There's too much pressure to love the Olympics


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The Independent Online

The 2012 Olympic slogan is “Inspire a generation”. Well, we are the generation Lord Coe has in mind, but are we inspired?

With the Games drawing close, anticipation has been building, as has the doubt over whether or not London will live up to the world's expectations. Many are dubious about how inspirational Mayor Boris Johnson will be on top of a London bus, with artists performing off the back of trucks. It sounds more like a village fete, especially in comparison with the stunning Beijing ceremonies.

It has been difficult to maintain a positive outlook in the face of complaints about unfair ticket distribution and the potential transport problems as tourists flock to the capital. There is a great divide in opinion between those who have tickets and those who do not. But, even for those of us who are lucky enough to have tickets to this momentous occasion through the ballot, the anticipation is underwhelming. There is little connection with our athletes and the event itself. For some there is a desire to get away during the Games, but for others this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, for which they are willing to brave the crowded streets and the nightmare Tube journeys.

Perhaps, when the time comes and we can see Sir Chris Hoy, Rebecca Adlington, Victoria Pendleton and Jessica Ennis, the Olympics will awaken a sense of patriotism among the British public. Chances are though, many will be quite sick of it all by the time it comes around. Half the adverts we see on television at the moment, three months out, have some link to competition or athleticism.

Many schools are running Olympic-themed sports events and there are several new schemes to get "young" people into sports. This is good in principle, but there's just too much pressure to love the Olympics. Another constant reminder is the dire logo which now appears on pretty much everything. It has failed to impress the majority of the public. That, along with the lifeless mascots Wenlock and Mandeville, pictured, could have had a more British theme – or just a better design. It feels as if the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games is organising the event to please tourists, not thinking about how locals will feel.

Were the Olympics branded to British people like the Royal Wedding was, then the Games would have found a much more positive response. Watching the Olympics on TV is not the same as seeing it live, but at least when they are overseas you do not have the sense of disappointment at not getting a ticket, or taking part. For those without tickets, there are not many ways to share in the experience. Would not the Olympics work much better if it was more truly a national event? People are coming to London to see the Olympics, yet surely they want to see a little of the rest of the country, too?

A better slogan would have been "Uniting nations"– and they could have started with the British nation. That might have been a first step towards inspiring our generation.

The writers are Year 9 .