How Can London Top This?
I loved the Beijing Olympics. The performances were incredible, the ceremonies were spectacular, The Bird's Nest was stunning. So how can London follow this? We can never attempt to emulate this type of event, but instead we need to play to our strengths. Here's some suggestions.
1. Focus on the Individual Not the Collective
During the ceremonies we should focus on individual creative flair rather than the mass co-ordination that the Chinese are so good at, showcasing our global stars of music, theatre, etc.
There should be much less of a corporate feel and there should be the opportunity for different communities to come to the fore.
2. Showcase the Whole of London
Ensure that the world sees all of London rather than just the Olympic Park. It's great that other fabulous settings such as Lord's, Wimbledon, Regent's Park and Wembley will feature in the Games. I remember seeing a lot of Barcelona during their games. We should show off the beauty of London.
3. Create a Party Atmosphere
When Germany held the World Cup, they set up big screens in public places. We should do the same and encourage communal viewing of the big events. There should be a real sense of celebration everywhere with street parties and free public events. We should make the Olympics feel light hearted, entertaining and slightly eccentric. Boris set the tone with his 'ping pong's coming home' speech. More of the same please.
4. Involve The Fans More
In Beijing not all the stadia were full for various reasons. We should ensure that true fans get a chance to go to the events so the crowds can create an intense, passionate atmosphere everywhere.
5. Ignore the Cynics
We're brilliant at negativity in the UK, constantly predicting disaster and moaning about how crowded London will be, how we'll mess everything up, etc. The organisers must ignore and ride through all this and not let the cynicism drive us down.
6. Focus on the Legacy
After the Games we should ensure that everyone has an opportunity to use the facilities and that they don't become empty testimonies to extravagance. We should involve, children and schools before and during the Games so they develop a love of sport and get a chance to develop their talents.
I'm SO looking forward to London 2012. It's a privilege to be given the opportunity to host them and I think they're going to be amazing.