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A Very Sporty Summer
London Olympics 2012
Member Name: shirleyleunicorn
London Olympics 2012
Date: 13/08/12, updated on 28/05/13 (86 review reads)
Advantages: Tourism, team spirit
Disadvantages: Shattered dreams
My initial reaction at the thought that there 2012 Olympics were to be held in London was along the lines of: "meh". So, I've never been such a huge sports fanatic. So, has my opinion of the London 2012 Olympics changed since it actually happened, right here in London? Well, as the Olympics are drawing to a close now (as I am typing this, the Olympics Closing Ceremony is blaring from the television in the background), I thought that I might as well write a little something on the topic.
First of all, let's start off with the pros of the whole thing, one of them being the government spending money to clean up the 'poorer' parts of London and doing a bit of this and that to redecorate it and show their patriotic pride. I must say that the areas do look nicer, especially Stratford with the rather lovely Olympic Stadium and Park, which is not as grand as some of the other Olympic stadiums from other countries, but it is still rather impressive on London's part, I think. There are new signs put up which are even helpful to people like me who are prone to getting lost, let alone tourists.
Another advantage of the Olympic games taking place in London is supposed to be the boosting of tourism and economy. The UK does get its share of tourism normally, but it is not a nation that specifically relies on tourism. I have seen quite a dramatic increase in tourism during these past weeks (who doesn't want to see their own country perform?) especially near Central London and the main British monuments- people are to be seen talking in foreign languages and enthusiastically snapping up photos at main sightseeing spots. I don't know how well we are doing exactly in terms of statistics, but this tourism can't be doing all the people who work for that particular industry any harm.
Something that I did not expect to be moved by was the supposed team spirit, the unity and the patriotism the Olympics are meant to bring. However, it was hard not to get swayed by the victory and the excitement. Whenever Team GB won a medal at an event I found myself clapping and cheering and whooping along with everyone else. Where the most genuine emotion comes, however, is at the actual Olympic event, if you have had the fortune to go to one. I was lucky enough to go to several Olympic events, some within the Olympic Park and some in other locations. On TV, they tend to focus more on the actual sports and the technique. Of course, this is equally important when you are watching the event live, but you can catch those things that the cameras seem to zone out, or make more subtle to accent the actual sport itself. Like the sheer number of people screaming, crying, laughing, cheering, there to support their team with their heads held high. The sound can be deafening, though not actually in that much of an unpleasant way, something that always seems rather faded and distant when you are watching from the living room.
Now, unpleasant aspects? Well, I have heard people complaining about places and public transport becoming crowded. I suppose this is true, applying to the overground and the underground. However, I have found the buses to be operating much the same as usual. The transport does not affect me too much- after all, it is not too devastatingly crowded and anyway, I try to use other means of transport whenever I can.
The main disadvantage,the thing that bothers me the most about the Olympics is the shattered hopes and dreams of those who did not qualify for a shiny new medal and a place on the podium. These athletes have trained and trained, hoping and wishing for sucess, thinking that this time, it may be their turn. But there can only be three medals and one winner. The best athlete in the world will be human, and humans make mistakes. One mistake, one fall, one break can finish them, tear their dreams apart and rid them of their ambitions. They may put on brave faces and manage a half smile for the cameras, but inside, they are devastated. Of course, they must know of the risks before entering, so why do they still do it? Because it is still a once in a lifetime opportunity, it is their chance and path to success.
Altogether, the Olympics haven't done much harm to us, and overall I have quite a positive view about them. It hasn't been the best thing to happen in my life, but I can even admit to enjoying some parts of it. After all, live each day as it comes (or however that saying goes) because are we going to experience another Olympics hosted in London in our lifetimes? Probably not ever. So enjoy the celebrations whilst they last!
Summary: 2012 is a year to remember