Almost time….

….for the London Olympics.

I do hope I won’t get in trouble for blogging about them.  They’ve been getting awfully precious about the use of their name recently.  I do love all the little rebellious cafes and businesses that try to call themselves ‘Olympic’…all the branding shenanigans are wearisome and dull.  I do understand the idea of protecting your trademark, but really, am I going to confuse the Little Chef’s amazingly calorific and awesome Olympic breakfast with a giant, multinational sporting event?

No.  No, I am not.

Usually when the Olympics are on I watch bits and bobs (I’m a sucker for gymnastics, and enjoy swimming, athletics, rowing and cycling too), but this year affects me far more.  Because the main Olympic Park is a stone’s throw from my house.  I can see it from my bedroom window.  There’s a pedestrian bridge to it at the end of our road.  I’ve already bumped into a member of coaching staff (from Canada!) in Asda.  Even if I wanted to avoid it (which I don’t, particularly), I’d be hard pressed to do so.

Leyton is covered in banners, and all the big stadia at Stratford dominate the main view as I head to the tube.  Armies of purple clad volunteers have started filling up the buses, trains and pavements, along with very rude college-age parties who insist on walking four- or five-abreast along the pavement.  Pet peeve!

What I find bizarre is the fact that the vast majority of people who I’ve spoken to here in Leyton are going to precisely zero events in the main games.  Because of the bizarre lottery system, plus the expense and the VISA rule, many people here didn’t or couldn’t get tickets.  But the inconvenience, noise, and traffic, we get for free ;).

I’m really interested to see what the legacy of these Games will be.  Will they end up being good for the locality, or will the companies and investors sweep out as swiftly as a tide, taking the money, investment and promise with them? I really hope not.

I like the Olympic Games.  I like East London.  I really hope that adding the two together creates something great.

Oh, and the new Boris announcements on the tube?  Make me livid….and I like Boris.

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2 Comments

  1. Lynn
    18th July 2012 / 6:53 pm

    We went through a lot of that in 1996 when the Olympics were held in Atlanta. I actually went to one event – men's springboard diving. I paid $80 and was on the last row. 🙂 I didn't get a true sense of the Olympic spirit during that event, but it was fun going down there.

  2. Christielli
    18th July 2012 / 9:51 pm

    Are you guys going to any events?I'm interested in reading about your perspective as the Olympics are going on in your neighbourhood. It'll be surreal I'm sure.

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