One of the worst things about hosting a global event such as the Olympics
is that no aspect of the occasion escapes scrutiny – even the most insignificant elements. While there are raving reviews about the opening ceremony
in many parts of London
and the United Kingdom, some audiences in other parts of the world thought the event was downright boring and even confusing. The live TV coverage of the event watched by millions throughout the world showed how the city of London has drastically changed since the last time it hosted the Summer Games
in 1948. The spectacle was dubbed by The Guardian
as the “biggest, maddest, weirdest, most heartfelt and lovable dream sequence in British cinema history”.
Meanwhile, there’s been a public row following reports of empty seats
at many stadia since the beginning of the Games. Notably, the basketball clash between the USA and France was expected to be a crowd puller but there were large chunks of empty seats at the arena. In another encounter, more than 65 000 spectators were expected to fill Old Trafford where New Zealand was up against Egypt in first football match of the day, but it was only in the second encounter involving Brazil and Belarus that the venue filled up. It’s now been reported that organisers have offered tickets to students and army personnel to ensure decent crowds in all venues.
But that’s not the worst they had to deal with yet. Last week they had to apologise emphatically to the North Korean women’s football
side who threatened to boycott their game against Columbia after the flag of South Korea
was mistakenly hoisted alongside them. However, in one of the most brilliant moments yet, South Korea’s Im Dong-hyun, who is partially blind, smashed his 72-arrow mark of 696 by three points in archery to register the first record of the 2012 London Olympics in Lords on Friday, 27 July.
Other Olympic records followed, but it was swimmer Cameron van der Burgh
’s that was celebrated the most in SA
after he powered his way to the country’s first medal
in London, clinching gold in just 58.83 seconds in the 100-metre breaststroke. Another SA hopeful Chad le Clos, who missed out in the 400m individual, is now eyeing the 200m on Monday (today) and Tuesday night. However, Banyana Banyana who had two dismal showings against Sweden and Canada respectively are bottom of the table in their group. The country’s hopes
are now resting squarely on the shoulders of other prospects, including world No.1 women’s javelin thrower Sunette Viljoen and middle distance runner Caster Semenya