't get any, or not many, and they were all very expensive.  Also I knew that transport in London is generally both crowded and difficult - - and I couldn't see how they could possibly cope with the extra crowds.

Then there's the thing that here in Britain we're known for a Good Effort and I thought that's how it would be in the medals table.  Well tried.  A few bronzes, maybe the occasional silver or gold.

To sum up, I thought it would be a sort of unmemorable damp squib, with lots of traffic problems.  And it would probably rain throughout, like it has done all summer.

I'd always enjoyed watching the Olympics right up to Beijing which happened when the Communist was ill and so I didn't see any of those Olympics.  I'd forgotten that I'd really enjoyed previous Olympics in the days of Olga Korbut and David Hemery and many, many others.

I did enjoy watching the progress of the Olympic Torch round the country, though - - - and then I thought well, I'll just watch the Opening Ceremony, and see what I think - -

It was fantastic.  Quirky, very British, endlessly entertaining and superbly creative.  I loved it.

Then the Games started and I've spent every spare moment watching sports that I like - such as swimming - and events I've never heard of before - such as the keirin in the cycling - and bizarre sports like rhythmic gymnastics and handball, and some sports that I swear were drawn up on the back of an envelope by someone under the influence of alcohol.

Team GB has done brilliantly and achieved many well-deserved medals and left me - as many others - wondering why we hear hardly anything of these amazingly skilled people, when our media is full of dreary reality television stars who are skilled at  - - well, only at self-promotion.

Of course, the athletes from my home county of Yorkshire have done particularly well and I've enjoyed seeing various tables suggesting that if Yorkshire were a country it would be seventh or eighth in the medals table!

It's been a fantastic fortnight.  I've loved it, and everyone I speak to - even those who don't like sport in general -  seems to share my feelings.

Congratulations to Team GB and to everyone involved.  It's been wonderful.


Blogger rhymeswithplague said...

I agree completely. I had determined not to be interested in the Olympic Games this year, but my determination went right out the window as soon as it began.

The only sport I haven't really watched very much is volleyball.

I do wish our American commentators had paid more attention to athletes from all around the world and not so much to our own entrants.

Apparently you can take the athlete out of the country but you can't take the country out of the athlete.

7:36 pm  
Blogger Daphne said...

Bob - yes, of course our commentators too have been unashamedly patriotic and I've enjoyed watching shots after a race of them standing up and yelling during it! You're right, there have been fantastic athletes from all over the world.

8:06 am  
Blogger Daphne2 said...

I always intended to enjoy the Olympics and as a family we got tickets for 4 events (I went to 2) but I am not going to say "I told you so", just that it surpassed all my hopes and expectations. I honestly had one of the best holidays of my life in the first week of the Olympics when I spent 5 days in London. The atmosphere, the volunteers and yes the travelling were all brilliant, and I went to Wembley and the Olympic Park, saw Jennifer Ennis, Greg Rutherford etc. A "once in a lifetime" experience that I will never forget.

9:49 am  
Anonymous Shooting Parrots said...

I entirely agree and if I have one complaint it is that there wasn't enough time to catch everything. Yesterday I wanted to watch the handball, basketball, boxing and modern pentathlon which all clashed or overlapped.

It was particularly tough on Sarah Murray who had to finish her event at gone six o'clock, grab her silver medal and then get showered and changed before the closing ceremony.

3:30 pm  
Anonymous Shooting Parrots said...

Oops! That should be Samantha Murray!

4:08 pm  
Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

I thoroughly endorse your positive comments and like you I have changed my tune re. the London Olympics. I'm just a little angry at myself that I didn't persist through the complicated hoops of ticket application process.

This comment was sponsored by Aunt Bessie's frozen Yorkshire puddings and the Yorkshire Nationhood Campaign.

4:26 pm  

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