Anticipation on the Start Line

by Lorne Mitchell on 26/07/2012

It has been an unusually busy and hot week for this time of the year.  I was in London today and noted a calmness and lack of buzz which is, perhaps due to the fact that many have started their holidays.  Yet the over-shadowing anticipation of the start of the Olympic Games tomorrow is plastered-in-pink across the underground and railway stations.  And Boris’ announcement to “get ahead of the games dot com” has become as familiar as the announcement about the sequence of train stations down the line from London Bridge to Ramsgate.

I was therefore struck by a poster from BA which I noticed first today and it got me thinking:

I am proud to be a Brit.  I was very excited by the Games being held in London.  Yet I do not find I am overly-excited by the fact that the games are now on the starting line.  This might be partly due to the fact that I applied for several hundred pounds worth of tickets and received none.  It might also be due to the fact that the disruption in London over the next six weeks is going to affect my business (quite by how much I am not sure).  However, the poster above somehow hit a nerve.  I am going on holiday in France (driving) – so am not flying anywhere.  Yet even if I wanted to sing the anthem, no one in TEAM GB would be listening.  I don’t feel part of the Games.  If anything, I feel they are a virus taking over the city that is where I work and sometimes play.

That, in itself, got me thinking about “The Game”.  You are either a player, a spectator or somewhere else altogether – neither playing nor watching the game.  In so many things we do (and play at), we are spectators.  Yet we often forget that there are many who are not interested in watching what we watch – and are most definitely not interested in watching us play our particular game.  As the world becomes more populated, it is interesting how the Olympics has such reach – and will have so many spectators.  Whatever sport interests you, perhaps the greatest spectator event will be tomorrow night’s opening ceremony.  The anticipation of the flame being lit.  The anticipation of a well-rehearsed once-in-a-lifetime show of Britishness.  Let’s hope it does not rain.  And that there are enough Brits in the audience to sing the National Anthem!  Good luck TeamGB – even if I won’t get a chance to see you in the flesh.

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