Living in an Olympic City – Part 15 – Answers and Questions

As we draw to the end of the Olympics commentators and the public start to try and score the London 2012 games against other games in the past, to ask questions about strange events that happened during the games and to work out whether the games were in the spirit of the Olympic movement.

There are grouches – posts about Great Britain having one last hurrah before finally having to pay the bill and realise we will never be able to afford them again as we decline in wealth and world influence.

US NPR has written an article that reviews cheating – 2012 style. Not that of drug cheats but of pushing the rules of each event so far that they might just break under the strain. The full article is here. Badminton, Swimming, and a lack of sportsmanship in soccer all get an unfavorable mention. You can read and make your own minds up.

The BBC has tried to assist readers from around the world to understand some of the stranger things that have happened. The article is genuinely interesting I think – explaining things such as why:

  • The UK National Anthem has been changed for the Games.
  • Why athletes and spectators have had blue tongues
  • Why there was no podium for swimming medalists and why the Silver and Bronze winners are on the same height podium
  • Why those horses in dressage had nice little hats on
  • Why swimmers have started wearing two hats

Article is here – these will be great for pub quiz nights in my view.

Heathrow predicts that Monday may be another record day with all of the athletes and fans leaving. What I know is that there will be less of a buzz on Monday – no more trying to spot the athlete on the underground, being helpful to someone clearly lost at 5.30am with a games pass tucked under his shirt, to hordes of British people (yes British people) shouting and applauding athletes from around the world doing great things, or at least giving everything they have to try.

Someone said this week, there is something compelling about watching extraordinarily skilled people doing extraordinary things with the last fibre of their being. That for me is the Olympic Spirit and I for one have been compelled in a way that I never expected to be. To see two British Rowers apologise for ‘only’ getting Silver and somehow letting the nation down, when in fact they should (as we are) be proud of their efforts. Written over their faces was that they gave everything they had, and that is enough. And for heavens sake you won an Olympic Silver Medal – that’s huge!

So, in around a day and a half I won’t be Living in an Olympic City any longer. I’ll write one more part to the series to sum up how the politicians try and take advantage of the success – some of that is visible already – and to wrap up our national view on 10 days of excitement one summer.