STEPHEN HALL online

Was London 2012 the best Olympics ever?



Yes. Why?

  • From the London team’s introverted showcase at Beijing’s closing ceremony
  • To the torch relays that told stories that last forever
  • The incredible opening ceremony – real history and Mr Bean, Bond and Beckham
  • For inventing a better way to light the beacon
  • For coming in under budget
  • For the safety and the security, the armed forces
  • For the excellent organisation by the London 2012 people from Lord Coe to the deliverance team
  • For the stadiums and the atmosphere everywhere
  • Not for the price of water, food, ticket allocation to those who failed to turn up and the sponsor’s rigorous demands
  • For sports people giving their all; their emotions on winning, their emotions at finishing in any position when they gave everything
  • For athletes prepared to honour their flag
  • For making women’s football more enjoyable than the men’s
  • Not for the USA’s women’s team celebrations and embarrassing boasting after their gold win
  • For the real life stories behind the athlete’s efforts over years of training
  • For the friendliness of the competitors and taking pleasure in other people’s wins
  • For the volunteers who said hello and did their job, unrewarded, monetarily, but with stories to tell for life with a vast smile
  • For drug assisting performance appearing to almost disappear
  • For no one particular athlete becoming the leading light of the show; your name your own personal stars with a joy in your heart
  • For the British public who showed us all how to follow every team and not gloat when winning or wallow when losing
  • For the BBC’s first class coverage, but not for some broadcaster’s attempts to ruin the occasion
  • Even for Boris Johnson
  • For women who entered from countries as never before and for those who gave their best when it was clearly nowhere near Olympic standards
  • For your own personal memories of those magical moments from athletes from your own country and from other countries you knew nothing about, yet now yearn to learn more
  • For the host country performing way beyond expectations with great home support – 1 in 8 athletes won a medal – and mostly in sitting down sports (cycling, rowing, sailing, canoeing, equestrian, and the finish of the long jump)
  • For the closing ceremony, especially Ray Davies’ Waterloo Sunset, Eric Idle, The Beatles and who didn’t shed a tear for the late John Lennon’s appearance, his peace anthem, from the world peace ambassador
  • For HM The Queen being such a great sport and enthusiast for her nation and others, not just the Commonwealth
  • And personally, I have never sweated so much and been so emotionally drained, thousands of miles away, willing athletes over the winning line, whether winners or not
  • And for the sports I would never have contemplated watching before
  • And for the biggest cliché of them all; it’s not about the money, it’s about the taking part; it’s not about winning, it’s about doing your best. We saw plenty of personal gold medal performances by thousands of athletes.

Looking forward to Rio, already.

Comments are closed.

STEPHEN HALL online