A Londoner's Guide To The Olympics

Living in the big smoke it's hard to ignore the oncoming specter of the Olympic Games creeping up on you, but I still think we're burying our head in the long jump pit.
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Living in the big smoke it's hard to ignore the oncoming specter of the Olympic Games creeping up on you, but I still think we're burying our head in the long jump pit.


The Olympics are fast approaching, and bar the news and adverts pumped in your face everyday, who would know? I’m a Londoner for God’s sake! I haven’t had one conversation about the games, ‘the greatest show on earth’, they say, unless prompted by a begrudging T.V panelist, in front of the box with friends or family. Londoners, it seems, just aren’t bothered. It’s business as usual in the big smoke...

It’s sneaking upon us like Christmas, and the hope is, it is as big a relief once it’s finally here as it’s chilly, annual, counterpart. I live near Hampton Court, the host of the road cycling at this years games, and, except for a few roads being re-surfaced (Oh the privilege! We’ve been plagued by potholes for years!) and the trimming of the trees, you wouldn’t have guessed anything was happening. The Hampton Court flower show is just around the corner and people are chugging on with their daily grind regardless. This typifies London, as it does many metropolis’ the world over. Everyone is far too busy with the day-to-day of surviving and trying to keep on an even keel of happiness to think about the bedlam that is about to beset our city. This labyrinth we call home is about to be over run by tourist from all over the globe and, even with the incessant tube adverts promoting caution, I don’t think we are fully prepared, wrapped up as we are, in our own little worlds within the maze.

When we ‘won the games I was so excited, an athletics fan from as far back as I can remember, I couldn’t wait for ‘the greatest show’ to be on my own doorstep. As the years have passed, mayors have passed, and my dreams of hometown glory quashed by my smoking, and other physique damaging habits, The Great Dream, that was the Olympics, has diminished in my daily thought process to around about naught.

Londoners, it seems, just aren’t bothered. It’s business as usual in the big smoke...

I, over the last year, have been dying to find a way to make money during the games, ‘This is a brilliant opportunity for the economic revitalisation of everyday Londoners the politicians have always said, but am constantly confronted by proverbial brick walls. The Olympics, well, the IOC, just like FIFA and UEFA, command the flow of money throughout the ‘season’ of sport they each respectively command. If you want to make money it has to be within the guidelines that they set out. You only have to look at recent events to understand what I mean, whether it’s Nicklas Bendtner and his paddy power boxer shorts, news that peoples food will be thrown into the trash if they dare to bring unsponsored brands into the olympic park or FIFA favoring countries bids to host the world cup provided they agree to heinous tax breaks and favoritism to the corporations that ‘support’ them. If I were to take pictures of tourists with a nice olympic park backdrop and try to sell it to them, I would be charged and fined for the privilege!

So what do we have to look forward to?.. The London 2012 festival is a collection of events that coincide with the Olympic games. Such attractions include plays, operas, concerts and ballets. What everyone has failed to see is that all of this goes on in London everyday of the year! Except for the big music events that are being organised, all of these attractions are being lumped together, for you the consumer, to be eaten up like a christmas pud. Just like it’s chilly annual counterpart we are encouraged to bye into shit we don’t really need and could just as easily enjoy at any time of the year. One thing that is different is that we don’t get a day off! I, for one, will be working like a dog and trying to cope with the upheaval our city is inevitably going to endure, catching what events I can, with everyone else around the globe, on the T.V. Ultimately though, I’m not sad. I’m happy for everyone who will have fun, and, I hope the athletes, too, have an amazing experience of competing in our city, vying for glory. I hope the memories of this momentous occasion stay with them for the rest of their lives and of course I will be hoping atleast some of us will achieve the hometown glory that I was never able to realise... BRING IT ON!!

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