My understanding of the Olympic Games seems to be a bit out of step.
I actually thought that it was about the celebration of the sporting pinnacle of what can be achieved by the human mind and body, with representatives from around the globe competing for the ultimate sporting prize, an Olympic gold medal.
But for me, the messages are mixed.
The press is telling me about the apparent fiasco surrounding the security for the games, the carnage on the roads and how ordinary taxpaying road users are coming second to the ‘elite’ whoever they are, taking advantage of the exclusive lanes our Motorways. Not forgetting that the forecasters are predicting rain for the opening ceremony.
Our politicians are telling me that the Games are a great opportunity to show that we are open for business, that the Games will be a massive boost for the economy and that income will flood into the country, providing they can get past the border controls in time. They are squabbling about whose fault it is, whilst our armed forces clear up the mess.
The unions are saying that the games are an opportunity to make a point, to put the focus on working conditions, pensions, and the fact that it’s all very unfair. However the very people that they are targeting will probably be completely unaffected by their actions, as no doubt they have a fleet of limos and helicopters on standby. The rest of us will queue, curse, sweat or just not bother at all.
The sponsors have insisted on exclusive use of the logo it appears. It is my understanding that small businesses have been forced to remove window decorations, shop displays and other well intended attempts to show support for the event, money may buy exclusivity of the logo but I would suggest that it is not in keeping with the true spirit of a competitive games. Do the competitors fear the competition so much that they insist that they don’t turn up and then threaten to sue them if they do?
I’m also not sure that I understand the link between the pinnacle of human performance and the mainstream message from the advertising. It is unlikely that the competitors are using sugary fizzy drinks, fast food and alcohol to achieve and sustain high levels of performance, but the sub-conscious mind will attempt to make a link, as probably intended of course.
It is more likely to be dedication, discipline, high quality nutrition, water, intensive training, sacrifice, hard work and a commitment to being the best they can be.
For me that’s a message worth listening to.