A year today, on Friday 27 July 2012, the London Olympic Games begin (although the football begins a little earlier).
While the economy, Norway and Amy Winehouse may make headlines today, there is no doubt that the Games will dominate in 365 days’ time.
The annual BBC poll about attitudes towards the Games is revealing, although we note it’s a survey of Londoners. For the second year running, 73 per cent of those surveyed supported 2012, with 38 per cent saying they felt more positive than they did in 2010. Nearly seven in 10 believe the Games will bring benefits to east London, though 52 per cent think the transport system will not cope.
Understandably, 57 per cent thought the ticketing process unfair, but only 20 per cent plan to escape. The most telling figure was that 65 per cent of us were very or fairly enthusiastic about 2012, with support highest among 18 to 34-year-olds.
Most Olympic Games follow a predictable story arc. First, allegations of corruption before and after the initial announcement, then worries about the cost – always more than estimated. Nonsense about the awful mascot/logo follows, before the drip of stories about how the buildings won’t be completed on time and how crap the GB team will be. Of course, the building is always finished on time and the GB team can surprise us – as at Beijing.
This time round there was no corruption story, construction has gone well, the logo sucks and the ticketing was an unforeseen PR disaster. The completion of the arc is usually a great sporting event followed by a failed stadiums legacy, sometimes a city’s bankruptcy.
I’ll nail i’s colours to the mast. We will cover the negative stories, but support the Games enthusiastically. One can either stand on the sidelines sniping, or join in. We’re in. Are you?