The games that can’t be named (or Sports Day for grown ups) is almost here. Olympic lanes are now open on some of the stretches of roads in and around London and rush hour traffic gets just that little bit more irritating.
Sports day comes with much fanfare and a lot of pomp and ceremony (and we do love a bit of pomp and ceremony). Excitement for millions, but equally there are plenty of people that forecast much doom and gloom ahead. Is it good for the country? What will happen to the infrastructure once the 18 days of sport are over? What effects will this have on the Eastenders schedule?
Me, I’m not too fussed either way. Athletics (running) doesn’t exactly set my world on fire, but the fascination with the torch relay does have me intrigued. I don’t know why, but I always had it in my head that this ceremonious trek was a predetermined route direct from Greece to the chosen location. In my head it was like that scene in Forrest Gump, where he “just kept runnin'”.
But it’s not like that, is it.
What it seems to be, in true Engl… sorry, British fashion, is a chance for celebs to go on a bit of a paparazzi jog around town centres and cities followed by a cavalcade of well wishers and flag wavers. The torch, for several parts of the journey has even been stowed away in a van or at best, hidden under a brolly.
The route (at first glance at least) looks like it’s been designed by some of this countries greatest town planners. You know the sort of people. The ones that put speed bumps just where you don’t want them, and design one way systems that would make Ikea scratch it’s collective head.
A quick stroll along the pit straight at Brands Hatch, a go on the London Eye and it even popped on the tube. The torch doesn’t represent the Olympic Gods, it represents the common garden tourist, but you know what… that’s ok. It all feels very British. I’m fully expecting to see the torch sitting on a park bench having just stepped off a London bus, sipping a cup of tea with a bag of royal postcards by it’s side and pigeons at it’s feet…