Monday, 20 August 2012

Ok, so I got there late, but I got there. No, I'm not talking about making a blog post after a couple of months' absence, but about watching the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games. I hadn't recorded them so when Lorraine said she'd like to see them, I figured we had better get on with it as I didn't know how long they would remain available for, out there on the 'net. I approached the task with some anticipation of an enjoyable watch, as most of the reviews I'd read had been kind.

Since the Games have generally been viewed as a great success for this country, and it has to be said that we did punch above our weight when it came to medal wins, although of course the jury is out as far the ongoing legacy is concerned, I don't want to be too negative about the closing ceremony. But I sure am glad I didn't pay good money to be there! I mean, very nice and all that to be treated to an eclectic mix of British musical pop acts from about the 60's onwards, all glammed up in a variety of o so British ways, but I think I would have been experiencing a good deal of fatigue with it all after an hour or so. Prince Harry didn't look too wowed as he was caught clapping towards the end. But maybe I was projecting my feelings onto him. At least I had the advantage of being able to fast forward the proceedings. Please, couldn't we have seen and savoured every one of those fantastic moments when our athletes were coming in for gold or for their place, with some of the bands providing more of a background rather than the main event? What a wasted opportunity!

However, just in case you didn't see it yourself, I have to say that there was at least one must see moment! It was replayed another two times and by the third time tears of laughter were rolling down our cheeks. The games committee had left one medal ceremony for the very end. It was the Marathon. Now as well as giving out medals, small bouquets of flowers are also given to the medal winners. People of high standing within the Olympic world had been chosen to distribute the honours at the closing ceremony. The moment came and the gold medal was placed around the victorious Kenyan's neck. All good. Then came the flowers. To watch this was purest delight. The person designated with the high honour of giving the flowers in front of thousands watching, nay, millions, if we include television viewers, approached the bouquets lying on the tray held by a helper, stretched out his hand, and grabbed the flowers by their heads. I could hardly believe we had just watched such a metaphor of carelessness or disregard. But we had. We wondered aloud if it would happen a second time. Before our unbelieving eyes, it did. We were by now laughing uncontrollably. Would it, could it, happen a third time? It did! Tears of laughter were streaming down our faces. It made that comic moment of clumsy self conscious flag waving by Boris Johnston look pale by comparison.
So if you can, have a look. If you are able, go online, and find that moment. It nearly made the total amount of time we spent on watching it, worthwhile.

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