Nine years ago this week, London was on the verge of hosting the summer Olympics. Where there might have been excitement, however, first there was foreboding.
I know this, because I had spent months arguing in print and on the airwaves in favour of London 2012: to little avail! The doom-mongers were in the ascendant. If anything could go wrong, it surely would. London would be gridlocked – or no one would come. The facilities would be unequal to the occasion; Team GB wouldn’t win any medals. It would rain (which it did for the first couple of days). And when the army had to be called in at the last moment after the security company G4S suddenly admitted it couldn’t recruit enough staff, it looked as though a lot of the pessimism was justified.
Then came the opening ceremony (with the Queen “parachuted” in and the NHS beds), and “Super Saturday” with Team GB’s unimagined success, and the rest is, well, history.
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