The London Olympic Games are upon us, and excitement mounts to fever pitch. Surely nothing else could go wrong. We’ve had incessant rain, the G4S shambles, with most of the available armed forces called up to plug the gaps left by illegal immigrants, the traffic congestion and confusion over designated Olympic lanes, trains delayed or not running at all because of heat on the lines, threatened strikes, drugs scandals and missing athletes, and to cap it all, the football team from North Korea, the most humorless nation in the world, sulking in the dressing room whilst the flag of South Korea, their arch enemy, is removed.
As we enter the Games in earnest, word comes that LOCOG, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games, will be trying to ensure no infringements of their strict advertising regulations. This is to protect the many millions of pounds paid by accredited sponsors to snuff out any competition.
The task of enforcing their regulations has been delegated to the Olympic Delivery Authority, which has 280 enforcement officers ready to pounce at a moment’s notice. And to round the circle, LOCOG will have six lawyers working with them to slap injunctions on transgressors. I missed a trick there, as I would have been ideal in the role, and I’m as fit as a butcher’s dog, so no problem running troublemakers to ground.
Whatever happened to the Olympian spirit, nurtured all those centuries ago by the Greek nation states? Their games pitted man against nature, and occasionally man against man, and embraced the notion of the noble amateur. It was all about competing for the sake of it, and playing up and playing the game.
It was a bad day when the IOC let in the professionals and team sports such as football. God knows we have enough football from August to May, surely we deserve a break!
It’s all too big and too commercial. I appreciate it costs a lot of money to put on the Olympics, and the host nation is looking to recoup some of the costs, but it’s lost something in the translation, and more’s the pity!
What happened to the gold medal for declamation, when the contestants would churn through the works of Homer and love every moment?
On second thoughts, perhaps not!