Will London be the best Games ever?
The artistically designed curved roof of the aquatic centre at the London 2012 Olympic Games precinct. AAP Image/Brian Cooper
As London prepares to host the 2012 Olympic Games, the city is getting dressed up for the occasion.
Located at the prestigious shopping and business district of Regent Street, the flags of the 206 nations competing in the Olympics are being hoisted to London’s skyline. Flown between 28 buildings of the iconic, curving thoroughfare, these flags mark the making of an historic event.
The pressure is on England, though.
The last really big sporting extravaganza the Brits had – apart from the Beckhams going to the corner store during the late 1990s – was the 1966 Football World Cup.
Despite years of meticulous planning there’s one important element that remains completely unknown: the recent weather patterns. Those that have produced some of the wettest months on record could bring a steadfast halt to any plans London had of showcasing the best Games ever.
The competitions within the competition alone have the potential to make these games the spectacle every local is hoping they can be.
If you expected Usain Bolt, in that fabulously cursive style of his, to stroll to glory in the 100m and 200m, you were not alone.
But compatriot and close friend to Bolt, Yohan Blake has sounded out a warning that cannot be ignored. The 22-year-old warmed up for the London Olympics with victory in 9.85 seconds in Lucerne – his third quickest time this summer.
The shootout between the two Jamaicans promises to be the highlight of the track and field programme.
Friendship with the ones you wish to defeat is a rarity rather than a rule.
The intense rivalry between track cycling greats, our very own Anna Meares and Britain’s Victoria Pendleton, continues to intensify.
Pendleton has had plenty to say about Mears in the lead up to the 2012 Games. Branding her as a rider who ‘pushes the rules’ shows there is certainly no love lost between the pair.
London’s new stadia looks more pragmatic by nature, but organisers have worked one of the great cities into the programme nicely.
The road race will finish on The Mall. The beach volleyballers will strut their wares at the back of Downing St, the equestrian will take in Greenwich, the rowers Windsor and most intriguingly of all, the archers will take over Lord’s (the cricket ground, not the Upper House).
They Olympic Games always get bigger, but do they always get better?
London knows how to put on a show. They do pomp and ceremony like no other and if they get the logistical aspects spot on, the Games will be superb.
Now all that is left to do is to wait for Jacques Rogge to proclaim these Games the “greatest ever”.
- London 2012 Olympics