Tuesday, August 14, 2012

London 2012 - Alternative Highs and Lows

Everywhere you look people are sharing their own personal highs and lows from London 2012 Olympiad. So here's mine. But they're a bit sideways and purely personal. I feel no need to mention Usain Bolt, Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis, for instance, because everyone knows how brilliant they are.

Photo courtesy of Andrea Vascellari


  • Go Wales! Seven medals, including three golds, for our tiny little country represented a new record haul. Jade Jones is our history making poster girl, and we even had people bringing home gold for us in GB's strongest events of Track Cycling and Rowing. It was almost enough to make us forget about Dai Greene's failure on the track. Almost.
  • Go Yorkshire! Having a special place in my heart for the land of ee-bah-goom and dissing of noodle-armed, Shandy drinking Southern softy choirboys, it was gratifying to see them have such a massively successful games.
  • Ian Thorpe treating Claire Balding's daft questions with contempt. E.g. 'So when you went for dinner with Michael Phelps' mother, what did you talk about?'. 'I don't think I should be talking about my private dinner with Mrs Phelps...'
  • Michael Johnson being pretty half-arsed as a BBC pundit (the camera even caught him surreptitiously checking his phone), yet still making Denise Lewis and Colin Jackson sound ill-informed and amateur.
  • Robert Harting. My personal hero. As if his amazingly bonkers celebration wasn't enough, he went on to get bladdred, lose his pass to the Olympic village and spend the greatest night of his life sleeping at Stratford tube station. So great to see our lofty Olympians are human like the rest of us. 
  • Bradley Wiggins' sideburns. 'Nuff said.
  • The bloke commentating on the Women's Beach Volleyball determinedly talking about the technical aspects of the game and what a competitive sport it is. When we all know it's really for 40-something men with a penchant for Vic Reeves thigh rubbing antics.


  • Wenlock. What a rubbish, anonymous mascot. Wasn't there supposed to be another one as well? Guess that one was too embarassed to appear. Here's how an Athletics mascot should really behave:

  • Cheaters prospering in the two 1500m finals. Taoufik Makhloufi had been kicked out of the tournament for not trying at the 800m (then annoyingly reinstated) and Alptekin had served a doping ban. Both won races that resembled oblivious, slack jawed, camera-round-necks tourists plodding through Leicester Square for about 1000m, and then winded up being sprint finish fast at the end. It's not how the 1500m is supposed to be run. You could feel the disappointment in Brendan Foster's Geordie jowls.
  • The BBC's mainstream coverage. Yes the red button options were great, but surely we should be seeing the best of the best on BBC One and Three? Instead we were 'treated' to lengthy segments of 'experts' muttering endlessly about the latest British medal hopes' chances (hence Michael Johnson's glazed eyes) and far too much coverage of dull-as-Droopy-on-nine-skinner-killer-skunk nonsense like Dressage. Yes I know we got golds in that, but making a fine stallion prance around like a ballerina is NOT a sport. OK?
  • Paul McCartney closing the opening ceremony. Look, the man can't sing any more, and what the Hell has 80000 people going na-na-na-na-na-na along to a wheezy old codger who looks like a sun shrivelled scarecrow got to do with the Olympics exactly?
  • Muhammad Ali at the opening ceremony. Stop wheeling him out. Please. Let him live out the rest of his days in peace.
So those are mine. Despite the viciousness of some of the latter points, I did enjoy the whole shebang. Really. I even got to see some events (Football and Weightlifting) live and in the flesh. Truly was a once in a lifetime experience, and we will all miss it, particularly in London when we get subjected to the usual thirty minute train delays because a praying mantis is scaring the signalman, or something.

What are your highs and lows?

1 comment:

  1. I agree with all your highs and lows (especially Paul McCartney (and to put him on after the fireworks! tsk). London, Britain did a superb job and both the opening and closing ceremonies summed up British culture, humour, and expertise. My low point - apart from Portugal only getting ONE medal (but then I'm not Portuguese so it doesn't matter) - was that Sky News and the BBC World News (the two English speaking channels I can get) weren't allowed to broadcast anything. I had to rely on local channels and, due to the typical British complexity, the Portuguese commentators sometimes had no idea what was going on! The Olympic Committee were too stringent in their broadcasting rules, I think.