It’s official. London is in the grip of Olympic fever. We are half way through The Games and the city has turned into some kind of Hollywood version of itself.
After years of traditional British whinging and moaning about the cost of the games, the disruption it would cause, that London would be the only city in the UK to benefit from the games, that Heathrow airport would collapse under the pressure of all those visitors and everyone would be queuing for weeks in passport control waiting for the one member of staff to let them in, it finally arrived.
Now, the Scribblaire isn’t particularly patriotic, but I confess that I too have been swept along with the tide of excitement. We were successful in the initial ticket ballot and ended up with tickets for the football at Wembley last Sunday and will be off to the Greco-Roman Wrestling this evening. I would have liked to have attended an event in the Olympic stadium, not least because I know people who were involved in the design of it. However, there are a limited amount of tickets and the Scribblaire wasn’t one of those who moaned about the unfairness of the ticketing system. The stadium will be there for years to come and we’ll definitely visit it at some stage.
I’m really enjoying the competition and have been glued to the TV all week. I’m not sure that turning us into a nation of couch potatoes is the primary aim of the Games, but there we are! The competition has been awesome so far and I’m sure will continue to be great. Thanks to Jess, Mo, all those rowers, cyclists, gymnasts, swimmers, etc.
But my biggest thanks go to all those smiling, unpaid ‘Games Maker’ volunteers in their purple outfits, to colleagues in the office who never usually lift their heads from their desks and now stop to compare Olympic views and experiences; to people (any and all) on the trains and underground who strike up conversation with whoever is sitting next to them;
to the Transport for London employees who seem to have had a mass personality transplant and are being really helpful and, in particular, to the ‘Rasta Man’ tube train announcer at Victoria station who, when every train enters and leaves his platform, welcomes all visitors to the UK and congratulates the latest medal winners before wishing Team GB and the Jamaica team good luck in whatever events are coming up and wishing everyone ‘one love’. He brings a smile to all but the most hardcore commuter and he gets my vote for some kind of Olympic award.
So, in the words of surely one of the most inappropriate sponsors for elite sports, ‘I’m Lovin’ it’.
In year’s to come, the Scribblaire will be able to say, hand on heart, ‘I’ve been there, done that and, yes, I did buy the T-shirt’.