Olymposceptics so wrong, says Boris, London has been called the best Games ever!

Before the Olympics started, the gloomadons were running riot, predicting disaster.  Who can blame our Mayor for pointing out in his Daily Telegraph article, that far from failure, this has been a triumphant success and the most  outstanding success ever.

Boris begins  “Well, folks, this is no time for triumphalism. This is not the moment for   pointless displays of irritating flag-waving jingo. Is it? OK, just a little   bit, perhaps. It was when Mo   Farah surged into the lead again on Saturday night – his slight   frame seemingly buffeted forward by the gusts of acclaim from the crowd –   that it struck me just how amazing these Olympic   Games have really been. And then Usain   Bolt led the Jamaicans to victory in the 4×100-metre relayand   smashed the world record to smithereens, and I really thought things could not go any better for London. 2012.

I have a feeling I am not entirely alone in that view. So it is now, in that   precarious moment of euphoria, that I want briefly to remind you that there   were some people who had their doubts. Oh yes, there were. I don’t propose   to embarrass them by naming them. They know who they are. There were people   who were worried that the transport network would not hold up, and that   there would be delays on the Tube, and that our antiquated systems would not   cope and that there would be a general embarrassment. Remember them?

And as things turned out, the whole network ran so smoothly that the   International Olympic Committee themselves – the hierarchs who were supposed   to be in the Zil lanes – were to be seen on the Tube, because it was simply   the fastest and most convenient way to get around, even though London   Underground has been carrying more people than ever before. Then there were   people who worried about the security, and as things turned out the Armed   Forces personnel worked so well with G4S that huge numbers of people were   moved through the turnstiles with great smoothness and efficiency.

Then there were the media who tried to get a story going about “ghost town” London– until it turned out that spending was up on last year, and that theatre   impresarios such as Lord Lloyd-Webber were actually reporting a 25 per cent   increase in takings; and the media gloomsters only really put a sock in it   when they saw the huge crowds in Hyde Park and the happy carnival atmosphere   that spread throughout the city.

“Boris continues:  “And then there were the people who simply doubted that in these difficult   times we could put on a Games to rival Beijing in 2008. How, asked the   Olympo-sceptics, could we find the And as things turned out, the whole network ran so smoothly that the   International Olympic Committee themselves – the hierarchs who were supposed   to be in the Zil lanes – were to be seen on the Tube, because it was simply   the fastest and most convenient way to get around, even though London   Underground has been carrying more people than ever before. Then there were   people who worried about the security, and as things turned out the Armed   Forces personnel worked so well with G4S that huge numbers of people were   moved through the turnstiles with great smoothness and efficiency.

Then there were the media who tried to get a story going about “ghost town” London– until it turned out that spending was up on last year, and that theatre   impresarios such as Lord Lloyd-Webber were actually reporting a 25 per cent   increase in takings; and the media gloomsters only really put a sock in it   when they saw the huge crowds in Hyde Park and the happy carnival atmosphere   that spread throughout the city.

And then there were the people who simply doubted that in these difficult times we could put on a Games to rival Beijing in 2008. How, asked the   Olympo-sceptics, could we find the put on a Games to rival Beijing in 2008. How, asked the   Olympo-sceptics, could we find the resources and the discipline to match the   sheer pyrotechnic firepower of the Chinese opening ceremony – at least,   without spending our defence budget? Well, as things have turned out I   reckon we have knocked Beijing – with all respect to our Chinese friends,   and greatly though I admired those Games – into a cocked hat.

The opening ceremony, by common consent, was the best in memory. The London   volunteers have been utterly tireless and infectious in their enthusiasm;   the venues have shuddered to the noise of the crowd, skilfully whipped to   fresh pitches of excitement by the masters of ceremonies. Across London   there has been a happy maelstrom of parties and celebration, of a kind that   they tell me was to be found in Sydney – except that in London it has been   everywhere, and not just in the centre. Yesterday I cycled down the canal   towpath to the Olympic Park, through Hackney; and everywhere I looked there   were scenes of riparian merriment of the kind you expect to see at the   Henley regatta. The reason for this outpouring of joy is very simple, and it   is not just that people are conscious that this country has put on a great   show.

It is the Team GB athletes who have stunned us, and the rest of the world,   with their astonishing haul of gongs. Never in my wildest dreams did I think   that British athletes would end up with 29 gold medals, or that Team GB   would be in third place behind America and China. We have not only dwarfed   the Beijing tally. We have decisively laid to rest the ghost of 1948, when   we last hosted the Games in London, and an undernourished and exhausted   British team could barely scrape together three gold medals, and came 12th –   even though Russia and Germany did not even turn up.

As everyone now knows, this is the biggest British medal total since 1908,   when we featured events such as live pigeon-shooting and a tug of war. But   not everyone perhaps appreciates that in 1908 we did not exactly behave in a   spirit of undiluted sportsmanship and fair play. Seizing host-nation   advantage, the British more or less eliminated much of the American   competition by forcing them into the same heats; and as for the famous   victory in the tug of war – which went to the City of London police – it   pains me to relate that the police were allowed to dig in with their   hobnailed boots, while the American finalists were left to scrabble   desperately for purchase with their plimsolls. They protested at the   unfairness of proceedings – to no avail.

This time it is different. In 2012, Team GB has been sporting, generous to   their opponents, and propelled by no stimulant more sinister than McDonald’s   and Coca-Cola; and yet they have won far more gold medals per capita than   their closest rival teams from America, China and Russia. It is a staggering   performance, a tribute to the athletes and all who have helped them on the   way.

Boris concludes  “As we marvel at what they have done, and the general success of the Games so   far, I want to issue a general word of caution to the Olympo-sceptics, who   will be itching to return to their gripes. They will say there will be no   increase in sporting participation, and no economic benefits, and that we   will not succeed in regenerating east London. Well, just remember one thing,   everyone. These Olympo-sceptics were proved decisively wrong about the   Games. They will be proved wrong about the legacy as well. These Games have   not changed us. They have revealed us as we are: people who can pull off   great feats.

London has put on a dazzling face to the global audience. For the first time   since the end of the empire, it truly feels like the capital of the world.”

One response to “Olymposceptics so wrong, says Boris, London has been called the best Games ever!

  1. YAY Boris! You were our star, entitled to be happy!

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