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mjb22 last won the day on April 2 2013

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  1. ...and why not, exactly, given the Games' 'birth' at Stoke Mandeville?
  2. There is an element of 'shooting the messenger' in your response to my post. All I was relating were the views of one member of the IOC who I once happened to get the opportunity to ask. I can't pretend to know this person well nor, indeed, am I likely to get the opportunity to meet them again but the single most important factor, he thought, in Paris' loss of 2012 was that they were an 'arrogant' bid team who hadn't done much 'groundwork' was the word that he used. He also said that a lot of other IOC members who he had spoken to felt that London had worked exceptionally hard and that Paris had breezed in and assumed that the Games was theirs. Now put your guns away and don't 'shoot the messenger' again.
  3. In my view (and the view of a Swiss member of the IOC who I once met!) London won for three main reasons: (i) Seb Coe's leadership of the bid team. The fact of the matter was that most members of the IOC 'just trusted him.' (ii) The presence (and lobbying ability) of Tony Blair and, indeed, of his wife, Cherie and (iii) London's appeal was better than Paris' on the day. This was to do with the presentations and the fact that Paris was regarded by some (including by the Swiss IOC representative) as an 'arrogant bid.'
  4. With regards to the 1996 race (in 1990) some people seem to be ignoring the levels of arrogance demonstrated by the Athens bidding team. They considered themselves as almost having a 'God-given right' to stage the Games in 1996 as it was the Centennial edition. I definitely recall this being given as a prime reason why the IOC had opted for Atlanta rather than Athens.
  5. Well, if Thorpe didn't make it in 2012, how is he going to make it in 2016?!
  6. As regards the Atlanta victory in 1996, I get the feeling that the Olympic movement were still grateful to LA'84 for putting the Games back on track. These were the days of the boycotts, remember, and major cities were simply not interested in bidding for the Games. 1980, 1984 and 1988 were hardly competitive bidding processes but of the 1980s Games, LA stands out as by far the best. Perhaps in 1996, there was a certain amount of 'payback' for the Americans.
  7. I've been to (Summer only): Athens Paris London (for the Games) Stockholm Los Angeles Rome Tokyo Montreal Barcelona (for the Games) Sydney and Beijing Going to Moscow this Summer and would like to visit Berlin and Rio.
  8. I have just decided to go to the Moscow World Athletics Championships! Compared to London 2012, it is absurdly cheap! I literally paid more for an ice-cream at London 2012 than I could get a ticket for, for the Men's 100m final in Moscow!!
  9. Beijing, I agree did. Athens didn't. It just leaves me totally cold.
  10. ^^Ok, I take your point about the 'time and progress' theme and perhaps that was not made clear in the BBC coverage which i will have watched. I'm obviously not going to agree with your points about the 'very, very boring' elements of the London ceremony after the forging of the rings, however? Was the Head of State in a James Bond-skit boring? Was the Mr Bean sketch boring? Did not London attempt to liven up the - traditionally boring - athletes' parade with a soundtrack including 'Mr Blue Sky' and 'Stayin' Alive?' What did you find 'boring' about the NHS/children's literature segment? Was J. K. Rowling's reading not long enough? Was Voldemort too short? Weren't there enough Mary Poppinses? Was the lighting of the Cauldron 'boring?' From where I was sitting, all I heard were gasps of astonishment. The Chinese woman net to me turned to me and said: "That's amazing," as the petals rose up and the woman from Texas on the other side of me couldn't say anything because she was in tears. Were the fireworks at the end to the strains of Pink Floyd, 'boring?' You may not have liked what happened after the forging of the rings sequence but I find the use of the word 'boring' to describe much of what happened afterwards, very curious indeed.
  11. I totally disagree. It was one of the very few Olympic Opening Ceremonies WITH a consistent thread! The unifying theme was revolutions: industrial and technological. The event programme (and media guide) explain this very well and the audience were then dependent upon their commentators for explanation, if they hadn't appreciated the overriding theme themselves. I don't want to get into dissing the Beijing OC because I loved it but there really wasn't an overarching theme to the narrative, other than perhaps, "We're a very big international player now and we can do BIG things!"
  12. In my view, it had one of the worst! I've seen every one since 1976 and Athens' was the least enjoyable, in my opinion! Well, we are never going to agree on Olympic ceremonies because, for me, London's was the best of all time. It beat my previous favourite of Barcelona in 1992.
  13. Illustrado: "you forgot to add that during the remembrance portion of 'pandemonium', the audience were signaled to stand in respect." I did say that if I had had more time, then I would have come up with other examples. By the way, the audience (or at least my section of it) were not motioned to stand up. The audience did so spontaneously. I don't think the organisers expected or anticipated it. Volshy: Hello! My take on the 'rugby inclusion' is the same as yours. I think it was no more than to just include the other UK nations, especially the Welsh, who are doing rather well in Six Nation tournaments, at the moment, I believe :-))
  14. There are an awful lot of so-called 'observations' regarding the London 2012 opening that I disagree with but I would like to put one to bed immediately: the notion that the audience in the Stadium would not have felt 'involved' in the performance such was it's 'passive' nature. I was at the Opening Ceremony of London 2012 and I could not have felt more involved! A few examples spring to mind immediately and more would if I had the time to think about it: Firstly, the 'pixel devices.' Members of the audience were encouraged at various points in the Ceremony to remove them from their stands and effectively 'play' with them! That might be move them back and fore in time to some of the music or simply give them a hearty wave and form part of the patterns which were made - not shown prominently in the TV coverage, I hasten to add. Secondly, at various points in the Ceremony, the audience were encouraged to sing along with various songs and also play with 'zorb' balls which descended upon us (as illustrated by the video extract shown.) Thirdly, and by far the most poignantly, a couple of days before the Ceremony, we all received an email inviting us to send in a photograph of a close friend or relative who had passed away for display in a 'memorial wall.' My mother passed away back in 2005 and I sent in a photo of her as she would have loved to have attended the Ceremony. This photo was displayed as part of the 'memorial wall' and the fact that it had been chosen had a real impact on me for the rest of the evening and, to be honest, has had since. I would challenge those who have criticised the Ceremony to look at the clip below (and it is my own, so no copyright issues) and tell me which bit of 'passivity' they'd like to take a swipe at now. My apologies, for some reason, that link is to the wrong clip, although people are quite welcome to watch it anyway! This is the correct clip...
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