Olympics 2012 - A success, but there's work to be done
A home Olympic Games is a once in a lifetime experience and London 2012 has certainly been an amazing spectacle for all of us who have tuned in to watch.
But, that said, the Olympics also showed several shades of grey which did not get the heart pumping as much as the truly epic medal tally Team GB has amassed.
It’s worth pointing out that I have watched and enjoyed the Olympics greatly; they have been fantastic in many ways. Also, I’m involved in sports myself so this is not some naïve rant from someone who has never played sports.
It’s not that I enthusiastically jump on the Morrissey bandwagon but he did stress something which I have to say seems true to me. I did adore the Queen’s inclusion in the open ceremony; it is nice to see William and Kate out watching the rowing or whatever it might be. Yet, the more you think about it the more awkward it becomes.
A so-called ‘class divide’ has split British society for so long now, a term that so many political figures have tried to talk away, you almost get an awkward shiver just talking about it.
However, it must be said that we are currently in a truly unprecedented economic position. Unemployment levels are very high; people are worried about the future, house repossession, more public sector jobs to be cut, a private sector stalling. So, I wonder why we all accept and glorify the royals, and with that sign the acceptance letter to a future whereby our society is not defined by meritocracy, but by titles and passed on privileges.
You may be wondering how this links to the Olympic Games. I'd like to show, in writing this piece, that London 2012 on deeper reflection shows us several less than impressive things about our modern society.
Back to the dreaded ‘class’ argument and I would go further to suggest that some sports in the Olympics are overwhelmingly cut off to many who simply cannot afford the high costs of running a horse or picking up an oar at the weekend. You can attack these points easily by pointing out the exceptions, I accept there to be such exceptions, but what this does clearly show is that all sports are not open to all children in Britain currently. Surely this is something that London 2012 stressed, but can now be something targeted in the future!
Also, could we afford to hold the Olympics games? We were told that London 2012 was going to give the economy a much needed boost over the summer months as the world came to London. But, this has not really been the case, with the streets of central London as quiet as they have ever been, after much was made of possible congestion during the Olympics. Clearly this has not worked out the way it was hoped! As much as it might be said that more people than usual have travelled to London, it is not the case that they have been splashing their cash around.
Watching the Olympics has been fantastic; I do not deny this for one moment. Athletes have dedicated years of their lives for their moment in London 2012 and it has been great to see and experience. Yet, the more one looks into some issues the more one wonders what the Olympics have shown about modern British society.