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Your verdict on the London 2012 Games

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I've watched the Games and I've been the second week in London. I enjoyed every second and every step in London.It was one big tremendous organised sports party! The volunteers, the venues, the city self: it was all great. Thank you London 2012 for giving me one of the best weeks ever!

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I am sorry about the "Napoleon complex." That sounds harsher than I mean it to. Its the only way I can think of to explain the dynamic I'm trying to communicate (my initial attempts were misunderstood.) How about "hidden insecurity coupled with over-compensation."

Honestly, that's the way London has come off to me. I couldn't find words for it until tonight.

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It seems some people have been watching these Olympics through an interesting pair of glasses! As certainly, it would appear, people are seeing things that simply did not play out!

So much for the Olympics bringing us all together. When people start speaking of "a Napoleon complex" in relation to these games, one can't help but feel inclined to vomit!

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OK Athensfan, I can sort of see what you're saying, even if I think your tone was a little off. But I think I'd apply it to most hosts in all honesty. The only host that recently seemed to give an "effortless welcome" was Athens.

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A Napoleon complex does not require aggression -- just over compensation for something one feels to be a deficiency.

I am not just talking about the media either. For example, the content of the ceremonies was trying extra hard to say "We're proud of being British." Yes, all ceremonies showcase the host nation's culture -- of course. But Britain tried to cram in everything but the kitchen sink. They tried to look fun and young, they tried to look historically imposing, they tried to look sophisticated, they tried to look high-tech.

They tried and tried and tried and the effort really showed. It wasn't an effortless "Welcome! We hope you have a great time!" It was a very self-conscious "We've bent over backwards and we really hope you'll like us and if you don't we don't want to hear about it because we know we're the best ever! (we have our secret doubts, but we'll never admit to them) WE ARE THE BEST EVER!! (you agree, right?? Please don't say anything about Beijing, ok?) WE ARE THE BEST EVER!!!!!"

That was the vibe I got the whole way through the Games. Even Seb and Boris claiming the cauldron was perfect and the rest of the world was crazy struck me as a PR move driven by denial and secret insecurity.

This impression came through to me in the intangibles. It's not as simple as media coverage -- it's the feeling I had all the way through the Games at many points in many contexts -- including (but not limited to) the British posters on these boards.

Sorry I have to disagree completely with your view. If we were concerned about what others think we would not have had such quirky and typically British ceremonies that don't necessarily translate to the wider world. The Olympics for GB were a celebration of sport in this country and the love we have of it and could have filled bigger venues.

At the end of the day comparing Olympics is like picking fine wine or cheese and I think London has put itself up with the very finest of vintages from what I can judge having attended only these games.

If you are making a judgement based on what you see on TV you will unlikely to be able to weigh up fully what makes the games so special, I will be making my way to Rio in 2016 with my family as the spirit that has been around my home city these last two weeks is something I would like to enjoy several times again in my life.

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So far i have read nothing but real praise for the games in the french, belgian, spanish & Us newspapers.

A few coments about how much the games cost to the British people of course & about Rio being next.

I read some really good critics but i have to admit the traditionnal "Best Games Ever" wasn't there unlike in some Australian, NZ, & Canadian newspapers, i wonder why as i don't see a patern between those countries :P

Anyway everybody agrees on the huge sucess of the games, and you can trust UK to have a good legacy! The London 2017 Athletics show how they know their buisness.Those guys are clever

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So far i have read nothing but real praise for the games in the french newspapers.

What newspapers have you been reading? The French press have been lukewarm, at best. Questioning the British idea of 'fair play' - Tom Daley's extra dive, the British rowers allowed a restart and the British cyclist who crashed and got a restart. Le Monde has been the only newspaper, from what I can understand, that has thanked London. I am unsure whether we care to admit that these games were as amazing as the Americans, Canadians, Australians and Germans are proclaiming - but I believe that has a lot to do with Paris 2012, more than anything else.

Sometimes, seeing a rival city shine - can be hard for a lot of Parisians to stomach. Thankfully, I am neither a sceptic or a Parisian.

Edited by Michelle
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Really? It's funny, I don't think the judges were British in any of those cases, and nor do I believe any of those cases were against the rules in their sports. You're allowed a restart if you have mechanical failure in both rowing and cycling, and the case for Tom Daley was an exceptional one, but one I think which is allowed within the rules of diving. So I'm not quite sure what there is to moan about. I suppose that it's a vindication of our Games and its organisation that that's all the French press have found to criticise. If petty sniping is the price we pay for being third in the medal table, bring it on, and may we hear much, much more of it in Rio!!

Edited by RobH

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That's right, they picked up that the judges were not British - but wondered were the judges treating the British athletes differently with some 'home team bias'. I am unsure whether it was from Libération or Le Figaro that said 'Had Usain Bolt have false started like in last years World's, he could have just said he was British and got a restart'....

More of that type of thing!

Also, the Queens absence did not go down well in the French press.

Edited by Michelle

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What newspapers have you been reading? The French press have been lukewarm, at best. Questioning the British idea of 'fair play' - Tom Daley's extra dive, the British rowers allowed a restart and the British cyclist who crashed and got a restart. Le Monde has been the only newspaper, from what I can understand, that has thanked London. I am unsure whether we care to admit that these games were as amazing as the Americans, Canadians, Australians and Germans are proclaiming - but I believe that has a lot to do with Paris 2012, more than anything else.

Sometimes, seeing a rival city shine - can be hard for a lot of Parisians to stomach. Thankfully, I am neither a sceptic or a Parisian.

I'm a little stunned by your comments Michelle.

I have read real praise in Le Monde, Le Parisien, the sport newspaper l'équipe .

All the tv channels , the tv news made great programms for the games and i ve never heard anything unkind to London in those, on the contrary they spoke very positively of London and the olympics. They said the venues, the city was beautiful and praise the british atheletes for what they did in front of their public and thau UK should be proud.

My family, friend & coworkers were all impressed by the games and the opening ceremony, all they talked about was how great the games were for the last 15 days.

It is true the media reported about the empty seats, the doping cases, the muslim veil story and the fact the judging wasn't fair sometimes but so did the British & the world media. And even in the empty seats case, i heard everyone telling on tv it was the world federations's fault and not London. Some argue a little favoritism in cycling & rowing & diving when they GB team could start again but they all said it wasn't against the rules.

The only negative thing i heard is that Chinese & Algerian atheletes were excluded for things people from the West did. And again nobody suggested it was London's fault, they all critisized IOC.

All those things would have happen in any other city and would ve been repeated by all the media in the world, no matter who the host would be.

Of course i can't claim i have the average French's mood in the people i know or live with and that i read every newspaper or watch every news on tv about it but i really never felt any biterness or personal attacks towards UK & London.

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Luffy,

I am glad that you enjoyed these games, and sorry I have stunned you. But I stand by my comments.

You're kidding me about L'Equipe?? The same newspaper that asked its readership "has Britain been tainted by cheating"? Which happened to garner a response of 70% saying yes! What a bizarre question to even ask its readership. Of course, they were playing into the mood.

Le monde has thanked London for the competiton, but then question the economic impact of the games - and also, they question Britains fair play.

Clearly we had been living in different areas of France during these games. As I saw a noticeable decline in positve commentary from the French press as the games continued.

Edited by Michelle

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Well it is true the second chances Britain got led to negative reviews, especially for the cycling guy who admitted falling on purpose as the same time the Chinese were kick out of the olympics for doing the same thing.

I for example think it was unfair and that it sent the wrong message to China.

It's not because it's not forbidden that it's correct to do a few things sometimes.

But i didn't read this only in french newspapers and website, this is a story i saw reported in some others countries.

And it wasn't a few isolated accident that were going to tarnished my feeling about the games. And even if a lot of people said they were dissapointed in a few judging decisions, especially the poor Alexis Vastine in Boxing, i didn't get the impression they saw the games or the GB's team fantastic performance in a bad way because of that.

Now for the economical impact of the games, you have to admit this is THE post-games traditionnal articles almost every serious newspapers does along the legacy.

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The Games have definitely been a success. Great spectators, great legacy, great operations. The athletes obviously had a fantastic experience.

I didn't love either of the ceremonies or the interestingly designed, but not-so-functional cauldron. But that's the way it goes. There's been something more needling me.....

I think I've finally put my finger on what's seemed slightly off about these Games.

The Brits have seemed desperately anxious to prove themselves. I feel like I've seen an odd mixture of nervousness and not altogether convincing bravado. There seems to be a needy fragility just beneath the surface every time they trumpet an achievement, or pat themselves on the back. It's an odd mixture of chest-thumping and Sally Field's "you like me, you really like me." London has seemed overly anxious to be liked.

For me, that did take the edge off these Games.

Athens, I don't know where you got this impression, but I don't feel this way at all. I think any country who hasn't hosted an Olympics in most of the population's lifetime, and is as in to sports as the UK would react enthusiastic at their team's success.

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Of course team GB should be excited by their own success. That's not my point.

Nor am I saying London did not stage extremely British-centric ceremonies. I've said just that in other posts. If anything, this approach to the ceremonies was exactly the kind of nationalistic, self-referential approach that struck me as overcompensating for insecurity. Obviously my powers of communication are failing me where some of you are concerned....

My sense of London 2012 has come through tv and the internet and I don't doubt my experience would have been different if I had been there in person. That said, the vast majority of the world can only experience the Games through internet and tv. I don't think those media alone are grounds for dismissing someone.

I've already said several times that the Games were a success and boasted many outstanding strengths. I also found them to be the most self-conscious, self-referential Games in recent memory. That's the tone that came across to me. My experience is my experience.

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A Napoleon complex does not require aggression -- just over compensation for something one feels to be a deficiency.

I am not just talking about the media either. For example, the content of the ceremonies was trying extra hard to say "We're proud of being British." Yes, all ceremonies showcase the host nation's culture -- of course. But Britain tried to cram in everything but the kitchen sink. They tried to look fun and young, they tried to look historically imposing, they tried to look sophisticated, they tried to look high-tech.

They tried and tried and tried and the effort really showed. It wasn't an effortless "Welcome! We hope you have a great time!" It was a very self-conscious "We've bent over backwards and we really hope you'll like us and if you don't we don't want to hear about it because we know we're the best ever! (we have our secret doubts, but we'll never admit to them) WE ARE THE BEST EVER!! (you agree, right?? Please don't say anything about Beijing, ok?) WE ARE THE BEST EVER!!!!!"

That was the vibe I got the whole way through the Games. Even Seb and Boris claiming the cauldron was perfect and the rest of the world was crazy struck me as a PR move driven by denial and secret insecurity.

This impression came through to me in the intangibles. It's not as simple as media coverage -- it's the feeling I had all the way through the Games at many points in many contexts -- including (but not limited to) the British posters on these boards.

From reading your posts on this forum, I believe the 'complex' lays with you. There's been something about your posts which has come across as incredibly condescending. I noticed it when I first started reading this forum a few months ago and it has continued and got worse while the games have been on. This post sums it up nicely and I am sure I am not the only one who has noticed. London has been very relaxed and in no desperate 'need' to prove itself. Perhaps the attitude from the Brits has been in response to people noticing your attitude and reacting...

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From an armchair viewer's perspective, I think they were good Games. How could they not be....when everything is viewed through a global microscope.

But my question more is: did GB really need the Games to 'feel good'? Would GB have done as well on the FoP (Field of Play) if, say, it had been held in Paris rather than London?? Wasn't E2's Diamond Jubliee enough excitement for the year?? Just asking.

That Chariots of Fire theme drove me crazy!!

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For me, I watch the Olympic games for the sport first and foremost - and also, I love watching how a city celebrate while hosting. These games could have been in Tehran for all I cared (well no, I would care if they were in Tehran, but you get my point!) As long as they produce excellence, is what attracts me. Yes, I supported London to host the 2012 games, but had they have gone to my partners beloved France (he strangely loved London, incidentally), I'd have supported them throughout.

We should not forget this is a sporting competition, but it's also about enhancing the Olympic movement and it's ideals. And I believe London did that, just as Sydney and Athens did before. Beijing was an altogether different Olympic games in my opinion. But the Chinese did make their mark, and hosted a fabulous games.

All hosts deserve praise, because they try their best. Atlanta, is no exception.

Edited by Michelle
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Seriously, though?

Vancouver staged a good games, but certainly not the best winter edition.

London, seemingly was the best summer edition ever, as said by the 'Australian', 'Sydney morning herald', and Canada's 'Toronto sun' and 'national post'.

I just don't think one can compare or equate the two.

It's the summer equivalent of Vancouver, plain and simple.

The world press, include the British, praised how great Vancouver was after the 2010 Games ended, and many went as far as saying it was the best Winter Games ever. LOCOG was also at Vancouver, praised the Games and sought to mimic the same festive and nation-loving mood that was found throughout the streets of Vancouver.

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I do feel that their ceremonies were a bit too "British centric", but overall I give London an A-, and I didn't get the vibe that they were trying to "prove" themselves to the world. I interpreted it more like they were wanting to bring GB to the world instead of having bland feel that lacked their culture.

Athens, I have no issue with you voicing your opinions, and I actually agree with you many times, but sometimes they do come across as condescending, nitpicky, and possibly offensive to some, but hey that just may be your writing style.

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I have to say, my favorite part of the ceremonies was the lighting. All the "seat lights" as I'll call them, that made pictures and stuff were just incredible.

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It's the summer equivalent of Vancouver, plain and simple.

The world press, include the British, praised how great Vancouver was after the 2010 Games ended, and many went as far as saying it was the best Winter Games ever.

Guess I missed that! For me, Lillehammer were the unforgettable winter games. I am more a summer enthusiast than winter specialist, but echoing my previous remarks .... Vancouver, like London, staged games to be proud of!

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Yes Mr X, I think Vancouver can take some credit. The British organising team studied what Vancouver did when they were there and I think the Park Live sites are arguably a direct result of what they saw. Of course, I also remember reading that London's inspector's disliked Vancouver's Look which they believe got lost at times. Perhaps Vancouver is also the reason London went to the other extreme with its Look, with large areas of colour and little detailing? It'd be interesting to know, generally, how much Games in the years leading up to other Gamer change the direction organising committees take...

Edited by RobH

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I didn't love either of the ceremonies or the interestingly designed, but not-so-functional cauldron.

Is it because people actually were given a brilliant history lesson about Britain where things were not automatically spoon fed to you as a viewer? Not so funcional caldron, blimey, the thing was beautifiully designed. When has every single nation been given their own flame their own light on the caldron, burning in unison as part of the Olympic spirit. It was the best most thought out caldron in history.

I think I've finally put my finger on what's seemed slightly off about these Games.

The Brits have seemed desperately anxious to prove themselves. I feel like I've seen an odd mixture of nervousness and not altogether convincing bravado. There seems to be a needy fragility just beneath the surface every time they trumpet an achievement, or pat themselves on the back. It's an odd mixture of chest-thumping and Sally Field's "you like me, you really like me." London has seemed overly anxious to be liked.

Then quite frankly you have no idea of British Identity or society, we actually do not care what the outside world thinks of us, not give too much time to pre ocupy ourselves with the meer throught of. What we do like to do is try and get things right to take our resposbilitites to the world and to represent ourselves in a manner that is just and true. That is what you saw not a country desparate for others to like what it saw. It was not a false sense of freindliness nor a country "pulling a fast one" you saw the true Britain, the Britain the rest of the world secretly does not want to see for whatever reason. Its almost as if liking Britain is a guilty pleasure.

I agree about the post-colonial identity. I totally disagree about the self-confidence. It felt like they so desperately needed to be liked.

Again see above comments Athensfan we simply dont give as one poster on this thread said give a "toss" is like every year at the eurovision song contest we send an act not expecting to win, we dont want to be liked but I can tell you regardless of what some may say there is an awful lot of respect for the United Kingdom.

I believe that the Games in London were great. They revealed a new global "face" for Great Britain. The ceremonies reminded us of all the positive contributions of that nation to humanity: good music and fascinating literature are on top of that list of contributions. Virginia Woolf is British.. it doesn't get more perfect than that.

Thank you London and congrats to Team GB. I hope that this awesome performance will be repeated in Rio.

As I have already said, its not a new face, just one people have not wanted to see for a while.

Regarding the Games, It was the best games ever it was Happy and Glorious, and more. It had passion, gile, heart and soul. elements in the last 100 years at the Summer games have had but not all at the same time. London was special trully special, I went to a few events the warmth from the minute you arrived to the minuite you left the games makers, the organisation, even the rail networks running well ( a rare event in the uk ) and the constant chit chat about the games in Sainsburys or tesco's was brilliant.

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