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Countdown – Exactly 1 year until the Olympic Games 2012

Olympics logo by Claire Benoit

Olympic Games 2012 Logo by Claire Benoit, illustrator

Image:  Olympics Logo by Claire Benoit, Illustrator

27th July 2011

All the Building Works Completed, a Full Year in Advance

“Within Budget”, David Cameron said

And yet,  I seem to remember a furore at the beginning, in the first year after London was picked to host the 2012 Olympics, when the budget had to be revised.  But of course, I expect he meant within that revised budget.

Tickets all sold in advance – and virtually sold out


So it won’t be necessary to bus in herds of school children at the last minute to ensure bums on seats.

Many of the locals, who had suffered serious disruption during the building works (infrastructure works, dust, noise, inaccessibility and so forth) felt, nay expected, to receive special treatment when it came to distributing tickets. They have been quite vociferous in their disappointment.

The best tickets were reserved for corporate entertainment.  Of course……well, the money for this project had to come from somewhere, didn’t it?  Murmurs that it was taxpayers’ money, and came off our increased payments of Council Tax fell on deaf ears, as tickets costing £2,000 – I’m not joking – went to the usual suspects. I’m not saying that they didn’t pay for them, or even that they didn’t deserve them, just that it seemed to those who didn’t fare so well in the distribution that it was a little unfair that getting good tickets depended more on who you were, and how rich you were, rather than how local you were and how much your life had been affected for the last five years.

The Olympic diving pool in East London ready to take its first diver –

After taking two days to fill 

 A lone Olympic diver, Tom Daley, who specializes in 10 metre dives (See more about him on Wikipedia), was shown on television at the Aquatics Centre pool, mounting higher and higher, level after level of steps,  up to the top diving board.  It was so high up that I would have been scared just peering over the edge. The diving board was wide enough to take three people standing in a row – I’ve never seen such a wide one before.

He stood there, composing his dive, and executed it perfectly, a double flip, entering the water splashlessly, as do all the best divers. Going down, down, down, till you wondered whether he would ever emerge from the crystal-clear blue water.

Meanwhile, Back at Trafalgar Square –

A gathering to celebrate the start of the Countdown to the Olympic Games 2011

Lord Sebastian Coe, winner of 4 Olympic Medals in the 1980’s,  latterly an MP, and now Chairman of the London Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games, gave a speech, as did one or two others whose names I didn’t know, and various nations were invited to participate in the games, and graciously accepted (as you would).

Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London,  gave the best speech, in his inimicable wry fashion, about the wonderful Swiss countdown clock which had packed up almost immediately, but was now working again, indicating the very minute that the Games would start.

A set of bronze, silver and gold Olympic medals was displayed to HRH Princess Anne, who, with an imperial wave of the hand,  in turn displayed it (the set of medals, not the hand) to the viewers.

Lovable young acrobats gave the sort of display you would see at a circus, climbing up each other to make a tower, whilst the Union Jack was paraded behind them, and at some stage, a small number of men in bearskins and scarlet jackets, who I assume were Royal Guardsmen, stood to attention to complete the spectacle.

Enthusiasm was whipped up by the participants, to the extent that even I mellowed.

I gather, although I didn’t see it on television, that music was played – well, now I come to think of it, I think I did hear a few bars of the song “London’s Calling” by the Clash.  That was a plus for me, although I gather not everyone considered this slightly negative Punk Rock lyric to be entirely appropriate.

And that’s it really. 

The medals were displayed again on television news this morning (28th July), to show off their design – well I liked them, anyway; we were told they were the biggest ever.  And…?

Oh yes, that this would be the best Olympic Games ever – well, they would say that, wouldn’t they?

Maybe there was something I missed, because, to my mind, this was a bit of a non-event, although, with respect, I don’t know what else they could have done.

London’s Calling – by The Clash – on YouTube

Just follow the link:   \”London\’s Calling\” – by The Clash on YouTube

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