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London 2012: One year to go

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David Bond | 14:05 UK time, Tuesday, 26 July 2011

With a year to go to London 2012 it seems a timely moment to ask: what should a British Olympics look like and stand for in the second decade of the 21st century?

The last Games staged here in 1948 were all about austerity as the nation tried to move on from the ravages of the Second World War. Economic - if not geopolitical - comparisons will inevitably be drawn.

Too much can be made of sport's significance in the modern age. But it is undoubtedly true that these Olympics offer a rare opportunity to shine a light on what truly unites and excites this country.

With public confidence in our institutions again shaken by the phone hacking affair, the prospect of a 17-day celebration at the end of a summer which also includes the Queen's diamond jubilee will certainly lift the spirits.

That sport is capable of raising the national pulse is beyond question. Just look at the queues at Lord's on Monday to see how important a role it plays.

The recent ticket sales process may have led to howls of protest - mainly from those who missed out (myself included). But still 3.5m tickets have been sold raising almost £500m. By way of comparison Sydney sold around £150m worth of tickets a year out from the 2000 Games.

The Olympic Stadium is nearing completion with one year to go until the opening ceremony of London 2012. Photo: Getty

The Olympic Stadium is nearing completion with one year to go until the opening ceremony of London 2012. Photo: Getty

London 2012 has achieved the unthinkable by making tickets for little known sports like handball a sought after and rare commodity. The process was a long way from perfect but for that they deserve credit.

Tracking data shows that 34% of us are excited by the prospect of the London Games. That has been steadily increasing since London won the right to host the event in 2005. We are traditionally late arrivals to the party. Similar data gathered ahead of the Royal Wedding suggested complete apathy. In the end 35m people watched it live.

But, as Paul Hawyard wrote in the Observer on Sunday, London's Games must offer something more substantial to London and Britain than two weeks of distraction.

Asked yesterday by a foreign journalist how he wanted London's Olympics to be remembered, London 2012 chairman Lord Coe replied that he wanted, ultimately, to deliver a Games in London's and Britain's image.

What does this really mean? How will the country and its people want the world to see them this time next year?

London can't and won't emulate the vaulting ambition and geopolitical gestures of Beijing. China's Olympics impressed and dazzled. But enjoyment? That was far harder to detect.

My lasting memory of Beijing was of the closing ceremony and a crowd whipped into a choreographed frenzy inside the Bird's Nest only to walk home in silence, marshalled by hundreds of uniformed police.

Sydney is often cited as London's benchmark. Now, that was a truly joyful celebration as Australia threw off its insecurities and fears to celebrate its place on the international stage.

So what will Britain's statement be?

A can-do nation capable, at last, of delivering grand projects on time and on budget?

A country full of sporting fanatics who would buy tickets for the opening of an envelope if there was a medal in it for us?

Or a Britain proud of its history and heritage but forging a new identity as a modern, multicultural hub?

So far the build up to London's games has been the slowest of slow burns. The one year to go celebrations mark a chance to not only reflect on the achievements in getting this far so smoothly but also to build the excitement around the Olympics.

As Lord Coe told me: "It is now for people to decide what they want out of this."

That process starts now.


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  • Comment number 1.

    I would like it to be remembered as the games for participation. Like many others I was disappointed not to get any tickets for the games but in spite if that one has to be impressed that most venues will seemingly be more or less sold out for heats as well as finals. I can't ever remember any other games being like that, for many in the past you could just walk into athletics heats and the like.

    London is an inclusive and vibrant City; it has a historical reputation for welcoming and accepting all cultures and sports and I hope these games will be remembered for that, for the bringing together of people rather than spectacular venues and glitz.

  • Comment number 2.

    I'd like it to be remembered as a time when BBC brought back 606 so that we could talk on this website freely without being forced to do so on whichever story you think is important. I don't care that the Olympics are in Britain as I'd watch them on tv if they we in France, Britain, USA, The Moon or anywhere really!

    Just bring back 606 so that I can talk to the rest of the real sports fans. Most people don't care about the Manchester United's of this world and I'm sure most people are already bored of the oversaturation of Olympic hype.

    I have to give credit where it's due to you though David as you're one of the few blogger's that allows feedback, so fair play to you!

  • Comment number 3.

    Interesting Blog David. I think you are finding that the Olympics 2012 is made up of 2 strands.First is the Games themselves,a pair of fanfares ,opening and closing encapsulating 3 weeks of minority sport . That in any of the other49 weeks the general public has no interest or even conciousness of ie Handball.If yhis event had to stand alone .its benfits or legacy would fall well short of the billions it has soaked up from the public purse and will cost in subsidy for white elephant athletic and swimming stadia aftrewards..
    Fortunately the second strand is what will make these Olympics the sucess they could be,the British obsession with anything sporting and the ability to have a good time despite our Sporting bodies .Uefa knew what they were doing by returning the CL final to Wembley and Bernie giving a long contract to Silverstone. They were tapping intoa public who would pay good money to watch 4 ants race across a paving slab ,and create more atmosphere than the Turkish GP. They will fight for Handball and Greco Roman tickets ,because they want in to a British sporting 3 week fest , which world sporting bodies recognise will deliver not only bodies but what any occasion demands ,but cannot be purchased ...atmosphere. So what this Games will be remembered for in the main is,despite the traffic ,rain cultural tensions and economic downturn that GB still knows how to party!

  • Comment number 4.

    David - I can't help agreeing with much of what 'timepasser' has to say. For those involved - like the poshies who will be slotting this into their social calendar after they've finished attending organisers' dinners, it will probably be a big deal. The rest of us will watch it on telly. Athlete Christine Ohuruogu has picked up the real mood - see her article on the BBC sports pages today. How interested are ordinary young people? And in response to your reference to the sell out at Lords on Monday as evidence of anything - that will be the only time most people can afford to go to the place! Have you tried to get, or then pay for, a ticket for a Lords test as Joe Ordinary? The organisers of things like the 2012 Olympics have normally snaffled them! Finally, if this bit of your blog comes true..."Asked yesterday by a foreign journalist how he wanted London's Olympics to be remembered, London 2012 chairman Lord Coe replied that he wanted, ultimately, to deliver a Games in London's and Britain's image, " I look forward to the heats of the 'Selfish Driving While Dropping Litter', the semis of the 'Massaging School League Tables for Political Gain' and the finals of the 'Intolerance of Anything Vaguely Foreign', though, thankfully, the last event may be dominated by the overs 60s if my parents are anything to go by.

  • Comment number 5.

    I'm with Christine on this while I think that the facilitatingof the games looks to be on track and the media & culture will be strong the organisers don't understand how hard it is to engage the kids.

    In years gone by there was nothing too do but gather round the telly for some of the biggest events and tickets were sold locally not globally. Now to attract and retain a child or teenager to a sport needs more than a bit of live telly. Unless the Olympics supports the sports clubs and associations of this country going forward there will be no legacy.

    IF even a small % of the money went to say the Badminton association they could recruit and train more coaches. Otherwise in these tough times coaches will need 'real' jobs and parents will have to pay more for coaching.

  • Comment number 6.

    Without meaning to sound a kiljoy but I am fed up about all the coverage of the Olympics. All this fuss daily on regional news about every tenious link about the Olympics and as of the celebrations marking a year to go, who cares? I love sport but I will not be viewing and all the coverage that this is receiving is further enforcing my decision. We will be left with White Elephants all over the UK not least Stadium itself and sports and events that will be forgotten the day the games finish. It has been proven again and again that the games make little long term economic value and as for a legacy I will believe it when I see it. We shouldn't neeed an Olympic Games to get kids to play sports as other countries as far more effective at this without needing this type of event.

  • Comment number 7.

    The impact of the games outside London will be minimal so why do the givernment/bbc expect people outside of London to care about the games. With so much expense and wasted money (e.g. building a man-made mountain biking venue in essex when south wales has world class facilities), it will end us costing us all and only benefiting the few.

  • Comment number 8.

    An Australian perspective :
    for many people, Sydney 2000 felt like a defining event for "Modern Australia". It was almost 50 years since Melbourne had hosted in '56 and the country had changed a lot. It was an opportunity to show ourselves on the world stage as we wanted to be seen...who knows, maybe we still looked like laidback p*sshead beachbums.

    At any rate, everyone was immensely proud at putting on a show that is still regarded as the "best ever" Olympics. The atmosphere at every event, every bar, restaurant, city street and suburban backyard was absolutely buzzing for the 2 weeks. I've never experienced anything like it since. There's also an energy of goodwill that the Olympics generates that I don't think you get at a World Cup. It's seriously good stuff.

    I wish that for London. I doubt it will create a legacy for the city like 2000 did for Sydney but it will add a very important modern layer to the rich London story. Whilst the dynamics are very different to the 2 hosting cities, we are expecting big things!

  • Comment number 9.

    @8 myisland is home:

    Mice to see that the most serious responce is from a non-Brit. Very well written and thought provoking - something that the original blogger can only aspire to.

  • Comment number 10.

    What gets me is why everybody insists on calling it the London Olympics. I live in Enfield, North London, and all I will be getting out of this Olympics is an increase in my council tax for the next 20 years. Far from improvements, my area will be starved of public funds as they are all being spent in East London. The same is true for most of the city. Why not be honest and call it the East London Olympics ?

  • Comment number 11.

    Look if London decides to party for 3 weeks in the kids' summer holidays that'll get them interested.

    So long as the way they party makes them feel cool......

    Kids want friendship, fun and wacky experiences.

    So if sport wants to get them interested, they need to show how particular sports can do that for particular kids.

    It's not rocket science.

    The rocket science comes in knowing how to deliver that.

  • Comment number 12.

    I applied for tickets but haven't received a word from anybody. Heaven knows where my application has disappeared to, but as a retiree its my only chance to attend an Olympic Games next year.

    Its appalling the way they organise things in London.

  • Comment number 13.

    @8 Well said....

    Sport should bring people together as social opportunity and I'm sure that everything possible is being done to include visitors to London (big screens, entertainment etc). But it will also be upto us as a nation to embrace the event for those few weeks and feel good about being the focus of global attention. London is our capital city and we should be proud that it is hosting this once in a life time event, whether you live here or not.

    I'm afraid the opportunity for legacy has been lost as the organisers have not involved the British sporting community (clubs / associations etc) enough. But if even a small number of future Olympians or club sports members are inspired by this event it will be worthwhile.

  • Comment number 14.

    Nice of Ohurugu to leave it till now to say anything. It's not like members of the public have been screaming out that once again sport is shutting out kids and just looking to cash in with big price tickets and hype.

    The calls for creating a legacy seem like an afterthought, now that the ticket sales process has reached acceptable totals.

  • Comment number 15.

    I might be going against the grain here but I am looking forward to the Olympics. I am one of lucky one's in so much as I have a pair of tickets for the Athletics on the last night of competition. Yes, millions more have missed out and I'm sorry for that but as a nation, we should embrace the opportunity that an event like this brings. My children are already involved through school and they, like their classmates, are all looking forward to "everything" that will surround the 2012 games. The torch relay, the ceremonies, the free events, the atmosphere will be electric.

    So far as legacy goes then I do hope that LOCOG will honour their promises. Yes, they needed do do much more with the grass roots of all sports but there is still time for this. I hope that they are good to their word and for now at least, I'm prepared to give them the benefit of doubt.

    366 days and counting.......

  • Comment number 16.

    Two interesting questions.

    One: What do these games stand for?

    In a nutshell none of the things David alluded to. Once, mass spectator sports were 'all inclusive', sports for whoever wanted to see them, drawn from all strata of society. Now they are exclusively, as the overblown receipts show so effectively, for the wealthy. Everyone else has been reduced to an 'outsider'.

    Yes, we can watch it on the box, but well, when I know the stadia is full of 'media personalities', the media, and the well heeled, I find it hard to generate enthusiasm. I feel much the same way as I've always felt about Rugby Union, about Ascot, about show jumping, sports for the well to do, watched by the well off............. of all those and more I'm an outsider (willingly), and well, I find it hard to care.

    In other words, the games ARE a perfect representative of David Camerons 'new Britain'. A Britain which looks after the Rich at the expense of everybody else.

    The second question is why has it been so hard to generate enthusiasm? Partly that's been answered by the above. Talking to people, many feel exactly the same way, and not just about the games, in terms of spectator sports, and can't get excited.

    Add to that, there is a lot of resentment about London getting the games - again. Had the UK, like other nations, held the games in a different say Brum, Manchester, Edinburgh perhaps, then I don't doubt a real national vibe could have been struck up. But no, let's ignore the rest of the country and 'regenerate' another lump of the capital.......

    I just can't get excited about these games. For the same reason I've fallen out of love with football. They simply aren't representative any more.

  • Comment number 17.

    I'm already bored with Radio 5's coverage of the Olympics and there's still a year to go. The radio is off till tomorrow when hopefully there will be some more interesting topics

  • Comment number 18.

    The games will benefit very few people outside of London, few companies outside of London will gain anything, lots of contracts for hosting events, providing media, facilities management, merchandising contracts could have been distributed more evenly around the whole of the UK but these things seem to have been dished out to mainly London based companies.

    Yes it is a LONDON games and why should there be a spread to the rest of the UK but being that that is that case, please don't expect people outside of London, especially outside of England to care that much or feel much in the way of pride in these games.

  • Comment number 19.

    On the BBC homepage:

    "What should London 2012 say about Britain? "

    I know what it DOES say. It's yet another confirmation that the rest of Britain is being continuously neglected and ignored at the expense of creating the vast citadel of London.

    This is not a British Olympic games.

  • Comment number 20.

    Suitably referred to as the london olympics. Once again london is very obviously going to be the only beneficiary of all this. Might be more appropriate if quoted as the rich kids london olympics.

  • Comment number 21.

    It says we can waste a huge amount of money on a glorified running and jumping contest which matters not a jot to the majority of people outside London.

  • Comment number 22.

    The way the ticket sales were set up, allows 'lord coe' and his set to pick who will go to the games, unlike when he was running, you turned up and bought a ticket. Why should the man in the street even bother with these games, there will be empty seats, but the likes of me and you will only see it on TV unless the government friends at sky get the contract then we will see high lights only

  • Comment number 23.

    London games , the rest of the uk left out once again . absoloutely no interest much more money is to be spent on the southern folks at everyone elses expense.

  • Comment number 24.

    what it says about this country is:

    that politicians can lie about the cost of a project and get away with it

    that 2 weeks of running and jumping is worth more than hospitals, schools etc.

    that the only way that rundown and deprived areas will ever change is for the people who live in them to be moved out and excluded

  • Comment number 25.

    If we wanted to make this a truly British process, shouldn't we have had a great big queue for the tickets?

    Another way to ensure that the games show off our national character is to have a really good grumble about them.

  • Comment number 26.

    nbair (20): I'm a bit sick of all this rubbish about 'referred to as the London Olympics'. Every other Olympics have been referred to as the main city they are being held in. We mustn't forget that geographically we are a tiny country and the bottom line is there are no other cities with anywhere near the infrastructure required to host an event of this size. Does that mean we shouldn't have attempted to get them to take place in the UK? I've lived all over the UK and am now in the north of Scotland, and can't wait for the Olympics to arrive. The whole of the UK will benefit as will the many many potential world beating athletes who are from all over the country - not just London. Bottom line is, if you don't like then don't watch (but I bet you will).

  • Comment number 27.

    The point being missed by many of the comments is the Olympics that people do remember and for what reason.
    Beijing and Sydney stand out where as Athens doesn't.
    Why? You cannot impose or project an image of Britain that isn't true of what it really is.
    With the back drop of a poor economy in 2012 high youth unemployment and a ever increasing gap between rich and poor don't expect people to break out the bunting nor should they.

    I live in very close to the Olympic stadium and frankly I'm shocked at just how poor the area is and see no engagement of the young people.
    I don't know anyone who had worked on it's construction projects and no amount of media spin will drum local enthusiasm.

    Please please stop suggesting that there is any unifying effect of the Olympics coming to London.
    There is more that divides people in the UK than unites them, backed up by being born into privilege represented by the monarchy.

    If you David or anyone else on these comments are stupid enough to think the Olympics in London involves the people of the UK it's actually laughable,as it's clearly a corporate junkfest.

    I will not be in London for the Olympics I'll make a point of getting out before the media love in starts which is about 6 months away.
    Added to the traffic chaos the inflated prices of goods and services,the likely poor weather,the desperate attempts to make people be nice & welcoming have convinced me this country is out on it's feet and waiting for someone to throw in the towel.

    Anyone who saw the Double Decker bus crawl out onto the closing ceremony in Beijing should be embarrassed.
    Don't think that the Britain's quaintness and oddity will be met with haughty laughter.

    I suspect that London Olympics will be viewed in much if not worse terms that Athens.

  • Comment number 28.

    I think London 2012 will be a celebration of the "end of the west"
    After 2012, China and India will be the superpowers and USA and GB will no longer be the centre of the Universe.

    This will spill out of the Multi-culturalism that London lives by. The millions of visitors will see that london is the place that people of all cultures, religions and skin colours can have society and take that warmth back home.

  • Comment number 29.

    Complainers complainers as usual.

    1. Of course it is the London games, the olympics goes to a city not an entire country. Hence why it was Beijing 2008, Athens 2004 and Sydney 2000, not China 2008, Greece 2004 and Australia 2000.

    And why not any other city in the UK? Well because Olympics tend to go to the largest cities in a country, or the ones with the most international pull, of which London ticks both boxes. Barcalona and Sydney aren't capitals, but Barca is similar size and fame as Madrid, and the Australian capital Canberra, is tiny and few non-Australians have even heard of it!

    2. No not everyone got tickets, do the maths and work out for yourselves why not.

    3. Handball is a massive sport, at least in Europe and many countries that aren't the UK, so stop labelling it as minority sport!

    4. If you're not interested don't watch or comment on it. I am not interested in Arsenal results but I don't go and complain on every Arsenal thread I can find about their fans clogging my street every Saterday evening during the season.

  • Comment number 30.

    As a resident of Greenwich, who finds himself facing severe travel problems to get to my job. I find the attitude of "put up and shut up" displayed by the Olympic committee, patronising, disrespectful and down right rude. I have to change my travel plans - I have to change my working hours – I have to endure road and lane closures at the same time smile happily. Did we even get the offer of buying tickets as some recompense no. I am not alone in this many residents feel the same as I am sure will be seen come election time.

  • Comment number 31.

    I believe that the LONDON GAMES = are just that! The rest of the Country are mutually excluded! What are we expecting from the games = additional debt! There has been an attempt to include other areas of GB - but there has been no investment and the NE can be happy to get a couple of games of football - which is a poor relation of the games event. I probably wont watch it on TV and the money could be better spent. Professional sports people earn large amounts of money without producing a bi-product - except their arrogant attitude to the rest of the country.

  • Comment number 32.

    That a lot of people outside London don't really care? I know I don't.

    I like the Olympic's, but it's a waste of money in current economic climate. I genuinely wish another country had got the games as it's done nothing positive for Greece.

  • Comment number 33.

    I'm glad Septimus_Red is waking up to how the world works. London, like any bidding city would host the games the same way, 'a corporate junkfest'. The regerneration angle is just another marketing ploy, like Paris's environmentatlism or Mosows compactness.

    What is being missed is that London is the centre of the world for Marketing and PR and there is no better place to hold (and spin) a successful olympics.

    And I've no doubt that anyone living near the site is complaining about the positive effect on house prices.
    If you really don't like them move into the real UK

  • Comment number 34.

    Just seen Philmans post "Massive sport" the best attendended Hanball league in Europe is in Germany with a MASSIVE average attendance og 4,500.

    You might complain if Arsenal prevented you living your life as you want to for six weeks.

  • Comment number 35.

    "The recent ticket sales process may have led to howls of protest - mainly from those who missed out (myself included). But still 3.5m tickets have been sold raising almost £500m. By way of comparison Sydney sold around £150m worth of tickets a year out from the 2000 Games."

    It tells me that Britain is full of Greedy people with too much money, how many people applied for tickets to events that they didn't want or have no interest in?

    I've yet to see any benefit from Britain having the games, most of it is based in London so once again the rest of Britain gets ignored as per usual.

    You may have guessed I’m not that frilled about the Olympics, on the bright side 366 days til it's over, apart from having to pay for it!!!!

  • Comment number 36.

    As long as its NOT double decker red buses and umberella dancing...

    The Olympics is about England NOT London; although you wouldn't know it :)

  • Comment number 37.

    We are told this project is on budget, its the project we were told was going to cost £3b and its heading towards £10b ...

    So when we were told it would cost £3b was that a lie or just staggering incompetance?

  • Comment number 38.

    It's a complete and utter waste of time. No-one cares about the Olympics... give us the World Cup football!

  • Comment number 39.

    Despite being broke and privatising parts of the NHS we can still fund it by the lottery.

    Personally I love sport and the olympics but the timing just isnt good.

  • Comment number 40.

    Personally, I believe that the whole Olympic farce is a waste of time and resources. It is an opportunity for rich and influential countries to show how important they are to the world. The whole concept is about big businesses who win lucrative contracts and then athletes from priviledged nations to win medals. The cost of preparing for the Olympics has ruled out many from winning medals except in events where only natural ability can win medals. That is the reason why the Kenyans dominate many of the long distances. Then the purpose of the Olympics is to promote friendship, well I believe that we as humans have been doing a pretty bad job in doing that. Look at the number of wars currently being fought in the world today, if you have any doubt about that. Also the Olympic theme says that we should celebrate humanity. I am not aware of anything that we humans have to celebrate. The world today is as selffish as ever. While some countries ask for more money to maintain the greed of bureaucrats, many are dying of starvation.

  • Comment number 41.

    Opportunity was missed with the ticket sales. One of the days should have been set aside and all the tickets made available to those under 18 years old or those under that age accompnied by an adult and at a maximum price of, say, £20. This would then have opened up the Olympics to the youngsters.
    Not wanting to start the whole debate again but the allocation of tickets was far too much weighted in terms of the rich - the atmosphere will suffer as a result.

  • Comment number 42.

    @ Nelly

    "...there is a lot of resentment about London getting the games - again. Had the UK, like other nations, held the games in a different say Brum, Manchester, Edinburgh perhaps..."

    Simple look at olympics history would have told you this:
    Manchester bid for 1996 and 2000 olympics
    Birmingham bid for 1992 olympics.
    All three bids failed. This is London's first bid since 1948.

    So we tried to have the olympics elsewhere first, failed, so bid with our capital city and won. Also, worth noting that commonwealth games are coming in Glasgow in 2014 and Manchester recently hosted it in 2002.

    Not quite as London-focused as you have made out, and no I am not a Londoner and live no-where nearby!

  • Comment number 43.

    Some stats for those who complain about Londoners getting all the money, from 2007 stats, the latest I could find. You might keep in mind that people gravitate to London when they 'run away' or look for work.

    London UK spending per head: £8,550
    North West " : £7,756
    South West " : £6,513
    Scotland * : £8,544
    Northern Island " : £8,990

    All regions are within a band of £3,000.

  • Comment number 44.

    @ peterjay66

    "Despite being broke and privatising parts of the NHS we can still fund it by the lottery.

    Personally I love sport and the olympics but the timing just isnt good."

    Worth remembering that the 2012 olympics were awarded back in 2005 and the decision by London to bid would have been made years before that - hardly like they knew that the olympics would arrive in the midst of a recession!

  • Comment number 45.

    Why are we so obsessed with big showpiece events in this country? Is it a product of the celebrity culture where people are attracted by the glamour and the hype of a major spectacle? I ask because in my opinion it is for these reasons that people are eager to buy tickets for the games rather than any genuine interest or enthusiasm for the sporting events that will take place. In truth very few people have any knowledge of, or any interest in things like javelin, discus, rowing, archery or any other of the events that are the staple of the Olympics. Most people who obtain tickets for the games IMO just want the ego trip of saying ' I was there ' , fuelling their own self-importance.

    As for the prospect of the games leaving a legacy, that will only happen if there is a real and sustained interest in the events that they showcase. Does anyone really that athletics will increase in popularity except maybe in the short term in the immediate aftermath of the games? I'm not being a killjoy here merely stating the fact that I have no interest in athletics whether it is a big event or not and i'm not going to start feigning interest just because we've landed the Olympics.

  • Comment number 46.

    #37 It was a blatant lie, London would never have been awarded the Olympics if the true figure had been delivered in the bid process.

  • Comment number 47.

    Some people are so negative. Yes, it's in LONDON. Get over it!! Not just East London, all over. That and the football being played all over the country, the sailing in Weymouth etc. If you wanted it in your town (pop. 5000) then why didn't your town put together a bid?

    So, we're agreed it's in London for a few weeks next year and it's going to cost us. There are always going to be those who will moan about anything - shame it's not an Olympic sport as we'd be taking gold in every category. I, for one, cannot wait. I was fortunate enough to get a ticket for a sport, even though it's one i've never been to see it before. If it was being held in Glasgow or Cardiff i'd still make the effort. How often do we get something like this??

    I'm proud that it's here, we are going to put on a sold out spectacle, not some farce like the World Cup in SA or, as mentioned above, the fake crowds in China. It may only be a few weeks next summer, but it'll be a great few weeks!!

  • Comment number 48.

    I can only agree with many of the other posts. I don’t live near London and the fact the games are there rather than Paris has no impact on me at all, I’ll still have to watch it on TV.

    In terms of legacy to our sporting nation, I’ve seen very little to suggest there will be any. There are no new sports facilities near me and the future of the Olympic stadium seems unsure, with suggestions that at least 1 of the potential new owners would immediately tear it down.

  • Comment number 49.

    @ OWA

    "there will be empty seats but the likes of me and you will only see it on TV unless the government friends at sky get the contract then we will see high lights only"

    1. Most events are sold out - otherwise why would people be complaining at not getting tickets?
    2. The contract is with the BBC and anyway the Olympics is currently a 'crown jewel' protected sport that has to remain on free to air TV.

  • Comment number 50.

    I am personally very excited about the Olympics and I truly believe that when it comes down to the month or so surrounding the event the wider public will also acknowledge the joy and buzz eminating from the event.

    To respond to a number of the posts about the games being just for rich London kids - the majority of Olympic tickets were sold at below market price and were cheap....that is not something you would normally find in the UK. I appreciate the huge dissapointment of everyone who missed out on tickets, I did so myself, but have luckily been invited to some volley ball by someone, but the way it was organised I think was probably as fair as it could have been done, sure they should have sorted out administrative issues, but overall it was a fair system.

    Finally, to complain that its happening in London is absolutely ridiculous. To @nelly I think it is - Manchester had the Commonwealth Games in 2002 and Glasgow have them in 2014 and we attempted to get a football world cup over here as well which would have benefitted all of the cities you mention, but it is the Olympics we've successfully campaigned for, and as much as people may dislike it London remains our capital and ignoring the huge transport issues it will have, it will make a brilliant Games.

  • Comment number 51.

    MikeBlathers #45 and anyone like that. So lets never celebrate anything because there might be someone who has no interest in it shall we? Man it'd be a boring world if it was run by people with those thoughts. Lets just do nothing. Sit at home wearing bin bags, leave the tv off in case something comes on that may offend someone, don't listen to the radio because someone in scarborough doesn't like tinie tempah etc

    I'm so glad that I know somewhere next year I can go for 3 weeks to get away from people like that.

  • Comment number 52.

    #48 we had the commonwealth games in Manchester a little while back, now we're getting more facilities in another part of the country too (a place that was very deprived and has a huge regeneration project going on). The fate of the Olympic stadium is pretty much sealed so long as Spurs stop crying, West Ham have it and it will be used for loads of events. Since lottery funding and added facilites (like the velodrome in Manchester) I've noticed a steady rise in our sporting acheivements and we're on target to have a pretty good Games.

  • Comment number 53.

    One wonders how many drugs cheats will be on view, or those that decided to miss the drugs tests and serve a minimal ban. And would any of those be competing for Britain ?

  • Comment number 54.

    I realise that my views may be seen as negative by some who have added comments to this blog but I get irritated by statements like '£9.3bn of government funding has been put into the Olympics' when what they really mean is '£9.3bn of taxpayers money'.. our money!
    There is a large portion of the population who are not interested in these games, who are irritated by the focus on London when there are perfectly suitable purpose built venues around the UK, many of which have better infrastructure and the endlessly glib so-called celebrities who are wheeled out to tell us how lucky we are to be holding the Olympics here and spending all our money for the benefit of Britain (when they mean London).

    And I for one will never agree that Handball is a sport with a massive following.. what utter balderdash!

  • Comment number 55.

    I do not love the Olympics. I live in East London, but I won't go to watch anything. I didn't even apply for tickets. I don't enjoy watching any track and field events on TV, and I can think of half a dozen events I think should be scrapped altogether.

    That said, even I find some of the bitterness and moaning in this thread just incredible! There are good reasons it's being held in what is, by far, our largest city. And there are reasons that it is centered in one of the most deprived areas of the country. If you want to ignore them and moan....well, how characteristically British. You might not know someone who worked on the construction projects, but trust me, they didn't build themselves. Yes it will cost money, but you can't evaluate everything in terms of school teachers and baby incubators.

    Perhaps this attitude will be the lasting impression of the 2012 Olympics; we're a bunch of miseries who will moan about anything given the chance. It's too expensive, it's not in my home town (but if it was I'd complain about the disruption), there ceremony wasn't as good as Beijing and it wasn't as fun as Sydeney. London 2012; the "worst" Olympics ever.

  • Comment number 56.

    Sold below market price? Firstly, there isn't a market for Olympic tickets, as it's a month long event every 4 years in a different country. Secondly, £50 is not value for money - it is similar to football prices, but how many athletics meetings in the UK this year charged £50 for entry? And yet, £50 tickets are spoken about as being one of the cheap seats.

    This is what's turned so many kids away from sport - what kid has £50 floating around in their pocket to be spent on getting entry to an event?

  • Comment number 57.

    Cup o Tea.

    Missing the point like I know people like you will do. I have no problem whatsoever with people who are genuine fans of athletics enjoying and celebrating this event, it is the bandwagon jumpers, the fairweather supporters who get up my nose, the people who normally take no interest in these things but hype something up into a big spectacle and suddenly they become must see events. I enjoy celebrating things as much as anybody but only in things I'm genuinely interested in and as a Man Utd fan i've had a lot to celebrate in the last 20 years but I only celebrate with the proper fans i've known for years, certainly not the glory hunters who just want to associate themselves with anything succesful.

    Also, I certainly don't believe in doing nothing. The money being spent on this event could have been spent in better ways IMO but the games will make a lot of money for people who are already wealthy in the first place.

  • Comment number 58.

    Sorry, those that miss the drugs tests are also be classed as drugs cheats.

  • Comment number 59.

    London isn't representative of the UK as it is, and these Games only go further to show the gap between London, and Not London.

    I mean, if the UK can't even call itself by it's proper name at the games, (to the exclusion of Northern Ireland), what hope is there for it to be anything other than exclusive to London?

  • Comment number 60.

    As usual the British gold medal winning sport of moaning is rampant ! Down here in London we as taxpayers will foot the bill by paying extra tax, we are enduring almost every road in the capital being dug up for cross rail and new cabling, an Olympic lane will be in force creating more travel chaos, do we care? Not me, three weeks of pure excitement once in my lifetime, no I don't have any tickets, lost out in the ballot and the cost of tickets? well compare them to the price of a normal home ticket to Man U. or Chelsea. I can imagine all these unenthusiastic parents moaning to their kids about waste of money etc and then wondering why they spend their lives glued to the playstation etc. Get out there, enjoy the experience lots will be happening, get some perspective, most of us will never see this again!

  • Comment number 61.

    I desperately wanted my daughter to able to attend trampolining in the hopes that it would inspire her in her chosen sport. No tickets. Seeing kayaking is not going to inspire her in her chosen sport. Despite being a sports lover this Olympics may as well be anywhere in the world as I will just watch some of it on TV and the children won't be interested in watching. They have lost me in this debacle of ticketing.

  • Comment number 62.

    @Kapnag - I appreciate that the Olympics only happen every 4 years, but if any cultural or sporting event is oversubscribed to the extent that the Olympics was, those selling them are completely with in reason to charge as much as they want. The majority of tickets were £50 or under.....a lot of them £20. £20 is a very reasonable price - I and none of my close friends or family applied for more expensive tickets than this and they did gfet tickets.

    Your point about more general sporting tickets is completely valid.

  • Comment number 63.

    Having won the grand total of ONE ticket in the ballot - and not even for an event being held in the Olympic Park as it's rowing - I am resigned to the fact that even for someone who was born in, raised in and lives in a London borough, I will be watching these Games on TV and having no greater feeling about them than the others I've seen elsewhere in the world.

  • Comment number 64.

    It will be remembered primarily for the ticketing fiascio. Current Olympic Champions had to go through the whole disappointing process.
    There is also the fact that all the building contracts were set up well before the economic down turn so whilst construction costs have plumetted the actual costs of providing the stadia and facilities have actually risen?
    In order to typify Great Britain in the 21st Century the only beverages on sale within the stadium should be tea, lager and an expensive cider (no corporate fizzy drinks) and there should be lots and lots of queuing!

  • Comment number 65.

    Why this deafening rush to talk up the Olympickings, 1 year hence? Those of us who would rather spend our money securing the education and housing of our own young people, than on 5 star hotels and junketing for politicians, media people, bankers and sponsors (haven't some of these groups been in the news recently?) must now start to campaign vigorously that when inevitably costs overrun and deficits appear, not one penny of our money goes to cover these.

    An Olympics run for the benefit of the athletes in ordinary stadia and grounds, accessible cheaply to the public and without tacky razmatzzz, would be a joy.

  • Comment number 66.

    toomuchcoffee #60

    Your argument would be more valid if people from the poorest boroughs of London got the chance to witness this exciting once in a lifetime event but as we all know given the prices and costs involved that won't be the case. As someone noted above, it will be a corporate junkfest designed to extract as much money out of people as possible. The ticket prices will be sky high in order to cover the costs of constructing the stadium and village.

  • Comment number 67.

    How about the peoples olympics, so long as the people have a credit/debit card with a Visa symbol on it, if you have, and the system works you may get tickets, if not simply forget it.

  • Comment number 68.

    Well said number 29 'philman132' ! Complainers complainers as usual. Cheer up the lot of you. Ridiculous and unjustified negative comments by the likes of numbers 6, 10, 11, 18, 19, 20, 21, 23... the list goes on! And a handful of positive and good comments by people like numbers 15, 26 and 29...

    Sorry to come back to this, but PLEASE stop your idiotic complaining about them being called the "London Olympics" !!! They are in London, and they are Olympics, therefore, you guessed it, they are the London Olympics! Fancy that! In the same way they were the Sydney Olympics, Athens Olympics and so on and so on.

    And well said again, number 29, - if all you want to do is be a complete misery guts and complain away, then go and make your own website or blog for fellow misery guts to all have a nice natter about how awful everything is!

    Congratulations to the majority of people on this thread! Britain's statement so far on the Olympic Games is "We're a bunch of people who are as dreary as the weather and we think it's all awful and terrible and disastrous, and this Olympics will be the worst ever, hooray!"

    Anyone else out there looking forward to it and think it's a good thing?!

  • Comment number 69.

    Considering that we are going to be watched by the whole world as we welcome the international community to our games, I'm pretty sure that having Prince Phillip open the ceremony with a bit of a comedy routine, perhaps with some impressions, would go down well. Then Boris Johnson could come on, perhaps celebrating Hawaiian culture by wearing a grass skirt and coconut bra, followed by a parade of amputee soldiers, as the national anthem is sung by all the X-Factor winners from the previous decade. As a finalé, perhaps we could invite Rebecca Brooks on to say a few words of encouragement, and then have a moment of silence, as we all wait for the constant rain to finally stop. As the last drop falls, someone could ceremoniously crush and throw onto the pitch an empty can of Fosters lager, to rattle into a heap by the leading atheletes' feet.

  • Comment number 70.

    I am sorry to say that for me the games will be remembered as having to pay a London Olympics council charge and then not get a single ticket in the ballot. People at the other end of my road who did not pay the London Olympics charge (Not in London borough) and live closer to the train station did get tickets !!!Lots of press for Children to get involved...mine have no interest as they did not get tickets.

  • Comment number 71.

    I always find it slightly depressing that the majority of comments seem to be so negative. I feel certain that most of the whingers will sit and watch (having complained until they're blue in the face about everything from cost, not be able to get tickets, sponsors, corporate hospitality etc) - they will then cheer when British athletes do well but save their best for the when someone sadly doesn't achieve quite what is expected........they'll then revert to type and bemoan the money wasted on people who didn't quite make the grade and what a complete waste of time and money it has all been.

    Why can't people just see it for what it is? Surely it is 3 weeks of unashamed patriotism on a world stage - a chance to show that we are still modest in victory and magnamous in defeat - a whole country of true sports fans (whatever the sport) and a country with a rich history and a richer future.

    Excuse me while I refill my glass......oh! No need, already brimming!

  • Comment number 72.

    The Olympics event is such a world wide occasion and an opportunity for our country, the British message should 'measure up' accordingly. It should include our Royalty, Freedom of Sprit, Racial Integration, World Wide Support, Competiveness & Fairness, Beauty & Vibrancy, Fun & Laughter, World Power of Commerce & Industry. So much in our little island we call home. We should be so proud of who we are!

  • Comment number 73.

    How I long for the whole load of hype, expense and unending advertising to be over and we can all return to reality.

  • Comment number 74.

    #68 cheerup

    Let me ask you one question. You and other supporters of the Olympics are predictably labelling people who don't share your enthusiasm as miserable killjoys but do you really honestly have a genuine interest in athletics and events like shot put and pole vaulting and so on? The people discussing the issues here are asking legitimate and valid questions about the costs of these games and the supposed long term benefits to be had not being killjoys for the sake of it as you seem to imply. Other countries, most notably Finland, manage to encourage their popluations to participate in and enjoy sports and recreational pastimes without needing the lure of a big spectacle in order to do so. In this country we just seem so obsessed with the big occasions rather than just encouraging sport and physical recreation on a more day-to-day level.

  • Comment number 75.

    I notice that Ohuruogu in another article on this site is saying the olympics must engage children. Well the best way to do that would have been to have some prioritisation of tickets so they get to see their sports in action. I don't mind the prices but despite applying for many tickets I have nothing and I am gutted for my children that they won't get to see any of it live. I hope whoever did get tickets has a great time, personally I have lost interest and I think it is understandable. When I do find myself watching it on TV, if I see any empty seats, especially in the corporate sections, my disapointment may well turn to more.

  • Comment number 76.

    Who cares what it will be remembered for - the real question is "why on earth is so much money being wasted, particularly by the BBC, on only-a-year-to-go celebrations?".

    Boring. Wake me up in a year when it's actually happening and I might be able to muster some enthusiasm.

    @cheerupyoumiserablegits #68

    'Congratulations to the majority of people on this thread! Britain's statement so far on the Olympic Games is "We're a bunch of people who are as dreary as the weather and we think it's all awful and terrible and disastrous, and this Olympics will be the worst ever, hooray!"'

    No, our statement is "this is costing way too much".

    @toomuchcoffee #60

    You're not the only ones paying, despite what so many of you seem to believe. Lots of public projects around the country mysteriously lost their funding around bid time.

  • Comment number 77.

    @myislandhome #8

    Perhaps sadly we don't feel the need to show off "modern Britain", probably for two reasons:

    1) We think we are very important in the world

    2) In all honesty, it's a bit crap

  • Comment number 78.

    No 66 Mike Blathers, I do not have a ticket but I shall stand on the road and watch the marathon, I shall watch the cycle race, both of these are free. It is the atmosphere in the city, large screens in the park etc, this is all free. Who said life was fair, some have tickets some do not, schoolchildren from the poorest boroughs will probably get tickets whilst some other kids will not, enjoy the open spaces even the poor can do that along with the rich can't they. and No 73. Has your council tax gone up specifically to reflect the cost of the games?

  • Comment number 79.

    The Olympics is a sham, It was sold to us under the banner of a "legacy" by a Tory Lord whose Government presided over the sale of school playing fields in the eighties.
    This trend has continued through until the present day and if Coe and his cronies had any self respect they would acknowledge that this abject dereliction of duty has in point of fact resulted in no sporting legacy whatsoever.
    Where do inner city kids hone their sporting skills today? The truthful answer is that they no longer can. And yet they talk about "legacy" pitiful.

  • Comment number 80.

    I would like the games to be remembered for corruption and opulence paid for by the most vulnerable members of society having their benefits cut and their purse strings cut to allow this ridiculous celebration of conspicuous consumerism. It would also be nice if Lord Coe was caught with his hand in the till!

  • Comment number 81.

    I've an interview as a "Games Maker" (volunteer) in a couple of weeks time and am looking forward to playing my part in the biggest sports event in the world.
    However, I don't buy into all of the hype that's been spread about the games.
    We shouldn't be pinning our hopes on the Games as our last chance of inspiring children to get off the sofa and take part in sport. After all Lord Coe was inspired to take up running by watching the 1968 games from Mexico City, not by an event in this country.

  • Comment number 82.

    PAT THE BAG above makes a brilliant point about how exclusive the games actually are.
    Having to actually subscribe to a special "Olympik Visa card" before you could apply was one of the most cynical gestures. Utterly deplorable and without justification.

  • Comment number 83.

    As someone who is a lifelong sports fan, I am eagerly anticipating the Olympics next year, and I am getting a thrill of excitement from every advert, launch event, athlete interview - in fact anything that is vaguely Olympic-related. That might make me naive, because I know that in the next 366 days there will be a myriad of stories about dodgy ticket sales, scandals affecting officials, overspend etc etc but I don't care, that is what makes us British.
    Luckily, what also makes us British is a passion for sport, a love of big events, support for the underdog (handball is getting a lot of mentions in these posts) and a secret pride when we do something well.
    But after the Games, both Olympic and Paralympic, we will have new heroes/heroines, we will have a surge in interest in minority sports that the governing bodies and sports providers would be fools to miss out on, we will see a temporary lift to the gloomy cloud the country has sat under for a number of years now and the East of London will have undergone a transformation with new parkland, waterways and leisure areas.
    Call me naive, but I for one am going to enjoy the occasion.

  • Comment number 84.

    As the mother of a young woman who is desperately looking to work in the NHS out of loyalty for the bursary that alowed her to get her Honours degree as a Podiatrist I am appalled at the amount of money being thrown at these games. How many much needed NHS workers, Teachers, Dustbin People and others will watch the olympics whilst unnecessarily on the dole....we should have either scaled back or dumped it..just like we are with the young people in this country!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 85.

    To all those who decry the decision to hold the Olympics in London: Other UK cities have tried to bid for the games previously: Birmingham for 1992 and Manchester for 2000. Both finish significantly distant from the winners. If you look at the populations of other UK cities, not one of them has more people than the smallest city bidding for the 2020 games (Doha in Qatar at 998,000). Birmingham comes the closest with 970,000 (2001 census), but obviously Birmingham does not have the oil/gas money behind it. All the other cities bidding for 2020 are cities of truly global importance. (Rome, Madrid, Tokyo, Istanbul, Dubai etc). With all due respect, none of the othe UK cities has the attraction of London to the IOC, and thus would never get chosen. If they were, I would expect a far bigger loss and worse disruption than London would ever have.
    The decision was made that the only way that the UK were ever going to hold it was to use the greatest city that we have, possibly the greatest in the world.
    The rest of the UK should get behind it. Do you reckon Perth or Darwin in Australia moaned this much in 2000? What about Shanghai in 2008? They did not moan. They were unified and got behind their games.
    That should be the most important thing about the 2012 Games - a unified United Kingdom, and an end to seperatist agendas.

  • Comment number 86.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 87.

    What really bugs me, is this event could have provided a lot of Londoners with jobs, but as it happens only 20% of jobs went to locals, the rest went to immigrants.

    An utter shambles.

  • Comment number 88.

    Why are the vast majority of people so pessimistic about the Olympics?
    Can't people just lighten up and enjoy themselves a bit? No wonder the
    Sydney games were the best ever - a nation of people who like to have fun!
    I personally can't wait for them to start. I am not one of the rich people
    who Nelly refers to but I'm looking forward to watching some handball and
    beach volleyball (I think most people who were sensible with their ticket
    choices would have got something, like me). Even if I didn't have any
    tickets it will be brilliant and I'd like to think that the majority of
    people are in agreement.

    For me, the whole thing was summed up by a guy on the BBC London Olympics
    debate last night. I think he was complaining about the traffic problems
    for the two and a half weeks during the Games and how it will adversely
    affect everyone but when asked what he would be doing he said "I've booked
    the two and a half weeks off work". So what exactly is the problem?? Two
    and a half weeks without work and sport on TV all day without having to
    watch Premier League primadonnas doesn't sound like much of a problem to

  • Comment number 89.

    The 2012 Olympics will probably mean to me sitting around a TV screen in the Pub with my overweight Chums, preferably watching anything but the Olympics.
    Seriously though, Forgotten Town has seen a sharp increase in population over the last couple of decades whilst our Sports & Leisure facilities have gone into decline.
    I really have no interest in what is going on because it has nothing to do with me & has little to do with anybody else outside of London because we will see little, if any benefit.
    I agree with 5. Hainba, but have to point out that it’s never been about “us”. It’s all about the Circus & I’m glad I haven’t bought a ticket for the Big Top.
    Whilst millions of Pounds will spent on a favoured few athletes, the great unwashed will get fatter watching it all on the TV eating their fish & chips instead of getting involved with underfunded local initiatives.
    10. Jod:
    I stand corrected, should have written EAST London in my comments.
    Did anybody actually ask you whether you wanted the Olympics before jacking up your Council Tax?

  • Comment number 90.

    I would like it to remembered as a great success for Britain. I hope it might be the opportunity for politicians to reflect on the things that might make life in Britain, and East London in particular, better for the residents and the well being of the capital. My family came from the area across what is now the A12 "East Cross Route" to the immediate west of the Olympic Park. My great grandfather was found drowned in the Channelsea River just to the south of the Park. As a student in the 60s I worked for a printing firm in West Ham and had to collect ink from premises on the Park. Politicians would do well to remember that nothing was done for this area for many, many years. No contamination clean up, no new facilities, no removal of electricity pylons and overhead lines, no new housing, no new transpot infrastructure. Now why would that be? Would it have anything to do with votes?

  • Comment number 91.

    I think the whole thing is obscene. I'm a sports fan but how can you possibly justify spending £9.3 billion !!! on three weeks of sport and a deluge of the jingoistic garbage David Bond posted in his introduction. There are far, far, better ways of using that kind of money. The only purpose of the thing as far as I can see is to let the committees and organisers make themselves shed loads of money.

  • Comment number 92.

    redmorgie has got it I'm afraid. Come the end of September, the 'Olympic family' will be moving on to their next big feed while we look around, blinking, and wonder how the power companies can hike our prices yet again, how a government without a mandate from the people can do so many awful things to us, and why state school kids still have almost no hope of joining the future Olympic organisers at Oxbridge. Wake up people! I love sport, but this is just the largest noses in the deepest trough. Manchester etc never got it because there was never enough in it for the 'Olympic family'!

  • Comment number 93.

    Handball has a massive following in Argentina!

  • Comment number 94.

    Can we PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE stop swallowing the LOCOG spin about being "on budget". London 2012 is £7bn over budget. The budget is the value of the plan that the bid team orginally submitted and the government approved. Anyone can bring a project in under budget if they multiply their original estimate by three. The Games deserves to be a success but LOCOG deserves a good shoeing.

  • Comment number 95.

    I am a sports fan and the Olympics has always excited me since Barcelona '92. Back when London got the Games I was still living in the London burbs and was excited about the Games being in my city and looking forward to getting tickets.

    Fastforward six years and I no longer live in London but the whining about the Games just tells me that loyal sports fans are now the minority in this country which is a bummer because sport(both participating - if you're good enough to not embarrass yourself and your teammates) and spectating is a great icebreaker socially. And yet someone thinks we should have dumped the games? Would any other country in the world consider dumping the Olympic Games even in the current economy?

    More evidence that for whatever reason, Joe Average is just interested in the depressing dailly grind. Special moments like an Olympics on your turf are priceless!

  • Comment number 96.

    i'd like to know how many young people were trained as construction apprentices on the olympic site. not many i suspect. i've tried asking 'construction skills' the sector skills council for construction, yet they seem unable to tell me - probably cos they don't know or are embarrassed to admit the low figure. if Coe wanted to engage and enthuse young people about the olympics then getting some trained and qualified would have been a good way to start. there were meant to be apprenticeship quotas for the olympic construction companies - what happened to that? hollow promises once again.

  • Comment number 97.

    at 92 - Manchester etc never got it because a: they didn't bid for it, and b: THEY DIDN'T BID FOR IT. I do seem to remember them getting the commonwealth games a few years ago and loads being invested in Manchester then and there were probably people moaning then, or after when the stadium was given to City?! And aren't Glasgow getting the CW Games soon too? But lets just scrap any sense of fun in the country and moan instead. Lets moan that no English people got any jobs building anything there. Even the people who fed and housed these "immigrant builders" were probably immigrants themselves. I mean, I wasn't offered loads of money to work on the IT infrastructure for about 2yrs and I wouldn't have paid any tax on that money either (I was, I would've).

    Instead, let's just outsource even our entertainment now. Why not have the premier league played in France so that our transport system isn't clogged every weekend? Do you know how many nurses you could fund if you sold old trafford to a housing developer??

    Doom and gloom - some of you people are unbelievable!!

  • Comment number 98.

    88. SuperGaryHackett wrote:

    “Why are the vast majority of people so pessimistic about the Olympics”?

    Glad to be of assistance here:

    1. Because it’s costing too much money at a time we are being told that the UK is broke.
    2. Because it will not benefit that many people outside of London.
    3. Because local initiatives had their budgets cut to pay for it (even as far back as 2008).
    4. Because sports facilities across the country are being closed or scaled back, so how can people feel “engaged” in the project.
    5. Because many of the so called jobs that were created didn’t even go to UK citizens let alone East London folk.
    6. Because the whole Olympic programme is a Circus that moves from town to town with little interest in the chaos that often gets left behind.
    7. Because the cost of all of this has been pushed onto many people who didn’t even want it in the first place & it will take years for them to pay for it (& they didn’t even get offered cheap seats).

  • Comment number 99.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 100.

    How much is the BOC paying this blogger?

    Read the comments.

    I'm disgusted by the entire olympics debacle and clearly I'm in the majority. Even on a sports blog the majority of people commenting aren't pleased.

    Lets not even pretend they're British olympics. From the comments and behaviour of Seb Coe, it has become crystal clear to me as a Scotsman that these 'games' are neither British nor olympic. Institutionalised racism is not an olympic ideal.


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