We, and by “we” I mean the government on our behalf, and not me personally, have had 7 years since that heady night in Paris to prepare for the Olympic Games. With a few days to go, the phrase “never put off until tomorrow what you can put off indefinitely” sprung to mind. It all appeared on the brink of disaster, the traffic network in meltdown, the coach drivers getting lost, the cabbies (the only people who know their way around London) have been banned from Olympic venues and lanes and the security failures are all over the news.
|No Olympic logo, thanks to the 2006 Olympics Act|
The only element that seems at all prepared are the Brand Gestapo, ever vigilant for someone selling chips without fish or wearing the wrong brand of trainers or a tee shirt with the wrong logo on it. Heaven forbid if you want to buy a traditional British beer at a venue- it’s only our country and heritage but you wont be able to. They’ve already threatened bakeries and florists on the torch relay route with massive fines for selling torch baguettes and Olympic ring floral displays.
I even read a really interesting interview with the chap behind all the original Olympic branding rules. He said the British interpretation of them is bonkers, takes it too far and will actually damage the brand image of the sponsors. It’s worked, I’m chugging Pepsi whilst chomping on my KFC. I plan to have a pint of Wherry later on, and intend to fully investigate who the sponsors are, who their biggest competitors are and where relevant switch my purchases.
It’s a long way from my fondest memories of the Olympics, of Ovett and Coe, of Daley Thompson and even the Sun’s amusing comments about Lynford’s lunchbox.
|Saved for the directors cut?|
The Opening Ceremony was okay. Considering a lot of the people involved were volunteers and weren’t paid, it was a bit difficult to see where the money was spent. Danny Boyle has directed some great films but even his most expensive, Sunshine, was cheaper than the opening ceremony. Perhaps the Queen charged a lot to appear in it. I did love how it opened with Pink Floyd (the Pig over Battersea Power Station in the river section is a Pink Floyd album cover) and (almost) closed with Pink Floyd’s Eclipse playing over the cauldron. Quite why we had the completely unnecessary Macca coda is beyond me, it spoiled the atmosphere in my mind.
It definitely needed some commentary because it was a bit chaotic but definitely didn’t need Trevor Nelson, who seemed to join me in not having a clue why he was there. I’m sure he couldn’t even fathom why Dizee Rascal was involved. I kept on expecting Grace Jones and a hula hoop to appear.
Now the actual sport as started it’s great; I love athletics but I’m also secretly relieved I didn’t apply for tickets, because I’m convinced that if the security and transport are shambolic in the lead up to the Games, they’re still going to be shambolic today and beyond. All I need to do now is avoid the news that will build up team GB only to knock them down. No mention so far that the cycling events have been rejigged to make it much less likely we’ll get such a hefty haul of medals this time round.
Right, I’m off to watch the beach volleyball on the Red Button.