Thursday, 26 July 2012

London's got its swag on

We’re a heartbeat away from the greatest show on earth. So what’s it like to be in London right now? I sent my roving reporter to investigate. The banners are up, a buzz is in the air, and the countries of the world have started to arrive.

John Lewis’s advertising agency has done it again with a fantastic building wrap on its flagship store on Oxford Street.

Check these banners out… glorious Regents Street has been kitted out with flags from all over the world.

What else? Well, there’s the dulcet sounds of Boris Johnson’s voice which have, until now, been pumped around the underground, advising commuters to ‘be prepared!’ But as roving reporter says, ‘We haven’t had an event in London like this ever before, so even Boris can’t know what town is going to be like. It’s a case of think the worst and hope for the best’. To date, in true Brit style, the glass half empty approach has been prevalent. But this isn’t unique to London 2012.

It’s almost laughable now, but Sydneysiders were adamant their transport system would fail in the run up to Sydney 2000. It didn’t, and their games were heralded as possibly the most successful of all time. Barcelona was the same, Athens was apparently doomed, and who can forget the baggage Beijing came with (human rights, smog, etc)?

So it’s with a surge of pride that I’m delighted the media is reporting record crowds turning out in London today to see the penultimate day of the torch relay. A BBC programme last night called Britain’s Olympic Torch Story told the tales of courage and dedication from ordinary people around the country. (I may have shed a tear or two!) A plethora of similar programmes have started to be shown this week, at last.

It seems the temperature is rising, literally and generally in the city. So I’ve got a good feeling that we might be able to improve upon Sydney 2000. Just a bit.

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