Monday, 25 August 2008

London 2012 Olympics

So the Beijing Olympics are over and London has officially taken over in preparation for 2012. There has been much criticism of London’s part in the official handover at the Birds Nest stadium yesterday but I’m not sure we should dwell on an eight minute “performance”. After the rigid structure of the various Beijing ceremonies, the apparent informality of the London effort did seem a little lack lustre but, if nothing else, it will have left an impression for viewers around the world!

Team GB performed beyond all expectations at this years Olympics and I, for one, feel incredibly proud of these athletes. Welcome home celebratory parties are expected throughout the country over the coming days as the athletes return to their home towns. However the biggest party took place yesterday in conjunction with the handover ceremony in Beijing. As London Mayor, Boris Johnson (who has been criticised for being “scruffy”) was handed the Olympic flag in Beijing, more than 35,000 people packed The Mall near Buckingham Palace and watched on huge screens. They were also entertained by the likes of Will Young, Scouting For Girls, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, McFly, Katherine Jenkins and a fly past by the Red Arrows.

Anyone who was judging the potential of London 2012 should ignore the official handover in Beijing and take note of the patriotism, excitement and exhilaration on display in London yesterday. The British came out in force to congratulate our athletes, celebrate their achievements and show their support for London 2012.

I’m sure when the time comes for our own opening ceremony, the organising committee will come up with something a little better than a Red London Bus and the winner of a TV singing competition! In the meantime, let’s remember the success of Team GB in 2008 and encourage young athletes across the country to win even more medals in 2012!

Only 1432 days to go!

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