The people of Britain are in shock. After months of negativity concerning
long queues at airports, infrastructure scares, deployment of surface to air
missiles, Underground worries, terrorist threats, rising costs and a dearth of
decent athletes we suddenly find a well oiled machine churning out gold medals
like Boris Johnson delivers orgasms to his female members of staff; regularly
and with gusto.
The English public could be forgiven for thinking WWII went the other way
and that the nation is experiencing an alternative reality where we are imbued
with a Teutonic efficiency and we don't quite know what to make of it. Mix that
in with this unusual feeling that humans call pride and this goes some way to
explain this foamy-mouthed hysteria currently sweeping the nation
It does help having wall to wall coverage courtesy of Auntie. At times it
does feel like an Olympic themed sequel to A Clockwork Orange with a government
endorsed Luduvico technique applied to all viewers. The public is bombarded with
images of women's archery, until they are "corrected" and start
bloody well enjoying it.
If the all-encompassing nature of the terrestrial
coverage doesn’t satiate you additional titbits such as the inside of the
showers at the Women's Greco wrestling can be found online. All you need to do
is click on the BBC's comprehensive website and voila. Connoisseurs should click here
To my suprise I actually found myself getting into sports I barely had the slightest bit
of interest in a week ago. Gymnastics for instance is an activity I would
normally associate with pre-pubescent girls and yet there I was glued to the
telly as I marvelled at the strength and grace of our unfancied young team who
where only robbed of silver by a less then honourable Japanese who got bumped
up from bronze on appeal.
Much like the Wiggins, Ennis and Hoy I have made many sacrifices for these
games. Last week I had to catch public transport 3 times to get up to London.
THAT, my friends is real dedication. Normally I loathe going to London with its
dirty streets, crowded tube and miserable faces but it was like entering a
different world. The train was quiet, the tube efficient and the roads were
closed to allow pedestrians free reign.
Even the sound of Boris Johnson's recorded tannoy dictats instructing Londoners to "have fun" like some Cold War dictator couldn't keep the smile from people's faces. Everyone was happy even when lining the streets for hours on end to watch cyclists whizz by in
a matter of seconds. Stalin would have been proud.
I was up at Earls Court to watch the indoor volleyball. Despite having
soldiers at the entrance with semi-automatic weapons (no pictures we were told) and an x-ray system reminiscent
of Heathrow Airport it was all remarkably efficient and painless with the ubiquitous Olympic
helpers clad in purple shirts and beige chinos smiling at you beautifically from every
Next day I was at Horse Guards Parade to see the razzmatazz of the beach volleyball.
Walking through St James Park there was a genuine festival atmosphere as those
lucky enough to be in attendance were well aware they had the hottest ticket in
town. The temporary stadium is a marvel with amazing views of the London Eye
and historic Westminster. They should really make it a permanent venue.
As a Brighton resident I am used to mixing with different nationalities but
it was so nice to see all creeds, colour and nationalities waving their flags
and brandishing their colours without a hint of trouble. Football fans could
learn a lot from the Olympics.
So for a few days forget we are in the worst global recession we have had in
years. Enjoy, yourself a take in some synchronised swimming or some taekwondo.
Minority sports are a welcome distraction from paying the bills. It’s the best
£9 billion we've ever spent.