London 2012; A Failure for the People

I’ll admit, when we won the Olympic bid all those years ago I wasn’t that fussed. I thought it was cool that London was going to host the games. I thought it would offer great redevelopment and employment and, having been a fan of watching the athletics before, I had a sense of pride that I’d be able to go and see the games in my city. But I wasn’t other enthused about it. After the bid it disappeared from the limelight for a couple of years before it burst onto the scene earlier this year. To buy tickets or not to buy tickets? But of course…if I didn’t go I’d be devastatingly disappointed and regret not having made an effort, so, £1,000 of tickets were bid for.

As you’ll have predicted, I got nothing. Absolutely nothing. Oh, but’s it ok, there’ll be a second round of tickets. Yes, for events which no one really wants to see and at a higher price. Yes, but there’ll be free events such as the marathon and road cycling. Ok, but that will just remind me that I didn’t get tickets, that I can’t get into the park to participate, and that I can’t enjoy the stunning new venues you’ve built for a so called legacy.

Whilst private firms, established companies, and foreign nations have seemingly been given tickets to allocate as they wish, our supposedly tech-savvy officials had the fairest lottery way. So by fair, one person gets £5k worth of tickets whilst hundreds of thousands get none? With the outrageous expense of the games, I can’t fathom why a piece of software wasn’t created to allocate everyone one pair of tickets for an event, before going round and round allocating the remaining tickets. We have the internet…creating pictures and text out of electrical impulses. We have televisions picking up video images from, basically, the air. A simple piece of allocating software was not much to ask for was it? And whilst I grappled to try and get tickets, those in other countries just logged on, filled their virtual baskets, and off they went.

But, it’s not just the ticket allocation that’s riled me. In Weymouth, a 7 foot fence has been approved for erection along the seafront to stop people trying to get views of the boating. Wasn’t this an event for the people? To be proud as a nation of our sportsmen and women? But now, even though beaches are public spaces, views will be sealed off to all but those with tickets.

The AWFUL mascots meanwhile, supposed to inspire children to get involved in sports, cost £850 a time if a school wants to hire them. £850! With only four schools currently taking up the offer it seems that Olympic money has been spent on development and creation of something which simply can’t be utilised. And for the very schools which most need to inspire kids, and those in none affluent areas, students WILL miss out.

I was finally riled beyond belief today when it was reported that Olympics officials were urging Londoners to avoid public transport next year during the games and to walk, cycle or work from home. This is the LONDON Games. This was a games for the people. This was a games where London, particularly the poorer East End, was to have redevelopment and rejuvenation with transport links becoming smooth, efficient and second to none. Yet now, they want the hundreds of thousands of people who are hugely disappointed by their lack of tickets, to shun public transport in the hottest months of the year and walk and cycle to work? Shame on you London 2012 Committee. Shame on you.

For an event which is supposed to bring the nation together, to celebrate sport and, in particular, create a fantastic atmosphere in London, all they have managed to do is fragment celebrations between the favoured few and the disappointed masses. For Londoners, for those who will have to put up with the Olympic buzz on our doorsteps, and lest we not forget the expense that Londoners have had to pay for this event, we have been failed. We have had our excitement raised only to be crushed. We have had promises fail to materialise. And now we are being asked to shun the very city that we live in to free up public transport for others. And whilst I shouldn’t, I am now hoping that this disaster comes crashing down around the Olympic Committee’s ears.

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