The London Olympics have come to a spectacular end and we have enjoyed following them, sharing some great English music, and more music, and more… and discussing some of the pitfalls that can come with organizing the world’s largest sporting and cultural event. Our Man On The Ground and contributing writer, Daniel Owen, has wrapped up the The Olympics in a nice little bow for us - signage debacles notwithstanding.
by Daniel Owen
A year on from riots that shocked the world, a phoenix has risen out of London’s ashes this summer. The Olympics may have drawn to a close this weekend but its legacy will live on long after its finish after being declared a success by the majority of the World’s media.
The build up to the Olympics wasn’t easy, with only days to go mistakes were being made; Westfield’s, one of the UK’s largest shopping centres, apologised for having signs in Arabic that were “pretty much unintelligible” and North Korea walked off the pitch during their opening game for over an hour after a mix up which saw the South Korean flag appear next to the North Korean players on the score board.
Then the wonder of the Olympic opening ceremony occurred. The opening ceremony, directed by Danny Boyle, displayed what Britain could do and what the Olympics are actually about; sporting achievement, showmanship, excitement, friendship and the Queen jumping out of a helicopter with James Bond. After the opening ceremony it seemed nothing could go wrong, neither the British summer showers nor allegations of drug use could rain on this parade.
Questions have always been asked during the Olympics about doping and cheating. Because of this ½ of the athletes faced random drugs tests at London 2012 and all gold, silver and bronze medal winners faced obligatory drug tests. Britain’s near domination in the Velodrome (Winning 7/10 possible golds) caused French cycling performance director Isabelle Gautheron to claim Britain had “magic wheels” before being quickly reminded that the wheels were actually produced by a French company and widely available in the sports market; still 70% of French people polled recently believe that Britain cheated somehow. The head of British cycling shrugged this off stating it was down to “the aggregation of marginal gains” and having the best cyclists in the world. China was also accused very early on of cheating by an American swimming coach after their swimmer Ye Shiwen won gold and knocked 5 seconds off of her personal best, something that many swimmers quickly put down to her growth and youth.
Quickly countries from all over the world were competing to get as high up the medal table as they could. Gold, silver and bronze were the only colours that mattered now, regardless of where you came from.
This Olympics created legends, Michael Phelps ended his career as the most highly decorated Olympian ever after picking up his 22nd Olympic medal (18 of which are gold), Ben Ainslie became the best sailor of all time after picking up a fourth gold and the Jamaican track team dominated the sprinting competitions with Usain Bolt winning both the 100 metres and 200 metres, retaining his title from the Beijing Olympics and saw Jamaica placed 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the 200m final.
Whether you’ve watched a lot or a little of the Olympics the show has been captivating. The Olympics have been viewed as a success around the world with German paper Der Spiegel having to eat their words after publishing an article before the Olympics claiming the games would be “one big, soggy mess” . What have you made of the Olympics?
Daniel Owen – Recruitment Consultant for Euro London Appointments, Multilingual Recruitment Specialists. Daniel has written for us twice before (links below) and has a unique perspective to offer our readers in regard to what employers are looking for when it comes to bi- or multilingualism in the workplace and in the job market.
Euro London Appointments: http://www.eurolondon.com/work-for-us