The Olympic Games are over, the Paralympics are about to start, and the entire country has conveniently forgotten the months we spent whinging and moaning about London 2012 sport transport catastrophe ticket misery induced DOOM.
It’s all been pretty good, really, hasn’t it?
Long may we remember the days when our daily commute to work took five minutes instead of 45; when people smiled and talked on the tube instead of elbowing each other in the face, and London was united by its newfound love of Team GB related outbursts, dancing horses, someone called Keirin and Claire Balding’s marvellous face.
All in all, there’s a lot I liked about this summer’s
men in tight clothing muscles mmm look at all the athletes on telly sporting shebang. Here are just a few of them:
1. The Opening Ceremony
Otherwise known as the night when we all got patriotic in a pub, while commentator Trevor Nelson described all the pretty colours and lights and tall people from Senegal he could see on the tellybox, pondered if the Arctic Monkeys were representing the Arctic, and earned himself a new addition to his Wikipedia page. Also, Mr Bean, the Queen, James Bond, and Mary Poppins all in one sitting. Love, love, love.
2. Tickets and free transport
Those of us who were able to win the notoriously awful Olympic ticketing system game were soon appeased by the sight of two spandangley free Zone 1-9 travel cards which were included in the price. Although most of us didn’t even know there was a Zone 9, and suspect it’s probably a Harry Potter style “Platform 9 and 3/4” kind of thing, but hey ho. The thought was there, and the queues at barriers for Oyster top-ups and travel tickets were not. Good thinking, TFL. I like the way you move.
3. The use of up-to-the-minute technology
The BBC’s coverage of the Games drew nothing short of adoration from viewers around the world, with even the Daily Mail conceding defeat in the end. And rightly so. The commentators were brilliant (not you, Trevor) and enthusiasm for their designated sports leaked through our TV, computer and phone screens throughout the games. Meanwhile, organisers at the ExCeL arena opted for a less high tech approach. Because sometimes, only a whiteboard with markers, print outs, magnets and a hand drawn weather symbol will do. Bravo.
4. London looking all lovely ‘n’ that
Tower Bridge had rings on it, St Paul’s had potted plants outside. Lawns were preened and manicured, and bunting was strung up all the way down Stoke Newington High Street. Balloons! Uniformed people! Did I mention the finely tuned athletes? Even the weird one eyed alien mascots didn’t look quite so terrifying in the sunshine if you had your eyes shut. Oh, London. You don’t half look lovely.
5. The happy pink shirted volunteers (and Wombat, the police dog)
There were 70,000 volunteers dotted everywhere from Southbank to Stratford, on hand with information, smiles, and a healthy dose of good old British humour. While some found fame on YouTube, others entertained us as we trickled down towards the tube home. “Move down the platform please, first class and champagne is at the front of the train, move down the platform”. Oh, how we chuckled, before skipping onto an almost empty DLR and striking up conversation with a convivial police dog called Wombat.
Ah, them’s the days.
All those in favour of having the Olympics back again next year, say “aye”.