It would be completely out of character to not have a blog talking about the biggest sporting event to grace the world, especially after the multiplying daily amounts of friends who are posting on facebook their experiences and images from the games.
Jealous, definitely. I made the decision to come back to Sweden before I remembered that there was some sporting action to witness this summer. London isn’t the most convenient, but I saw many a great value offer for tickets when I was in the UK that it would have been worth a day trip I believe.
As well of course, there are the politics of sport to consider here as well. I do believe Pistorius should have been allowed to compete in both Olympics and Paralympics. I believe in Olympic football being a part of the greatest sporting competition to grace us, and think it should be separated by other rules (maybe a 7-a-side format more similar to rugby 7’s – which the Commonwealth games uses – would be appropriate – but futsal isn’t a great sport yet). I believe in small nations being given spots to compete at the Olympics even if they have athletes who do not reach all the criteria, as I agree the host country should be able to take part in all team events.
And I could go on and on and on. I remember when London won the bid for the Olympics finding out in our school library, and was a little shocked that our troubled nation proved itself more victorious over other equally strong nations. Similarly, I was stunned when England’s bid for the World Cup had the complete opposite effect and was bottom in the bidding process, showing the fragility of the politics involving these kind of decisions.
However, the Olympics refreshed in a way a World Cup never would in the UK. It was an event for all, a celebration for all, a final step in the reclaiming of the British flag away from the far-right hopefully for good. It made people happy. People who I thought had no interest in sport or competition would shout and cheer as if possessed.
As somebody living abroad, away from the dreariness that British life can be, it was a refreshing reminder of at least our successes. The UK has offered so much of cultural, technological and political success to the world which I had got blasé about – I had let it go on the backburner to die off. It gives me at least, another topic of discussion with any Swedes I may see – and from there link to all the things we saw – that we did all grow up with Mr. Bean and James Bond (who is a hero role model when talking to Swedish ladies if you get the chance, the ‘English Gentleman’ card is definitely one to recommend).
I think I might be a little too old to be part of the generation that London 2012 has aimed to inspire – I don’t know. I’m inspired to be prouder though of where I come from though – the talk from the last few years of being either ‘America’s puppy dog’ or a land of thugs, hooligans and riots has subsided. It’s happy, it’s vibrant, it’s colourful, it’s ambitious, it’s sustainable.
The people who make the country great, came out and showed it to the world – the world has to catch up to the demands of the UK (and I think here precisely about the fact that ticketing at the Olympics was outdated and only the demands of the British public have put a change on this culture). The world gave us a chance and we took it, with a splash of good fortune and good humour along the way!