England / London / Olympic Games / Paralympic Games / World Events

Home stretch: 32 days until the London Olympics

Before I post more on Prague I felt an update on the next biggest event in the city was needed.  The jubilee went fairly smoothly without any major setbacks.  If you ignore the rain, the use of people bused in from outside London to be stewards who weren’t paid and slept under bridges (it’s ok, they were only there for a few hours), and the horrific performances by Cheryl and Will.I.Am at the concert.  Besides that all was lovely and slightly boring.

In 32 days the games will kick off.  I am still deciding if I will do regular updates or just a few if anything noteworthy comes up.  When the winter games were on in Vancouver I did watch the opening ceremonies and a bit of the closing.  I was excited for Canada and the same will probably happen once these games get going.

The city has been warning Londoners for some time now that our daily commutes will be interrupted.  There are signs on the road, flyers through our doors, commercials, and constant feedback loops in papers telling us to brace ourselves there will be disruptions.

How badly these delays will be are yet to unfold.  However if the last few weeks are any indication then the prospects don’t look good.  Recently trains have broken down and commuters have had to walk the tracks to get out, Stratford station (on the central line) has flooded, and I was caught on the tube the other day as a defective train ahead of us held us back.  Fun.

Developments:

1)  Follow the torch

If you are wondering where the torch is and who is running with it then you can check out this website which allows you to find out the route here.  The torch will be going up my street and passing by my flat.  I must admit I’m pretty excited about that.  I don’t have tickets to any events, nor do I want them.  I may check out the men’s/women’s bike race as that is happening close to my area.

2) Opening, closing, and victory ceremonies

Details have been released about what these are going to look like.  The opening is going to show case the British country side…um, what?  While the country side is beautiful I feel there is a bit of a disconnect there.  I will reserve judgement for now.

3) Work the Olympics

Jobs seems to be steady trickling now.  Slowly but surely someone realised they would have to pay some people to work these games.  This is great.

4)  Ticket/Torch/It wouldn’t be a world event without some kind of scandal

To be fair the torch scandal is old.  Some people who have carried a torch sold their torches. This article spins it positively, however when the story was first breaking people who were selling them were being looked at negatively.  I say good for them for turning a profit if they can.  I wonder if I would sell my torch if I had one.

Ticket scandal is fairly new.  There are tickets left for the games.  They only cost a couple hundred quid if you have that lying around.  Everyone is trying to capitalise off the games and tickets are being resold at ridiculous prices.  The ticket system is a complete sham.  It could have and should have been done much better.  If the Mayor of the city holding the games doesn’t get tickets then you know there is a problem.

5) Pick pocket tourists

A few months ago buses full of Romanians were coming into the city.  The authorities found out that they were apart of a huge organised criminal effort to separate anyone from their money.  They set up camps, one was by Marble Arch.  That was cleared away and the problem is no longer as visible but I’m sure it is not solved.

6) Transportation

Tube drivers want additional payment for working during the games.  Bus drivers also want more money.  There was a recent bus strike as they continue to negotiate how much this bonus will be.  I say pay them over time if it is accrued but I don’t think they should get more money just for doing their jobs during that busy time.

Jen took off yesterday to head back to Canada but on her last day (Sunday) we went to Stratford to try to get a glimpse of the Olympic park.  This of course is not completely possible as it is closed off to the public unless you went to a test event.  However, it can be viewed from the 3rd floor of John Lewis.  Or through the gate.  Seeing Westfield was interesting too, as there was a lot of press when it opened last year.

Let me know in the comment section if you would like to hear more about the Olympics once it starts.

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10 thoughts on “Home stretch: 32 days until the London Olympics

    • Oh I didn’t see them in person! Only on telly. I think the ceremonies are best watched at home even with missing out on the atmosphere of it all. I didn’t know that Westfield was Australian. There are 2 here now. Coming from North America I don’t see the draw to malls. I prefer browsing small shops.

  1. I was enthralled by Vancouver’s Olympics and I loved the excitement and enthusiasm all over Canada – I thought we put on a pretty good show and we certainly showed that Canadians love Canada! (I did not like that the London organizers were trashing everything they possibly could which left me with a bit of a grudge.) In any case, I hope there aren’t any serious issues.

    I’d be interested in your point of view as the games go on – we only see so much on TV!

    • I was disgusted by the way some of the Brits were covering the Vancouver games. It was bitter and spiteful. The general attitude of the average person however was indifference, many didn’t care as they never do well with winter sports anyways. I thought Canada did a great job with the ceremony performances. It wasn’t Beijing sized as it could never be but I thought it was tasteful and I was very proud.

  2. Pingback: London 2012 Opening Ceremonies « Wanderlust

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