Olympic Games, in the British way

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, August 12, 2012
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Despite all the unfavorable omens and some glitches, the 17-day London Olympic Games ran smoothly to its end, better than expected.

The London Olympics got off to an embarrassing start with a series of blunders, such as flag mix-up and Indian delegation's gatecrasher at the opening ceremony. But it quickly went on functioning on the right track, and on the whole, turned out well.

The level of enthusiasm from the fans and their knowledge about the sports were uplifting. Venues, which may not be impressive from architectural perspective, are highly functional.

Traffic has been acceptable given the nature of how busy the mega-city is. Even the weather, which was annoyingly wet for months, has been quite cooperative - warm and sunny in most days of the Games.

The London Games were prepared during difficult economic times. While trying to control the spending, the organizers had hoped the Games could create opportunities for the young and help boost the country's economy.

Cole Moreton, a journalist with The Sunday Telegraph, said the Games has improved one of the poorest parts of London - Stratford, in the east end.

"I come from here. I used to play on my bike where the (Olympic) stadium is. It's been quite an emotional thing to see what's used to be fairly unloved part of London to become the center of the world. I'm proud of the way it is worked out," Moreton said.

Britain's medal performance was way above expectation. With one day remaining, Britain has taken 28 golds and 62 medals, eclipsing the 19 golds and 47 medals they won in Beijing.

"For a country which has an identity crisis - it is in a post-imperial phase of uncertainty, and is neither completely European nor completely an American ally, and also suffering its most crushing economic crisis for more than 70 years - these successes are important," Richard Eaton, a writer working for the Agence France Presse, said.

"They are a confidence-boost and identity-marker of a nation which has lost much of both of those things," he said.

For many who have witnessed the Olympics in different cities, the London 2012 may not be the most magnificent one in the Olympic history, but it definitely has its style.

Instead of trying to be the Olympics, London has found the expression of its own. It has been the sense of fun and humor. The opening ceremony, which was creative and original, although perhaps a little opaque to visitors, was a perfect example.

"We don't compare or contrast, but we are London. We are different," Sebastian Coe, London Olympic Organizing Committee chairman, said when asked to compare the Games with previous ones. His comment may well explain how the Games was being run and why.

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