Sunday, 22 July 2012

Half Full or half empty?

I see in yesterday's Guardian that we are being accused as a Nation of being a lot of whingers. In fact it is even suggested that while the Games are here we might add 'moaning' as an Olympic event in its own right.

Only yesterday a friend and I were talking about the way in which the BBC do seem to have come down with Headline News on every so-called disaster - G4S, the planned strikes, the use of the armed forces - if it is a Headline on the six o'clock news, then it is one of doom and gloom. There is
never a mention of the fact the the magnificent Stadium was completed on time and under budget, or that hundreds of people are doing sterling work getting everything ready.

Having been in Amateur dramatics for a few years I know that in the weeks before the production everything seems to go wrong. You think it will never be good enough. 'It'll be alright on the night' is almost a National saying. So I really do think we should stop the moaning and grousing and wait and see.

Peter Catterall, editor of the journal of National Identities, says that as a Nation we do tend to think in terms of what could go wrong rather than what could go right. Shall we all, in this week running up to the Opening Ceremony, make a conscious effort to be optimistic and up-beat, to say that it is all going to be marvellous. Yes, there will be hiccups. But if they are well enough rehearsed then no-one will notice them.

I do however disagree with a bit in the German Der Spiegel when they say that the global enthusiasm for the 2012 Olympics is not shared by the Brits. I am sure most people have been truly amazed and heartened by the cheering crowds that have greeted the Olympic torch wherever it has gone.

So here's wishing all those - the planners, the organisers, the officials, the competitors - concerned in any way with the games the very best of luck for the forthcoming event. I sincerely hope that absolutely everything runs like clockwork and that at the end it makes us all proud to be British. Today's event at the Champs Elysee when hopefully Bradley Wiggins wins the Tour do France (keep your fingers crossed for him) should start us all off in the right mood.

To end on an amusing note there is a nice little story about Rafa Nadal (who has pulled out of the Games, sadly). In the Beijing Olympics British cycling gold medallist, Jamie Staff, met Rafa late one night in the laundry. Jamie says that Rafa was pushing all his laundry in together - whites, reds, blues - the lot. He says he really wanted to say to Rafa 'Dude, you're going to have a nightmare with that. You can't put all that lot in together.' But he didn't. I suppose that is one of the downsides of winning so much money at tennis (or any sport) that you never need to do your own washing.

15 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Yes, sadly, I have heard a lot of grousing!
I do think we should make an effort to enjoy the whole thing.
ps. The American uniforms were made in.......China! hmm....

Tom Stephenson said...

You might have noticed that I am one of the whingers, Weave. This is one of the few things I agree with David Starkey about - I hate to be told to enjoy something and refuse to be whipped up into a patriotic frenzy by a load of criminal bankers and the Coca Cola company, who will not allow me to arrange my sausages into the Olympic logo for fear of upsetting the sponsors.

Eryl said...

Most of the Olymic stuff has passed me by (except for the pettion signing I've been doing to get the sponsers to refuse the huge tax break they've been offered). I have little interest in sport so have kept my head in a book, but I do hope those who are interested enjoy it. Though, I have to say I agree with Tom (above), and despise the commercial aspect of it all.

Joanne said...

Better London than Chicago. The trip up the Tri-State to visit a friend in Wisconsin would have been impossible!

ABC has raised quite a stink about those Ralph Lauren outfits made in China. The athletes are promising to wear American underwear, and Ralph Lauren promises it won't happen again. Yeah, right.

Pondside said...

The Olympics are still a fresh memory over here, so close to Vancouver. I remember that in the joy of the wonderful event, the only dissenting voice came from England, where the press went on and on about what a disaster it was, how disorganised we were and what a joke it all was. Of course, non of that was true, but it was nasty. I hope things go wonderfully in London and that as many people as can manage it will attend events and get swept up into a once-in-a-lifetime gathering.

Heather said...

I think our Press are responsible for much of our seeming lack of interest. They have banged on about the Games for months now and are only interested in reporting on disasters and things going wrong. I think they should shut up and let us enjoy it all.
Having said that, I do sometimes feel that as a nation we are on a downward spiral and I don't know who there is who is strong enough to bring us out of it.

angryparsnip said...

I only wish you all the best on your Olympics.
What bothers or worries me are crazy, nutty, religious fanatics who want to destroy any and all people who don't believe as they do in the name of some belief or god.
Heaven forbid anyone should have fun.

I hope all goes smoothly and fun can be had by all.

cheers, parsnip

Rachel Fox said...

Great Rafa story. He probably doesn't pay for the shirts anyway...
x

Em Parkinson said...

My washing machine gave up the ghost today after twelve years of sterling service. I wonder which particular Olympic sponsor might like to give me a new one in the name of sportsmanship? I'm really looking forward to watching it on telly I must say but I'm quite glad not to be trying to get around London on public transport while it's on.

MorningAJ said...

I'm afraid in my case they're right. I think the whole thing is a waste of time and money. It has nothing to do with me. It's in London - not England. I'm not a Londoner. I don't care about it at all.

I'm already totally fed up with the stupid BBC promo film. I can't wait for the whole thing to be over and gone.

Gerry Snape said...

I'm a half full woman my self! at least I think I am!!

Robin Mac said...

The Aussie press was just as bad before the Sydney Olympics and they turned out to be stunning. I think these days of 24 hour headlines just brings out the worst in all the media outlets all over the world. Enjoy the Olympics and I will wish my hardest for fine weather for the duration. Cheers

Bovey Belle said...

The Press as a whole, don't seem to "do" positive do they? Positive doesn't sell newspapers, I guess. But there is such a thing as pride in your country and I was glad to read some heartening stories in the Telegraph this weekend, about various competitors.

I always try to be a glass-half-full sort of person. Not quite Pollyanna, but trying to see what has been good in every day. . .

Dave King said...

I was an enthusiatic cyclist in my youth, and the idea of a Brit WINNING La Tour would have been preposterous. It was great news if we someone IN it! To have first and second and a handful of stage wins as well... I still haven't got my head around it. Most folk, I suppose, will not even appreciate the magnitude of it - partly because the achievements of Froome and the rest have been overshadowed.
Maybe having three Brits in the semi-final at Wimbledon might come nearest - but still a long way off!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Ah well, it takes all sorts - some of us will like the Olympics and some will not. I respect everyone's point of view. Like Tom - I do resent much of the sponsorship rubbish but on the other hand I do admire young people who have given up so much training time into their fitness programme to make them a competitor.
Bradley Wiggins yesterday was an absolute inspiration.