Well, at last the London 2012 Olympics is over -maybe now I can return to my normal sleeping schedule. Malaysia came away with 1 silver medal from men’s single badminton and 1 bronze medal from women’s diving 10 m platform. Many thanks to those of you who sent messages of congratulations. I am particularly proud of our women’s bronze medal won by Pandela Rinong Pamg as she was not expected to medal at all.
Many thanks also for those of you who sent messages of condolences. It’s true. 2 medals is not much of a tally. But in a way we have been robbed of Olympic glory by the choice of sports in the Games. For example, Malaysia’s Nicol David rules the squash courts. She has won 6 of the last 7 World Squash Open titles. Unfortunately, squash is not a recognised Olympic sport. Despite lobbying efforts, it will also not be introduced during the Rio 2016 games. It was nudged out by the introduction of golf and Rugby 7’s. Now I love Rugby 7’s but find it hard to believe that it has more fans than squash.
Rio 2016 is also replacing windsurfing with kite surfing. Well, if we can replace games, I recommend replacing floor gymnastics with parkour. Talk about bringing the sport out to the people! The second sport that I would recommend is competitive 100 m bungee jumping to replace 10 m diving. In 10 m platform diving, there is only a few seconds for the competitor to entertain the audience with all kinds of twists, turns and somersaults before they hit the water where it is deemed that the less of a splash made when entering the water the better. Well, in 100 m competitive bungee jumping, the competitor has at least 10 times more time to do his/her stunts and then gets to do even more during the rebound and subsequent bounces. Now that is value for money! Also, there is no splash at all unless the bungee cord snaps!
Squirrels would do very well in the sport of nut picking but again, it is not a recognised Olympic sport. Well, if I can’t “nut pick” then by George, I’ll nit pick.
Lone Grey Squirrel’s Nit Picking Report on the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Well, the entire London 2012 Games, including the starting and closing ceremonies and even the stadiums cannot hold a candle to the visual and financial extravagance of the Beijing Olympics. The London Stadium seemed so pedestrian compared to the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing. Still, this squirrel actually liked the more down to earth and less extravagant approach which seems like a sensible thing to do in these difficult economic times. The stadiums and venues may not have been spectacular architectural marvels but they were comfortable, functional and did a good job of showcasing the athletes and their sports. Maybe London 2012 has set the standard for practicality and common sense.
I enjoyed the opening and closing ceremonies but then I have a certain understanding of the history of British culture. I could not help thinking that many global viewers may not know many of the British icons feted in the two shows. The closing ceremony also seemed a bit indulgent to the baby boomers. Much of the music is probably a little inaccessible and even alien to many of today’s young people. For example, I am a fan of the band, Madness, but their heyday was over 30 years ago. My personal favorite was Mr. Bean playing the theme from “Chariots of Fire”.
Many people have said that these have been very friendly games and this does seem to be the case. The whole scene when China’s Liu Xiang (the favorite for gold), pulled his Archiles tendon and crashed out of the 1st heat of the 110 m hurdles competition represented everything good about good sportsmanship. Despite the pain, Liu Xiang hopped along to complete the course long after the race was over and his fellow competitors helped him to his bench after he crossed the finish line. Good show all around. This is also the games in which a double amputee successfully makes it into a semi final race in competition with full abled competitors.
The saddest and most shameful scene involved the South Korean fencer Shin A Lam who appears to have been robbed of her place in the women’s epee final by what appears to be a mistake made by the timekeeping official which allowed Shin’s opponent to score a point after the time should have expired. She was such a forlorn figure sitting on the stage by herself for close to an hour because of rules that say that she would forfeit her appeal if she left the stage. The final decision was also unsatisfactory and the offer to give her a medal for sportsmanship very insulting. A sad Olympic ending for an athlete who had trained hard for 4 years for a medal. Shin, I applaud you and say shame to the FIE.
Overall, despite some early screw-ups, these have been well executed games that impressed by showcasing the sports and athletes instead of fanciful infrastructure and that is a good thing I think. So City of London and the British people win by a unanimous decision over Mitt Romney.