Forget the medal count. It seems the real competition for London is the amount of whingeing that can be achieved even before the flame has been lit. In deference to stereotypical norms, my adopted country (yes a former Pom am I) has tried hard to top the podium, with AOC head honcho John Coates taking the lead with persistent moaning about the apparent lack of financial support for Australian athletes. He topped it all off when a busy PM chose a really quite important UN summit in Brazil over an athlete farewell dinner in Melbourne.
Then Ric Charlesworth, coach to the Kookaburra’s, chimed in, complaining incessantly about the bounciness of the hockey field, its luminescent colour and early bully offs for his charges, forgetting perhaps that his opponents face exactly the same injustices. Our rowers dipped their oars in and complained that the journey to Eton Dorney (via the M25) might have a bit of traffic on it! Well I never… on a motorway, who’d have thought!?
It seemed the gold was in safe keeping Down Under until the Poms’ long years of training came to the fore. June saw the UK drenched more than ever before, so obviously the weather became a major point of contention, but it’s not like it’s anything out of the ordinary?
The iconic black cab drivers did their bit to push Team GB up the table with their rant against traffic lanes reserved for the ‘Olympic Family’, and the media have weighed in with an overwhelming sense of dread and foreboding that likens 2012 London to that of the war torn 1940s. And to top it all off it seems that the British public are failing to embrace the Games and are reportedly ‘disinterested’ in the whole 15 billion dollar shebang.
The battle lines have been drawn, but one Pom whose Olympic glass is far from half empty is London Mayor Boris Johnson. He told his carping constituents to ‘put a sock in it’. Quite.