Olympics looking like GOLD MEDAL material
Suddenly, it looks like London 2012 might not be as embarassing as we were all expecting.
I’m cleaning my act up. I’ve decided that as it’s a brand new year I should be more positive. Don’t worry, I haven’t gone all Paul McKenna on you, the world’s going to end in 2012 so it’s the perfect time to be cheerful. Like all New Year resolutions, I’m certain that this one will last for the rest of my life, and already my opinions on the big issues have dramatically altered. With this new outlook Made in Chelsea comes across as a sophisticated social commentary, and the revision period seems like a perfectly reasonable time for an IT system blackout at the uni.
But what does all this have to do with the Olympics? Well, since we won the bid in 2005 I have been one of those people who grumbled loudly every time the overblown sports day was mentioned. It seemed like we were setting ourselves up for an international humiliation: the world would gather in a half finished stadium to watch a Tesco value fireworks display followed by a procession of jock Americans strutting from track to podium. It would probably rain, and there wouldn’t even be an egg and spoon race. We would all spend the next decade happily moaning about it.
Now we’ve actually reached the big 2K12 though, I’ve changed my tune. Unbelievably for a project overseen by a cartoon character, the whole thing is apparently on schedule and doesn’t even exceed the budget that significantly. OK, so the opening ceremony is going to cost another £40 million, but Underworld are on the decks and Danny Boyle’s cooking up some of the good stuff. Andrew Neil’s got a shipment in already.
In terms of our athletes, it’s worth remembering that back in 2008 we placed fourth overall on the medal table (beating Australia and France, which is of course the main objective). Luckily, our Olympians come from a different mould to our football team and actually get the job done properly (without bonking people they shouldn’t be). Being on home territory will surely spur them on further.
We all know that this isn’t about people running around an oval though- that would be boring. It’s a pissing contest on a city scale, and everyone is expecting London to come up short. Well, I reckon the whole shebang is going to exceed all our expectations. The Olympics are a chance for us to remind the world that London is not just an enormous Charles Dickens theme park but is actually a city at the avant-garde of sport and culture. It is the past and the future, and even though these days properly believing stuff is deeply unfashionable, I stand by that.
Ignore the Lisa Simpson logo, scrapheap challenge Orbit tower and frightening mascots: one way or another, it will still be the greatest show on Earth. And if it is an enormous shambles, I’m certain that it will still be thoroughly enjoyable.