Well, folks, it’s nearly here. The Games of the XXX Olympiad are almost upon
us – and much to my surprise I find that I’m kind of looking forward to it. I’m
still appalled at the huge sums of money that have been spent – and in some
cases wasted – and as for the G4S fiasco, words fail me. And yet, and yet…
A couple of weeks ago I stood in the rain to watch the Olympic flame go by.
Actually I saw it twice, because it had a lunchtime stopover in our
town, so I watched it arrive, popped into a café for a latte and a pecan
Danish, repositioned myself at the other end of the town and watched the circus
Despite myself, I was quite moved by the whole experience. There was a
lovely atmosphere on the streets and thanks to the wonders of technology we
were given real-time updates of the torch’s progress, until finally someone
shouted: ‘It’s two minutes away!’ Then we all got very excited, even cheering
the forward guard of policemen and support vehicles.
Certainly the sponsors weren’t backwards in coming forwards and the
advertising element was a bit in your face – but I suppose I can’t complain about
public money being spent and then grumble when commercialism steps in to help.
Funding has to come from somewhere.
As to the events themselves – and let’s not forget that this is a sports
competition, and not just a massive opportunity to showcase London as the
tourist destination of choice – well, I can’t be doing with all the strutting
and fretting that goes with the track and field, and based on the GB football
team’s first outing the other night I don’t think there’ll be much there to
captivate me. I’ve had enough of tennis for a while and I don’t understand the
rules of quite of a lot of what’s on offer.
But I heard an interesting radio programme about some of the less
well-publicised events and that has whetted my appetite. For instance, water
polo sounds like it might be worth a look-in; and no doubt there’ll be back
stories and tales of personal triumph that bring a tear to the eye.
So I won’t be glued to the telly for the whole extravaganza, but I shall
definitely watch some of it. And I honestly want it all to go well. I want the
transport system to work, the security to be effective but unobtrusive, the
stadiums to be full and I want the sun to shine. And I really
Bradley Wiggins to win gold.