MICHAEL PEARLMAN SAYS: Ceremony had a licence to thrill
11:00am Tuesday 31st July 2012 in Columnists
ULTIMATELY like every other Olympic Games, London 2012 will be defined by the sporting action.
There are of course exceptions, the Munich Olympics for example, while men such as Jesse Owens and Tommie Smith and John Carlos have occasionally transcended the sporting action.
But largely, it’s the action that sticks in the memory. Few people wouldn’t name Kathy Freeman as the first thing they’d associate with Sydney and Michael Phelps for Beijing and that’s as it should be.
Off the track and outside of the pool and other arenas, so far it has been a mixed bag for Olympic organisers.
Genuine issues have arisen such as the embarrassing cock-up with the wrong Korean flag being displayed while it boggles the mind that the £240million aquatic centre (which came in three times over budget) presents a restricted view for some punters, especially with the diving. Sight lines should be guaranteed.
Even the Olympic cauldron where the fire burns brightly isn’t visible to all in the Olympic stadium. These are all issues that will remain newsworthy only if the Games fail to ignite in terms of the action, which seems unlikely. And we’ve already witnessed one genuine triumph in terms of the worldwide perception of Great Britain with the splendid opening ceremony.
I normally find opening ceremonies about as interesting and worthy of my time as an Andrew Lloyd Webber or Simon Cowell ‘talent’ show (as in, I’d rather watch paint dry). But the effort from Danny Boyle was superb and the moment with the Queen interacting with James Bond will be remembered decades from now.