UK 2012 – the nation’s Olympic Games
The UK is enjoying a summer of flag waving and we all have good reason to do so with the Jubilee, Euro 2012 and next up the Olympics. But whereas the Jubilee is a national event to be excited about, is the brand ‘London 2012′ for London or the nation?
While in Bewdley in rural Worcestershire over the weekend I was surprised to find a ‘London 2012′ banner over the local museum’s front door. And it wasn’t a fake. Inside the entrance was some artwork presumably created by local school children with their own logos, pictures of the opening ceremonies; using paints, pens and glue, you know the type of thing.
The thought that then occurred to me was how odd that an event over a hundred miles away should be advertised in this sleepy rural town. Even stranger was that when I returned home to central Birmingham I saw banners and signs for London 2012. I had noticed these before Bewdley, but thought that since Birmingham was to host the Jamaica and USA teams (Alexander Stadium will be their training ground), Birmingham had simply been drafted in to help and that it was really a ‘London thing’.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I have for some time been very excited by the Olympics coming to London, but I didn’t see it as a UK thing. I felt that the country would take pride maybe in the thought of our capital city being the host but beyond that, it wouldn’t really affect the whole of the UK. But it has. London 2012 has (I feel) transcended the idea of it being a London-centric thing and I really feel it is about this country as a whole; and it actually always was.
So, if you hear anyone saying the 2012 Olympics are purely a London thing just point out that the enthusiasm for this event is so great that the nation as a whole will be infected and that they will too; in the end.
I myself have already succumb to the London 2012 virus since I have had a badge on my bag for the last 3 months and when the torch went through Birmingham, I was honoured to hold it briefly before the Olympic flame was carried through my city by scores of ordinary yet extraordinary folk who have caught the Olympic bug, as others have in villages, towns and cities across the UK and not just in London.
So, Bewdley was spot on with its banner and Olympic pictures created by local children. This is for the nation and not a London-centric event. After all events like this just doesn’t happen every day!!