So, the Olympics is upon us, or has been for a week or so.
After being bored rigid by the media hype for years, unending countdowns and whatever, the Olympics has turned out quite well.
I do like watching sport on the telly, but am not that keen on going to see sport live in person. What’s the point of spending hours getting there, then standing or sitting in the freezing cold, getting wet without a good view? When I was a lot, lot younger, I spent some time on First Aid duty at Silverstone and my recollections are of standing in the cold and wet, watching cars whiz by without knowing who was who. So, there was absolutely no chance of me actually trying to buy an Olympic ticket for any sport. This means that it didn’t matter that the Olympics are in London, they could be in Timbuktu for all I care, as long as they are on the telly.
And, of course, they are on the telly, on two main channels and a host of red button channels. It is compulsive viewing, I must admit. I watched the kayaking, the beach volleyball, the rowing, some gymnastics and the athletics. Even my wife has been watching and she isn’t really into sport. Some of it annoys me, though. Focussing on individual members of Team GB when there are better athletes to watch, the jingoistic nature of some of the commentary, the fact that it is Team GB not Team UK (what about Northern Ireland?) and so on.
There haven’t been anywhere as near as many cockups as I expected. Showing South Korea’s flag against North Korea’s athletes was funny, but was also inexcusable from a programming/data point of view. The security debacle just shows that large companies often underbid for contracts then underdeliver or ask for more resources to fulfil their end of the deal. The transport system hasn’t gone into meltdown, which is a good thing.
I am particularly enjoying the success of Team GB at the moment. The Rowers and Cyclists have really done well, as have individuals from other teams. Winning 3 gold medals in the athletics was a turn up and made me very pleased. To be sitting third in the medals table is something I never expected to see in any Olympics. How much of that is home advantage, how much is the crowd and how much is the joined-up preparation, I don’t know. Clearly, the support the sportsmen/sportswomen have had in terms of funding, training and preparation has helped a lot.
So, well done everybody involved.
Part of me is thinking “I should have got a ticket and gone down”, but Nah!