Jacques Rogge, the IOC Pres, opened London 2012 with this observation: “And to the athletes I offer this thought: your talent, your dedication and commitment brought you here; now you have a chance to become true Olympians. That honour is determined not by whether you win but by how you compete”. A much-derided clichè, I know, in this world of fast money and instant celebrity. But I suspect that the two camps (pro and anti London 2012) are divided by a simple criterion: have you been a competitor in sport yourself?
If you have pulled on the colours of any school, club, college or wha’ever and played your heart out, you almost certainly respect and revere many of the participants in London. Because you know what it takes just to be selected to represent others in any particular discipline (out of the Olympics’ 36). By contrast, those who have never had any such experience (willy nilly) are likely not to enthuse.
I generalise, of course – wot I’m quick to criticise in others – but I’d be interested to know if I’m right.