Didn’t We Have A Nice Time?
The Olympics was good wasn’t it?
So good that, a mere week after it had finished, BBC1 decided to show the whole 3 hour Opening Ceremony again on a Saturday Afternoon.
I started to YouTube past Opening Ceremonies; I can’t believe at Sydney 2000 it was just an evening of Harold Bishop playing the Tuba.
London 2012 united a ‘Broken Britain’. It was so compelling that even the Flying Ants came out to have a look. Of course they couldn’t get tickets, even the local ones
It was like living in a life where it’s forever Sunday morning and Trans World Sport is the only thing available. Absolute bliss.
There was, of course, the odd thing to be cynical about.
For example, I used to love Dyson Airblade Hand Dryers – they’re quite possibly (and sadly) the greatest engineering feat of the 21st Century.
Except now they are apparently an ‘Official Product of The Olympics’.
Does this mean that, as Jessica Ennis strode towards the Shotput pitch, she steadied herself and dried her clammy hands with an Airblade? Her clammy hands that she had washed with her Evian Water, the official water of the Olympic Games. And then she launched her Shotput to the sound of one man’s applause – one man in an empty stadium. James Dyson sits alone. Everyone else forced to watch on the Telly despite it all happening just around the corner.
Similarly, Female British Boxer Savanah Marshall was beaten in the Quarter Finals to ensure no accidental cider advertising infringements had she went on to win Gold, whilst Mo Farah’s wife was banned from giving him a flag advertising Flymo Lawnmowers.
The Olympics have now gone, the Baton passed to Rio, and as the dust settles and the smoke clears London is left with plenty of questions.
Some are of course banal; Why did the Swimming not start until gone 8? (Because the Swimmers have Dinner at 7). How does Craig Bellamy survive without a neck? If one Synchronised Diver bangs his Head, should the other one too? What is a Chad Le Klos?
The question of Legacy is the most pressing.
Short term affects of the Olympics is that you cannot help but wish that Come Dine With Me had Michael Johnson and Clare Balding offering analysis and warmth.
Long term implications are more worrying.
In the year of our Lord 2024 London will be bankrupt with 23 million unemployed and the city divided. A generation was inspired to give up education and realism in pursuit of jumping further than Greg Rutherford and running faster than Usain Bolt. 5 million people, each with calf muscles tighter than a Croydon Facelift, will remain untreated because the defunt Velodrome isn’t a hospital. Fencers will rule the streets whilst the Monarchy dies out, each Prince perishing trying to out-stunt the Queen.
Even further into the future, in 2052, perhaps London will again host the Games. By then Tom Daley will be doing the Colin Jackson role.
But all the cynicism in the world cannot rid us of the good times.
Wiggo on his throne. Jessica Ennis in tears. Usain Bolt confirming he is the best person in the Human Race.
I have two abiding memories from the Games.
First, it was Mo Farah. He came so so close but just missed! It was heartbreaking wasn’t it? I was convinced that he was going to roll into Galen Rupp’s Phlegm in celebration. So close Mo! Bring on Rio 2016!
Secondly, Gemma Gibbons, Silver medalist in the Judo. Gemma is from Greenwich, just down the road from me. She started Judo aged 6 and is 3 years older than me. As a youngster I had a brief Judo career but quit in a mix of shame and pain after being dropped on my be-bowl cutted head by an older girl. It is now obvious that I was floored by an Olympian. And if anyone wants to dispute that please do remember I have a Red belt in Judo.
The sight of her medalling; the joy and relief would have been enough. But mix in the sight of her crying and mouthing the words ‘I love you Mum’ (her Mum had been the one who got her into the sport and had tragically died 6 years ago) – that is the true legacy of the London 2012; the Human Touch.