Friday, July 27, 2012

Let's show them how it's done


Forget the comments of a, hopefully, soon to failed American presidential candidate, forget the fact that Paris could have organised this at half the cost in half the time, forget the fact that the three main sponsors will allegedly contribute indirectly to the deaths of thousands over the next few decades through diabetes and heart related illnesses, come on Britain let's show the world how to out on a show.

The cost may not have been to everybody's liking and the legacy that the games will leave is dubious and open to debate but these world events come round once in a lifetime and  to pull the curtains closed whilst they are taking part in our own backyard would be negligent.

Across the length and breadth of this great country tonight a nation will witness the opening of London 2012, something we have been waiting for, or hoping would go away depending on your point of view since that announcement in Singapore. It's not just parochialism the events in this piece of rock off the north west coast of Europe will be beamed live to billions.

Stratford. Not the Stratford of William Shakespeare but the place known until 1889 as Stratford, Essex - Stratford E15, the birthplace of my maternal grandfather and great-grandfather, a place famous prior to these Olympics for being the birthplace of Gerard Manly Hopkins (known more for his prose than his ability with the discus), Lennox Lewis and Christine Ohuruogu. Of course beyond the confines of E15 the location is largely irrelevant, the games are after all London's - an Olympic London that stretches from Glasgow to Eton, from Oxshott to Weymouth.

As we, the nation, showed during the Queen's Jubilee we can organise a party and an event and you hope that after the arguments about cost have faded away and the rankling about ticket allocation is but a memory that the whole point of the games, man competing against man, will dominate our thoughts between tonights multi million pound opening and the closing ceremony.

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