In the Wake of London-2012
30 August, 2012
In the Wake of London-2012

It would not hurt if certain constructive and levelheaded conclusions are made in the wake of the now bygone Olympic Games, laconically titled as London-2012. After all, Georgia will soon have to do its share in terms of keeping the world Olympic movement up and going – the European Youth Olympic Festival of 2015 in Tbilisi is just around the corner. We will probably have a dedicated column to this end when time comes, but right now let us have a

quick look back at the London Games in general terms.

 

One most impressive figure comes to mind when we want to categorize the XXX Olympiad – 70 thousand volunteers, coached and instructed in compliance with every sports and ethical rule, known so far to the athletic world. Seventy thousand men and women — the so called Olympic Workforce — of every possible age and ethnic background were at the kind service of the Games’ participants and attendees. They were ubiquitous and unfailingly helpful, impressing all of us with their endless benevolence, perfect ethical bearing and informative readiness. Well, there were occasional blunders and bungles too, but that looked and sounded very regularly human. Elegantly uniformed, they were standing and guarding our safe movement from place to place with genuinely British grace and tolerance, making us feel just at home. The seventy-thousand-strong army of willing-to-be-at-your-service Olympic guardians of good will out there to present the Games as a happy international event, truly strengthening the world piece and making the Olympiad as functional as it needs to be. What a paradigm of civilization and human tolerance! I would love to see Tbilisi in 2015 just as full and ready with the Olympic Work Force of the same standard and qualification. The precedent is set and active – let’s go ahead and use it!

I was also impressed with the stability and functionality of the Olympic Behavior. There are no written rules of the Olympic behavior, but within this huge international crowd, gathered together for just a fortnight’s time in one temporarily chosen spot on the earth, the famous Musketeer rule ‘One for all and all for one’ was fully in action. People were simply over-polite and overly kind, caring, generous and compassionate to each other on the Olympic territory and beyond. Even the regular people in the street and underground were feeling and munificent, ready to help and give a hand if necessary. Smiles were never fading around, gentleness was a popular personal attribute and mutual nicety was an organic feature of the Olympic character. Imagine our beloved Tbilisi loaded with this sort of behavioral model – what a heaven it could be turned into!

Being in the Olympiad gave us a sensation that the entire world was right there and we were a proud part of it, especially with the fulltime accreditation. What comes to mind forcefully is that the entire Planet has as if stopped working and has started watching the Games together. The Olympic venue was the center of the world at that moment and a real nervous plexus of the moment, with all the vectors of communication directed towards that particular eye of the storm.

With the two Olympic languages — French & English — out of which French is officially more formal, English was dominant and heard all over the place – the English language sounding in myriad different accents and tones and outlandish ups-and-downs. So, having as much as a smattering of English, we could easily get around, Actually, all was so well organized and the signs around were so clear and instructive that one had to be an idiot to be confused about directions, plus the Work Force was always poised and in place. Although it was a modern Tower of Babel, the Olympic venue in London made us feel at home at all times and everywhere we went.

In the modern moderately safe world — or rather unsafe world — security rules have become very important, and not just at the airports. I had a tiny pen-knife, hanging on my belt, with which I could not even cut my finger even if you tried hard. At one of the security posts, leading to the Olympic Stadium it was strictly confiscated and never returned to me. Yes, the security in London was that tight and safe. I have not heard of one incident which could have bothered the mind. The municipality and the country itself had done their utmost to guarantee that. Bravo! I expect nothing less than that in Tbilisi in 2015.

Having an accreditation, lots of things were free to access during the Games in London but not all of course. For example, the journalists had to make a payment for the Internet access, and I think it was fair enough to be faced with. Surprisingly, I haven’t felt the extremes of commerciality of the event. The commerce boom was within limits, unobtrusive and with the flavor of indispensability. Spacious toilets worked with great efficiency too.

What was felt most extensively, but quite adequately, was the British enthusiasm and the well-demonstrated sense of patriotism.  At times it was overwhelming. Understandably, the Brits wanted to have it all in their favor, and the got it – the third Olympic place is more than a beautiful reward for all the efforts the United Kingdom had made to render the Games successful. Naturally, the national patriotic outbursts at the stadiums and other venues of events were well comprehended and accepted. Some of the shouts were nuisance and truly bothering but again, the system of the Olympic Behavior would not allow to puck our faces when some over-excited fan screamed the weird encouragements right into our ears.

Both the opening and closing ceremonies were outstanding and comments here make no sense because it was displayed to the observation of the entire world via television. The sporting intricacies of the Games make people nervous because we were there to bring back the medals. Our team was no exclusion from the rule. We wanted as many as we could grab, but alas! Some of the gold medals had escaped us by a cat’s whisker. What a pity!

Sometimes a weird feeling of disturbance and dismay would visit us frankly speaking, especially when the TV news and the newspapers suggested the description of the warring moments in Syria. At times like that, certain painful thought cross the mind – innocent people are dying out there somewhere in the world, in a country as beautiful as this Olympic town, and dying are the people who could have just as happily attended the Games, but...

Anyways, whatever the drawbacks of the contemporary unfair world, the Olympic Games are definitely making it much, much better a place to live and enjoy. We should let it always be in place and working. The Tbilisi 2015 Youth Olympiad is meant to do just that.

 

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