Unless you have been on another planet, you will know that the Olympic Games start in London tomorrow night.
However, the Games have actually already started and London does not have exclusive rights to them.
The Olympics actually started yesterday in Cardiff with the first game in the women’s football event. Tonight, at 19:45 Great Britain’s men play their first game at Old Trafford in Manchester against Senegal.
What’s odd about this is that Great Britain only play as a football team in selected Olympic Games. In all other competitions, Great Britain do not compete, opting for the individual countries instead. Watching Great Britain tonight will be weird as I usually scream blue murder when England are playing.
People of other nations may find this strange; the fact that the United Kingdom is made up of different countries, some of which hate each other.
I am not one of these people. I am a proud Englishman and am equally proud to be British. Yet there are people in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland who despise the English. There are many Scots for example who, frustrated by their own inability to qualify for the football World Cup, will support A.B.E. instead (Anyone But England).
I find this deeply irritating, particularly as I actually support Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – and yes even the Republic of Ireland – in all of their individual sporting endeavours (unless their opponents are England of course).
Rugby Union (not an Olympic sport sadly) brings this together in a much better way than football; I have friends who support Ireland, Scotland and Wales and during the Six Nations we all go to the pub to watch the game and enjoy the banter that ensues.
Football seems to be taboo though; a Scottish friend of mine is particularly vociferous against England and I find myself becoming an A.B.S. fan because of this (Anyone But Scotland).
Anyway, back to the Olympics, I am looking forward to enjoying the Games but I do have a couple of negative thoughts that I have to keep under wraps. They won’t spoil my enjoyment of the Games or my pride in the fact that they are in Britain, but I will share them with you, if you are interested.
I love London and have had many enjoyable times in The Old Smoke. Nevertheless there is a North/South divide and some Londoners do not recognise anything North of Watford. This blinkered viewpoint is evident in business and, yes, the Olympic Games too. Money is poured into the capital, sometimes at the expense of other places.
I was furious when Sebastian Coe said “The Olympics can only be held in London” after a failed bid from Manchester. Manchester held the Commonwealth Games in 2002 and they were a triumph. While Seb Coe might not have really meant what he said, there is a feeling that London is the ONLY place to visit in England.
It isn’t. Let me tell you that right now if you are not from the UK. London is great and I love it – but it is just one of many wonderful and fabulous places in the United Kingdom.
When the 2012 logo was unveiled, most people in Britain (and I reckon the world) said:
“WHAT??? ARE YOU SERIOUS???”
It is awful and makes me sick every time I see it – and of course I see it a lot.
Who chose it? Who PAID MONEY for it?
Words fail me – it is dreadful, utterly dreadful and looks like the by-product of a massive binge when aliens from the planet Quakzyx mistook fluorescent paint for alcohol.
He’s Mayor of London AGAIN so the buffoon will forever be remembered if the Games are a triumph. He is a walking embarrassment and I will undoubtedly have to listen to the blithering idiot as he takes credit for the Games.
Mrs PM and the cats can expect a lot of ranting if his face appears on my telly box.
And the good things?
There are so many good things about the Olympics in London and they outweigh the bad.
I love sport and I will try to watch a lot of the Olympics. I wasn’t interested in the Beijing Olympics until it started. And then I started watching it and became addicted.
I expect the same to happen here, but I will be watching from tonight (don’t forget – the Games started yesterday really).
I don’t like the moniker “Team GB” to represent the British athletes and sportsmen who will be competing. However, I will feel pride if our athletes win medals.
It gives you something to cheer about no matter which country you live in, when your own athletes do well. And it is great to watch and marvel at legendary performances by athletes from other countries too.
The fact that the Games are in the United Kingdom is a massive bonus (despite what I said about London earlier). A lot of people cast aside the location and say “They’re in Britain!” and I am trying to do that myself.
The best thing about the Games is the Official Theme – performed by Muse, one of my favourite bands. I couldn’t believe it when I heard that Muse had been selected and this more than makes up for the awful logo.
And then I heard the song. It is absolutely brilliant – a progressive masterpiece!
I hope the Games are a rousing success (and that we do not make too many mistakes like showing the South Korean flag for the North Korean women’s football team – how embarrassing; let’s hope that there are no nukes heading our way).
Here we go – Let the Games begin – and I present for your enjoyment Survival by Muse. If the Games are anywhere near as good as this song then they will be a triumph!