Friday, July 27, 2012

The Olympic Games

Yes the big day has finally arrived. We've waited and waited, never thinking it would come around but it has.......yes it's the weekend !

No but seriously folks, it's Olympic Day and the Opening Ceremony for the Games of the XXX Olympiad in 8hrs time will take the UK back a century or so and once again we'll be the most important place on the planet.

No ? Oh well, suit yourselves !

I always feel a bit sorry for the athletes who have to start before the Opening Ceremony due mainly to the fact that their sports take so long to complete. On Wednesday The Games kicked off, literally, with the women's football competition and yesterday we had the start of the men's event. Today the archery has started, although I'm not sure why that event should ever take more than 18 days to complete but what do I know. Maybe archers need lots of rest between rounds.

God help us if cricket ever becomes an Olympic event !

So we've already has lots of yellow and red cards in the football, 2 world records in the archery, failed drug tests, athletes banned for various reasons (including a joke on Twitter deemed racist) and even a few asylum seekers (one in my home town here in Leeds) and still hours to go before The Games have even officially started !

Actually the archery world records are worth noting for another reason - one of the South Korean competitors involved in both records is legally blind ! A blind archer at the Olympics !?!
Setting 2 world records !! I love it.

But I'm a bit nervous. Oh not because of the blind archer ! No, I'm nervous about the Opening Ceremony. After the stunning ceremony 4 years ago in Beijing, anything tonight will be a huge anti climax.

But the 'powers that be' knew that when they started planning the London ceremony and so they let it be known that they wouldn't even TRY to outdo the Chinese. Instead, we'll put on a jolly good low key show that would simply highlight the 'best of British' for the watching world.

And you wonder why I'm nervous !?!

The stadium floor will be laid out like a typical British countryside scene with green fields and hedgerows, complete with livestock. Mind you, if it's to be realistic, there should be litter everywhere, a few traveller sites here and there and areas set aside for fly-tipping !

There will also be 10,000 performers, 77 sheep, 12 horses, 10 chickens, 3 cows, 2 goats and Boris Johnson. Make that 3 goats then.

So 105 reasons to be nervous for a start ! What's that phrase about never working with children and animals ? Cows AND horses ! Why not just bring on some elephants and rhinos and make it a full circus.

But at least if it's low tech, there will be less to go wrong. Ha ! We'll find a way, no doubt. There will be lots of music as there has to be. We're still pretty good at music, despite the farce that is the annual Eurovision Song Contest. Just no Cliff Richard please. It's not London1965.

Thinking about it, the organisers have missed a trick here. Knowing our strengths. I mean what do we do well in this country ? Pageantry. That's what. We DO pageantry well. And it's relatively cheap. A win, win.

So forget the horses and cows and even the chickens. Too many chances for screw ups and lots of clearing up afterwards !

Instead have our wonderful ceremonial soldiers and guards marching around the stadium floor in that pretty way they do. A sort of Changing of the Guard meets the Trooping the Colour. Nice formation drills with lots of jolly bright colourful costumes and glittering accessories. And then, after about 2 hours when the wow factor is beginning to fade, play our joker - roll out the Royals !

YES !!

The world loves a bit of Royalty. Even ours. Especially the young royals who, lets face it, need to be seen doing something other than coming out of night clubs and appearing in Hello and OK magazines.

They can even enter the stadium in a gold encrusted carriage if they can't be arsed to walk - a much better use of some of those 12 horses. Liz can wave a bit or stick two fingers up at the non Commonwealth countries.

Just keep Phil The Greek well away from the Chinese team...and the Koreans......and....well...... basically any team with slanty eyes. His words, not mine ! In fact, lock Phil in a dark room somewhere with Mitt Romney. They deserve each other.

Anyway I'll be a lot less stressed once the Opening Ceremony is over with, for better or for worse. No one wants to screw up in front of 4 billion (estimated !) viewers. As long as we're not made to be a laughing stock I'll be happy. The ceremony promises to showcase all that is Great in Great Britain and I hope it does.

And then there's the weather. Oh dear. The infamous British weather. We've just had our 1 week of summer and now it's Autumn. Already it's dull and overcast in London (lovely and sunny up here in Leeds btw) and although no rain is forecast for the ceremony this evening, there WILL be rain during the games - that's pretty much guaranteed.

It's billed as the greatest show on earth and with 14,690 athletes from 204 countries competing in just about every major sport on the planet, it should be worth watching.

There ARE a few events taking place north of London but for me, there is still a sense that it's all going on a long way away. 200 miles in fact. But apart from the mass coverage on tv and stores full of Olympic related goodies, it might as well be happening again in Beijing.

But at least it's in my time zone so no late night or early morning viewing sessions. AND it's being massively covered by the BBC so no adverts ! Woohoooo.

Best of all, once it's all over, I'm off on my holidays.

Now that's a cause for celebration !


rhymeswithplague said...

For my comments and whereabouts, click here.

P.S. - I couldn't tell at the end whether Paul McCartney was choked with emotion or was just old and wrinkly and past his prime. But it were a great show overall, weren't it??!!

Anonymous said...

That's really interesting. Thanks for posting all the great information! Had never thought of it all that way before.

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