Friday, August 24, 2012

My Own Olympics Top Ten


Just when you thought it was all over, the newsstands are heaving with souvenir editions of our beloved Olympics and I can feel the love again.

Journalists are still gushing happy and glorious and all fingerwagging about legacy and ROI have abated, albeit momentarily.

Aside from the frequent blubbing and screams of encouragement at the box in the corner, I have largely tried to keep all hints of emotion the Olympics stirred in me under dignified wraps. But since it's been over I've had time to reflect on all those little moments, sights and sounds that will stay with me, and have, in my mind, returned exponentially on the little bit of investment my own taxes may have contributed to the games. My own personal 'lympic legacy then, stuff that I won't forget in a hurry, I have compiled into a top ten and it goes like this:
1) Evelyn Glennie - her hair flying, blown by the wind and the sheer force of her all-body pounding of those drums was a mesmerising, tribal, heart-thumping start to proceedings.
2) Underworld's Caliban's Dream - Not only was their musical direction flawless throughout the opening ceremony, their own sublime composition has stayed with me ever since and reminded me of key scenes in Danny Boyle's masterpiece. They wanted to "leave people with a musical memory of the show as well as a visual one." They so did.
3) The Queen - enough (been) said.
4) Jessica Ennis - powering past those longer-legged competitors in the home straight, when to win gold, SHE DIDN'T NEED TO! What drive. What focus. What an achievement. She deserved eight golds.
5) Mo Farah's face - over the 5000m finish line. Possibly the most beautiful, expressive, emotive face in the world.
6) David Beckham - there throughout, from London's bid through to skippering the torch so masterfully on its final leg along the Thames to the stadium. Couldn't have done it better. What an ambassador. Deservedly cast.
7) Daley's trunks, along with the man inside them of course, but the trunks - so tiny, just how did they stay on?
8) Spice Girls and black cabs - Pure pop splendour
9) The Olympic Cauldron - The most beautiful, ingenious, emotive, and democratic Olympic Cauldron of all time.
10) Finally, Seb Coe's longsightedness. It's quite clear to me how he oversaw preparations so effectively and kept everyone in check. One of those lingering peers over his specs as demonstrated during his opening and closing speeches is enough to stop anyone in their track and field. Ooh la la.