Posts tagged with ‘Olympics’

Opening Ceremony thoughts

I’ve worried openly about the chances of London putting on a good Opening Ceremony, so I guess I should post a reaction: it’s a thumbs up (phew!). I thought the whole opening movement from bucolic hobbitshire through the Industrial Revolution to the forging of the Olympic Rings was superb: genuine spectacle and theatre. I loved […]

The Olympics is a delightful oasis of non-corporate sport

I’m not being sarcastic; well, not entirely. We’ve had months of angry coverage about the heavy-handed brand management put in place to appease the corporate sponsors of the Olympics: how ATMs at Olympic venues will only accept Visa, and McDonalds have an exclusive right to sell chips in the Olympic Park, and the torch relay […]

A passing thought about the London 2012 logo

It could be worse. I give you… (drumroll please)… the logo for NBC’s official coverage in the States: Now that is an astonishingly ugly piece of design to come from a major media company.

Olympic opening ceremony: first impressions

From the beginning I’ve said that, although I was excited about London getting the Olympics, one particular worry was that the opening ceremony would be cheesy, amateurish or otherwise rubbish. We ought to be able to do it — there are plenty of people in the UK with expertise in putting on a show, whether it’s a […]

Half a cheer for Formula One

I’ll say one thing for Bernie Ecclestone: he may be a greedy, ruthless, vindictive, amoral little shit and a panderer to tyrants; but as far as I know, he’s never come out with any self-serving pablum about how Formula One brings the world together in peace and harmony, and thus promotes understanding and brotherhood amongst […]

Olympic tickets: achieved!

I worked out what I wanted in advance, was waiting ready at 6am when sales opened, had my order in within minutes and got to the point where it was trying to process my payment… and the website basically died under weight of traffic. But after forty minutes of trying I managed to get the […]

My [non-existent] Olympic tickets

Well, I finally got confirmation yesterday that out of the nine events I applied for for next year’s London Olympics, I received a total of zero tickets. Which is fucking irritating. For those who don’t know, it was a ballot system: instead of being first come first served, there was a period of a few […]

Rio 2016! (again)

On the subject of music from Rio, this is one of the fabbest and scariest things ever:

Rio 2016!

I think it’s brilliant that Rio is going to host the Olympics. I was going to post a suitably carnivalesque bit of video in celebration, but I found this more downbeat performance by the great Elza Soares; and it’s gorgeous. I’ve got no idea what she’s singing about, though.

Final Olympic round-up

Well, I thought the London 2012 segment of the closing ceremony was… OK. The whole bus stop routine was underwhelming, and the presence of David Beckham seemed a bit random, but the moment when the bus opened up like a flower was a striking image, as was Leona Lewis raising up into the air with […]

A thought on the Olympics

While I wait anxiously to see whether London’s contribution to the closing ceremony is horribly naff, here’s a thought: since the Games are so huge and expensive to host, perhaps the future would be to split them up between lots of different places. Embrace the technology of global communication. That way, countries that could never afford to […]

Just as a matter of record

As of close of play today, Great Britain is third on the Olympic medal table. It’s like, it gives you a warm glow, innit. » The advert for Olympic Cycles of Wolverhampton is from the Evanion Collection of Ephemera at the British Library.

Links

Higher, faster, yes. More meritocratic? No | Matthew Syed – Times Online 'Even some of our more intelligent commentators have convinced themselves that Sir Steve Redgrave is the greatest living Olympian for winning five successive golds in rowing, not seeming to realise that the sport is so elitist that it is virtually nonexistent across much […]

More Olympiana

Watching someone put on a burst of pace at the end of a fast 10000m is one of the best sights in sport. Amazing stuff from Tirunesh Dibaba. And so much more exciting to watch than the sprinters.

The Olympic sport I’d like to see

I was thinking about whether Michael Phelps is the ‘greatest Olympian of all time’, and the relative value of medals in different events. For example, the fact that it’s even possible to enter eight events at the same Games means that Phelps has a medal-collecting advantage over, say, a boxer. And the 52 gold medals […]

Yay for Nicole Cooke!

I wasn’t particularly excited about the Olympics, this year, but I just caught the last 15 or 20 minutes of the women’s road cycling race to see Nicole Cooke narrowly win our first gold medal in the middle of a downpour, and got completely caught up in it. It’s magic. Never fails.

Opening ceremony debrief

As I’ve said before, although I’m a  supporter of London hosting the Olympics, my big worry is that we will come up with a feeble, amateurish opening ceremony. So I watched the Chinese version with interest. We knew they were keen to impress: well, consider me impressed. There is no way London is going to match that […]

China hoist by their own petard

BBC News: “Thirty-five arrests have been made after clashes between pro-Tibet protesters and police as the Olympic torch made its way through London. Of course, in the parallel world of the Chinese official news machine, the only thing interfering with the movement of the torch was a sprinkling of snow. Actually, to be fair, there […]

Tibet and the Olympics

It’s going to be really interesting watching the Olympics unfold. There had already been rumblings, with the protests last year in Burma and pressure over Darfur, but protests in Tibet bring it that much closer to home. And as the Olympics get closer, and more and more media attention is focussed on Beijing, the Chinese […]

Irony of the week

The Chinese government expressing their sadness and shock at the idea that anyone would be crass enough to sully the Olympic spirit with the grimy taint of a political agenda.

China, the Olympics, and antiquity diplomacy

I was just watching Question Time on the BBC, and the panel were asked what ‘we’ should do about Burma. Simon Schama was on the panel, and he suggested that, if China was stubborn about blocking any action via the UN, we should have a mass boycott of the Beijing Olympics, since Burma is a […]

London 2012 logo reactions

As regular readers probably know, I’m an enthusiastic supporter of the London Olympics. But I’ve always had my own particular private worry about them. Not transport problems or cost overruns; no, what I’ve always had a nagging worry about is the opening ceremony. There have been two big international sporting events held in the UK […]

Hurray for the London Olympics!

I really feel like London was cheated out of a cheerful honeymoon period of harmless excitement between winning the bidding for the 2012 Olympics and the start of the inevitable gloomy stories about spiralling costs. Cheated because, of course, it was the morning after we won that a bunch of devout young men from Leeds […]