English: The Bird's nest, Beijing, during the ...

English: The Bird’s nest, Beijing, during the closing ceremony of the 2008 olympic games, august 24th Français : Le nid d’oiseau, Pékin, durant la cérémonie de cloture des Jeux Olympiques 2008, le 24 août (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It could be sheer coincidence or perhaps  fate that the current Olympics will be held in the backdrop of austere economic conditions. The last  Olympics in London in 1948 were called the ‘austerity Olympics‘ due to the dire post-war economic and social conditions. Times are hard again.Could Nostradumus have foreseen this as well?

The London Olympics Games could  be that  elixir the country needs to come out of the current downbeat mood. The Olympic Torch has been welcomed by millions countrywide. Millions who have braved the weather’s intemperance. Millions of school children shall be able to tell later generations of that day they witnessed The Torch. Surely that should mark the genesis of a few weeks of joy. Joy perhaps rivalling  or even surpassing the Golden Jubilee weekend, just gone.

London and the Environment

A lot of the masses are moaning. Maybe not the majority, but a very vocal proportion. Aided and abetted by some sections of the Press who behave like ravenous vultures. One can  understand Londoners‘s gripe over say, the Olympic lanes. Londoners will have to put up with some disruption to their lives because most of the games will be in London. Londoners have suffered for years with traffic congestion and the new Olympic lanes may make it even harder to crawl through the streets of London. But surely a few weeks of the pain inflicted by these changes must be worth it when the honour of hosting such global event is bestowed upon you. Apart from that, the new Olympic Lanes maybe the trigger that could get thousands of  Londoners to switch to  public transport. Public transport is actually not that bad. With perhaps some benefit to the environment. Other environmentally friendly methods of  travelling such as cycling could also be a viable alternative too.

Financial Costs

Hosting the Olympics has cost the national coffers quite a significant amount of money. Games of this size will always cost billions. I am not privy to the information on the costs of the games. However, some public records suggest that it could be as much as £11 billion. That is a lot of money, which otherwise could have been invested elsewhere. Most public projects always go over the projected budget. As for the argument the money could have been better utilised elsewhere, one can only argue that the investments made will at least leave some legacy. It is not like billions of pounds poured down the drain like the National NHS IT project. And many other public projects over the years. The  benefits  accrued from hosting the Olympics are immense. Some will accrue over time. Of immediate impact would be the income earned from the hundreds of thousands of visitors to London and other Olympic sites throughout the country. People coming to the Games are going to visit other parts of the UK too,  not just London. The health of the nation will also be given a fillip. More people are taking to sport, and even more will, because of the Games.The country will surely benefit if a significant number of the populace regularly partake in sport. The Government has tried to encourage sport participation with limited success. The excitement generated by  hosting the Olympics Games  may actually turn out to be  the fuel that ignites increased  participating in some sport or exercise. Which will be good for the health of the nation as a whole.

Glory

Whats more spectacular than watching your local athletes competing against the best the world has got to offer, in your own backyard? Think about the local boy/girl, the short-putter. Or any other sportsman/woman. Because of the simple reason that  he/she does not play football or tennis, no one really knows or cares about him/her. This is his/her chance to grab World attention for all their hard work. A chance to get countrymen/women to finally recognize and appreciate him/her as their own Olympian. Several less popular sports never grab the limelight yet these boys and girls are toiling daily to be the best in their sport. This is their best chance to do that now with the Olympic Games in London. Friends and family who have supported them throughout will be basking in the Olympic glory too. The spotlight finally showing. There are many benefits to the local sportsmen/women taking part. There is the quite remote likelihood United Kingdom  may finally top the medals chart! Well, optimism aint a crime! But just think, with all the vocal local/national support behind these athletes, who knows, they may find themeselves pushing  that little harder to win; before their fellow countrymen/women. There is also perhaps a better chance too for the football team to finally get a medal.Who would have anticipated watching one national football team for the United Kingdom. Stuart Pearce‘s team is the one time the four countries play as one.It could also be the one occasion when  the four countries may get a medal at football. Because as individual states, none of the 4 has ever come anywhere within spitting distance of a tournament trophy for decades. We should not forget the female football team too. What a wonderful opportunity!

Families can watch the Games

The last time the Olympic Games were held in the United Kingdom was 1948.Ever since  then anyone who wanted to watch had to fork out a small fortune in funding an expedition abroad to watch the games. Now that they are being held in this country, everyone has had a chance to get to see the games. Some have chosen not too. Or perhaps, the costs involved are still onerous. Or maybe there were not enough tickets. Be that as it may, this is the best and most economical opportunity for the majority of people to actually watch the Olympic Games without having to spend a fortune. The organisers have been a little generous as well, throwing in some Free  London travel too . Children and the youths who get a chance to watch these games  will have such magnificent memories. Adults too will be able to say I was at the London Olympics and be witness to some moments that one will cherish forever. And those not able to watch the games in the stadia will possibly be watching on telly. Or listening to commentary on radios. The whole nation will surely be watching the Games.

Celebration

Moaning has become a national pastime. Maybe the advent of blogs and micro-blogs like Twitter have made is easier for mass moaning. It is understandable in some situations. However, the Olympic Games should be a period of celebration. A period when we all acknowledge the hard work and courage of the athletes, wherever they come from. We have got thousands of visitors, why not start highlighting and celebrate the positives and the marvelous achievements so the whole world can see what this great nation is capable of. We  should be supporting our athletes, they will need all the support they can muster as they attempt to prove they are world-class too. We could start by postponing moaning for now and support the Olympics. There is plenty of time and opportunity after the Games!

Security

One can not talk about the Olympics without mentioning the security farce. The G4S fiasco is an acute national embarrassment. Surely the Army has got much more important work to  do than be used as security guards. Especially with resources so stretched due to the war in Afghanistan. Good thing the Cold War is over, otherwise we would be worried about who was to defend us if some intrepid communist General were to  decide we were ripe for some war games. Thrusting as many as 15000 soldiers on the nation’s daily consciousness as they patrol the streets in East London is, at the very most a sure sign that the organisers and the Government were very inept indeed. But is it time for mud-slinging? The mind boggles as to why G4S Senior management being summoned to Parliament at the 11th hour of the Games? Surely they should have been busy trying to salvage a really messy situation instead of attending Parliament. It smacks of cheap political point-scoring by the MPs!  If the Government were doing their job properly surely we could never be in this mess anyway. The problems encountered are of the Government’s own making. Police numbers have been slashed nationwide;  privatisation of once were public services, elevation of commercial enterprises like G4S into national institutions……I could go on and on. However, this blog is about celebrating the Olympics Games. Time for evaluations, Parliamentary appearances and lessons learned shall surely come well after the Games.

Looking forward to the Games

We should all be looking forward to a successful Games. May all the athletes and supporters have a great Games. Just imagine someone like Rebecca Adlington, or Jessica Ennis, Tom Daley, Phillips Idowu, Hanna England, Rajiv Ouseph,Dai Greene, Mark Cavendish, Perri Shakes-Drayton…or any one of the British athletes, imagine them standing at the podium with the National Anthem playing, medals dangling from their necks! Taking part is more important I know. However,  it would be great to see all these athletes receive worldwide recognition for their endeavours. It will be greater still for all of us to be there supporting them.

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