At 6:00AM Australian time on Saturday the 28th August 2012, the biggest event in the world will spring into action. It is that time again. It only comes around once every four years. It is the Olympic games of course.
Many people call the FIFA World Cup the world’s biggest sporting event, and that may be so. But the Olympic games is the world’s biggest event. It’s not just the sports that make it what it is, it’s the way that the whole world stops to celebrate a festival of a city.
Despite the poor timezone, Australian’s will once again be in the thick of the action. Channel Nine will be running 12-hour continuous live coverage of the events in HD while Foxtel has 10 channels that will show the Olympics all day long. This is much better than what Channel Seven provided four years ago in Beijing, which included too many slow-motion replays and too many replayed events.
The Australian Olympic team will be sending 410 athletes across to London, with 227 of these athletes making their Olympic debuts. Despite this massive number, it is the smallest Australia have sent to the games since the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. There are 226 men and 184 women with the average age being 26.
London’s newly constructed Olympic Park has 7 stadiums, with the centrepiece clearly the Olympic Stadium. Despite not looking as nice architecturally as previous main stadium the Birdsnest, the London Olympic Stadium holds 80,000 spectators. After the games, the precient will be named after Queen Elizabeth the second and the main stadium looks set to host West Ham, the English football side. It is also locked in to maintain its athletic track until at least 2017 as London will be hosting the Athletics World Championships.
London will be the only nation to have hosted these games three times, having done so previously in 1908 and 1948. The City earned the right to host the games in 2005, but before that, England had 3 previous bids to host the games. Birmingham bid for 1992, while Manchester bid for 1996 and 2000.
Many people, including myself, believe that the Olympics are becoming, not too commercial, but too commercially strict. The IOC fun police have been out and about in London, telling shop owners to take down the Olympic rings and not allowing pub owners to put up footpath signs advertising the games, instead making them put up a small poster with all the official Olympic sponsors present.
Yet the Olympic stadium does not have hoarding advertising. This is something Will Anderson mentioned on ‘Gruen Sweat’. He described it as not allowing a prostitute to kiss you on the lips.
The Olympics are all about trying to be your best and without your average Joe, the Olympics are nothing. Common sense surely must prevail. LOGOC boss Lord Coe says that these steps must be taken to ensure that the sponsors get their moneysworth, and that if there were no sponsors that the taxpayer would have to foot the bill to stage the games.
These Olympic games are set to be one of the best ever and could very much rival the games proclaimed by former IOC boss Juan Antonio Samarach as the best ever; Sydney.
However lets just sit back for the moment and enjoy the show. They only come around every four years. Oh and support the Aussies, all of which are battlers and have no chance of winning, then they fight against all odds and win on the world’s biggest stage.