The London 2012 Olympics have arrived, oh goody.

27 Jul

The new message from the BBC is that if you aren’t a huge fan of the Olympics you are a sceptic and a spoil sport. We are all to get behind the games and cheer every part of it’s organisation, content and of course the UK athletes as a whole. The BBC are great and good and know better than we do what is best for us

Thank goodness for the BBC.

I’ve certainly been sceptical of the games. Large corporations throwing money at it to ensure their name is to the fore. Then there is the elitism. The people with privilege are above everyone else obviously. No queuing for them, the best seats, Zil lanes and lavish corporate entertainment. You see this all over now at sporting events, concerts and large events.

I used to go to the British Grand Prix. My first was the last race at Brands Hatch and over the years the enjoyable experience at the races dwindled. It became more and more expensive, the grandstands at the start/finish line were almost all set aside for corporate guests. The truth was that the organisers weren’t interested in the motor sport fans they just wanted the money from the corporate sponsors.

When we went in early in the morning to the circuit to stake out a good viewing place, the stands were pretty much empty and they didn’t fill up until a few minutes before the start and they were empty within minutes of the end of the GP. The people who sat in those seats were corporate guests not motor racing fans, yet they had greater access, better seats and much better facilities all round.

Olympians dedicate themselves to their chosen sport and their specialist event. They have to because it’s dedication, which wins the medals and accolades. This is the same for all sports and it’s probably why so many sports people are, shall we say, less communicative and less interested in events outside their bubble. I’m always surprised when a sports person is cast as being less intellectual than they should be. I mean, come on! Wake up and smell the roses. All they have done, all of their lives is work relentlessly to be the best they can be in their chosen sport to the exclusion of almost everything else.

There are those who manage both their sport and their wider education and experience. Good for them. It takes all sorts though.

We haven’t, yet, reached the point where the BBC will start lingering on how wonderful various athletes are. They will do this during the build up to the moment before medals are won and lost. Afterwards, anyone winning it or coming close will be lauded. The others? There’s always next time.

We can’t all be world-class athletes or sports people. Most of us have dabbled or continue to dabble in sporting activities but we didn’t want to be gold medal class enough, to make it our lives work. We are still good people who, in the main, contribute to our society. We survive; keep roofs over our heads and food on our plates. We have children and we protect and nurture them all of their lives and we have fun in the time which is left. No medals or adulation in that although it’s vital to the continuation and improvement of our society.

I just don’t see me watching much of the Olympics. Well I say that but here is one sport I may give the briefest of glances at. Beach volleyball. I am led to believe, mainly by myself, that these ladies are supremely fit and dedicated athletes who exert an almost unique amount of skill in pursuit of success.

My wife has a colleague who plays beach volleyball and volleyball in general. Apparently she also plays hardcore volleyball! If such a thing exists I’d wager that if it was televised the viewing figures would be immense, but I’m also sure the BBC wouldn’t broadcast it.

Maybe Channel Five would?

Just a thought in the interest of showing good quality sport on TV. Honest!


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