The Daily Shift’s Martina Gannon was in London for the build up of London 2012. Have a read of her first hand account now to help get you in to the spirit of things…
I had the recent good fortune of experiencing my own brief and tantalizing taster of the Olympic Games fever whilst staying with a cousin in North London. Conveniently she lived on one of the many routes of the Olympic torch relay. Sadly we missed Rupert Grint (Harry Potter’s cute gingey friend) trotting by as a torch bearer.
However I did manage to capture a brief film of Gordon Banks, a goalkeeper and 1966 World cup winner. A man who a nearby child quite accurately likened to Santa Claus himself, which was fully understandable what with Bank’s beardedness and general jolly demeanour. A relative of Santa or not he ran ridiculously fast by me and my not-so-smart phone wielding the golden fire hazard, quite possibly under the illusion he was running in the actual Olympics.
The sense of excitement in this particular community was palpable. Spontaneous applause, cheering and complete strangers grinning at each other, not a commonplace occurrence in North London. The volume of the Olympic Games coverage being spewed out by the press was and still is overwhelming. Thankfully there was a more entertaining overview of the Olympics adopted by the British media to satisfy those were all already despising the national splurge of awareness building up to the games.
This fringe of the media focused on pointing out the many, many farcical faults and mistakes of the organisers behind the games. The Games countdown clock breaking down the day after it was set up, the complete inadequacy of security staff numbers and the über-embarrassing flag mix up during the North Korean women’s soccer match to name but a few disasters.
Several of my lucky relatives succeeded in procuring the much coveted tickets for the games and for some reason neglected to invite me. Thankfully I am not one to hold a grudge. Not beyond a decade anyway. Revenge schemes aside when asked which game they were attending they were somewhat flippant about it. It appeared that the excitement of having a ticket mainly oriented around just simply being a part of all of the anticipation and excitement of the overall two week event not the specific sporting event.
Although I was born in North London (moving to the lovely Emerald Isle as a chubby four year old with a snotty accent) I have always felt a little uneasy walking the streets of London. This may well be due to an over exposure to far too many episodes of The Bill and crime stoppers etc. This occasionally causes me to glare at anyone walking behind or in close proximity to me for longer than a few minutes.
However the catching atmosphere of the Olympic Games has transformed my general sense of unease and paranoia on the streets of London. It has instead settled a collective cover of contagious enthusiasm and delight that is so evident in all of the footage of the torch relay.
So despite the media overkill of the event and the imminent public transport delays that these games will bring I remain strongly in favour of them. Much like the Volvo Ocean Races in Galway, this event brings a tangible buzz to the city that reverberates infectiously all over the country with far more positive ripple effects then negative.
An exciting buzz that generates thousands of jobs, worldwide visitors, entertainment and an electric atmosphere that promises to be an unforgettable, once in a lifetime experience.
Fingers crossed the so-called relatives pull a sickie…