London 2012 is here and it was kicked off by a wonderfully colourful opening ceremony. It is ironic that the London edition of the games picked up and continued where Hitler’s edition stopped – as a propaganda machine for the history and achievements of the host nation. I’m not saying it is right or wrong, I just find it ironic that England chose this template.
Danny Boyle, the film director and mastermind behind the opening ceremony, was reportedly given 29 million to put together this fantastic show and he did a fabulous job of it. But I could not help wondering if this was necessary at all.
Hosting the Olympics is not a cheap proposition anymore. Countries and cities spend millions in the hosting of such events and I believe that the money spent is good. If you had asked a city council to spend millions to improve the city infrastructure, in general, and sports infrastructure, in particular, the chances are you won’t get this kind of budget. The Games will get that kind of money and that kind of improvement. Then there are the jobs it creates while all this infrastructure is put in place.
But an opening ceremony that costs 29 million?
I am not mentioning the currency because in any currency that I know of, this is a huge amount. An amount that can make serious change.
If nothing else, it could help prevent a lot of damage to the already fragile environment.
My perfect opening ceremony would start with a parade by the various contingents, inside the Olympic stadium. After all the athletes had gathered, the world would be welcomed by speeches from the Olympic president and the head-of-state of the host nation. This would be followed by the lighting of the Olympic lamp, administering the Olympic oath and the rendition of the Olympic song and the national anthem of the host nation.
It would be simple. The accent would shift from the personalities involved in the build up to the games to the athletes and the Games itself.