I love watching sport live, and have encouraged my children to do so at every opportunity. Over the years I’ve taken them to watch soccer, cricket, rugby, basketball, baseball, even American football, at national and international level. Sometimes we’ve travelled abroad to pursue our interests in live sport.
I love the ideals of the Olympics, kept very active scrapbooks during the Mexico and Munich events, have been a keen TV-based observer pretty much since. This year, I thought I would be able to go, applied for what I could afford, failed to get any allocations. Oh well.
Maybe a few hundred thousand people will be lucky enough to watch the events live. I wish them well. I’m happy to be part of the billion or so that will rely on TV: after all, TV today is so much more than it was in previous years: I can choose the device I use, the location I will be at, the time when I want to watch. So it means I won’t have to miss anything I really want to watch.
I hope and pray that the event goes off well logistically and administratively, that despite the usual glitches “it’ll be all right on the night”.
I hope and pray that terrorism doesn’t get to play any part in the event. I still remember how shocked I was at what happened in Munich, and my prayers will be renewed and reinforced this year.
I hope and pray that the weather holds up: after all, hundreds of thousands of people have spent hard-earned money in order to be there, and they deserve to have a good time.
I hope and pray that the local and national economy gets a real boost as a result, and that there are tangible, sustainable community benefits across the country as a result.
And I also hope and pray that the people who organise these things take a long hard look at what they’ve done to what should have been a glorious celebration of human beings showing their amateur athletic prowess on the world stage. Everyone may have meant well, but the collective outcome is somewhat short of desirable.
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