Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Olympic Notes

Enjoyed the Olympics far more than I thought I would. I guess it started with the torch relay, which I wanted Ava to see. The crowds for the relay through Pontypridd were huge, and that got interest growing.

And as for opening ceremonies, they are usually cheesy, confusing and full of weird dance routines. 2012 was exactly the same, but somehow it worked as a brilliant ceremony that was completely barking and completely British (& N Irish).

BBC coverage was an improvement on the Jubilee nonsense, but their continuing use of recently retired athletes means that there is never any criticism of the British athletes - as usually they are all mates. I'll let them off the excitement over Mo Farah, but generally the coverage was sycophantic. Gary Spinneker was as useless as ever ("how does it feel?") and John Inverdale was an excited schoolboy most of the time.

Clare Balding was the best of the anchors, and Michael Johnson was cool and rational. The coverage of the diving (mostly on the red button) was excellent, and Leon Taylor was spectacularly knowledgeable.

The BBC coverage itself was so biased towards British athletes that if they wasn't a Brit then it never appeared on TV. Jess Ennis and the heptathlon was wall-to-wall, the decathlon (no significant Brits) got probably a minute. Ennis' win whilst carrying the weight of expectation of the entire British public was a wonderful achievement.

Best moment? Grenadian sprinter Kirani James winning his heat and then shaking hands with the rest of the field before going to Oscar Pistorius to exchange shirt numbers.

Worst moment? The realisation that all of the sporting coverage for the next four years will again be soccer. How does that provide sporting role models for young girls? Victoria Pendleton or John Terry? Jess Ennis or Wayne Rooney? Gawd help us.

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