It’s been quite the couple of weeks here in London, but alas, the Olympics are finally over. While it’s literally only been two weeks of actual games, it seems like the whole build-up has been ongoing and at the forefront of everyone’s stream of consciousness here for the last two years. It’s been such a huge rallying point for the whole community that now it’s all over I guess the big question is: what next?
Make no mistake, the Olympics have certainly brought a new wave of energy and excitement to London, and for the most part managed to live up to the heavy expectations put on it. The crowds weren’t as bad as anticipated and transport seemed to cope well enough.
Even the weather was good for the majority of the games. You know you’re on a roll when even the British weather decides to cooperate. That’s just unheard of.
Come to think of it, other than “Ticketgate,” most things seemed to go off without a hitch. Nine times out of ten you couldn’t buy tickets even if you were prepared to pay the exorbitant prices they were asking for them. It was probably easier to buy a substantial amount of class A drugs than find tickets to most events.
Then to add insult to injury. you would turn on the TV and see endless rows of empty seats. That was bad. How crappy that must have been for the Olympians. Thanks “corporate sponsors.” Even when big business isn’t trying, they still seem to find ways to screw people over. Well, in a classic, if not predictable PR move, they rolled out the military and school kids to act as seat-fillers.
Voila! Problem solved. Don’t get me wrong here; I think it’s great rewarding the men and women who serve their country in the armed forces and exposing young kids to such a wonderful, once-in-a-lifetime experience. However, if you’re going to do it, shouldn’t it have been a consideration from the get-go and not simply a contrived PR stunt in reaction to an epic blunder? Just saying.
Anyway, the good news is they apparently ended up releasing thousands more tickets after all the ensuing outcry. The bad news is that none of them managed to make their way into my hands. Clearly I am still a little bitter…
One of the cool things about the Olympics is getting to discover new sports and rediscovering old ones that don’t ordinarily get a lot of coverage. I think the athletes I admire the most are the gymnasts. You can tell those guys are on a different level. The precision, strength, and coordination involved in that discipline is nothing short of amazing.
On the other end of the spectrum, you have events that you’re like, really, why is this in the Olympics? The biggest offender has to be Dressage. Even the name of it should be enough to warrant its exclusion. I mean c’mon seriously, no one can really believe that this is a sport, let alone an Olympic one. Look, if a guy in his seventies can “compete,” and I use that term very loosely, that’s saying something. If they are going to include it then I think the horse should get the medal and the glory, and not the rider. Let’s face it: they’re the ones doing all the work and what do they get for their troubles? Oat bag. At least throw in a little champagne and a night out on the town to celebrate. Jeez.
The Olympic committee is headed down a slippery slope with this kind of thinking. Next thing you know we are going to see darts and poker in the Olympics, at which point they might as well start giving out medals for spectating.
All that aside, it’s been an unbelievable couple of weeks and certainly an unforgettable experience. As the hysteria subsides and gives way to withdrawal symptoms, for a city so often overcast with its grays and dark blues, it came alive in a sea of color over this period as the capital was invaded by the rest of the world.
Gone were the stiff upper lips, as people actually acknowledged each other in the streets, smiled and said “hi.” Who would have thunk it. Alas, all good things come to an end and in this case it’s certainly no exception. The Olympics brought a sense of excitement, energy, and atmosphere to London and I hope that as they exit they don’t take that with them. That would be a shame.
As the hysteria subsides and gives way to withdrawal symptoms, I suppose the good news is that now the countdown begins for the next Olympic games. Can you say Rio 2016? Hello!
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