Sunday, July 29, 2012

London 2012 - The Olympic Games Here At Last

After much anticipation, Friday evening saw the opening ceremony set the scene for the
sporting extravaganza that is the Olympic Games. Danny Boyle’s creative
brilliance captured the imagination of the world whilst carefully leading us on
a journey through British history.  Sat in row 4, a short throw (for me)
from the action, it was hard to know where to look to take it all in. Simply
put, it was brilliant and, of course, just a prelude to the real drama of the
greatest show on earth - and the sport.

Day 1 saw a mixed bag of fortune
with the British cycling team ‘off the pace’ in the men’s road race - are we
allowed to suggest that this is down to a Tour de France hangover? Mark Cavandish
dismissed the suggestion with contempt.  Whatever the reason, it’s now over to
Bradley Wiggins to shine. Perhaps the action in the veladrome will start the
(possibly prematurely labelled) Gold-rush?

There is so much action in the
first week of sport at the Olympic Games. Early on, Italy sit behind China on
the medal tables, interesting that they are the only nation to offer over
£100,000 per gold medal achieved - an unparalleled incentive to its
champions.  Could that be the reason they beat the much fancied Americans in
the archery? Surely not! It’s the Olympics! Interestingly, TeamGB is the only
team in the top 10 from Beijing who do not offer any incentive at
all.

One thing is for sure, London has already charmed and wowed us all
in these early stages. The stadia across the capital look fantastic while the
sport has been unpredictable and brilliant. Champions have already fallen, new
ones have been made and the uncertainty that Olympic sport offers continues to
allow us all to wallow in the fortune and passion of others’ dreams
unfolding.

Finally the Olympics is here and we are already being reminded
of the fragile nature of competitive sport and the tiny margins between winning
and losing. This is what makes the Olympics so great and such a compelling
global spectacle.

Bring on the athletics!

Steve Backley is part of
the BBC5live team at the London Olympic Games

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