Sport Sporting festivals

London 2012: The verdict

Written by Pai Yao

This article first appeared in the Sep/Oct 2012 issue of World Gaming magazine.

The four-yearly Olympic circus rolled into London for 16 days of sporting glory, WGM takes a look at the highs and lows of this world-class sporting spectacle.

All in all London did a good job with the Olympics. Sure they had the worst looking mascots of all-time history, but everything else seemed to go off without a hitch. Here’s a recap of what we will remember about London 2012.

  • Bookies were thrown into a state of panic over a group of unknown kids lighting the flame and had to refund all bets. This was a break with tradition and while the kids may have enjoyed it we would rather have had someone more memorable kicking off the action.
  • Michael Phelps proved he is the greatest swimmer and Olympian of all time, amassing 18 career gold medals. Phelps is a great sporting personality and will be missed in a sport not renowned for being all that exciting.
  • Usain Bolt was foxing in the lead-up to the Games with some slightly lackluster pre-Olympic performances to lull rivals into a false sense of security. Bolt was never going to be beaten and is the greatest sprinter ever. Carl Lewis is kidding himself if he thinks otherwise.
  • Team Great Britain had an amazing Games. In addition to hosting a successful Olympics, their sporting performance surpassed their wildest dreams. It’s the first thing the country has had to celebrate since the end of the Second World War.
  • The Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates is not exactly our favorite individual at present. The Australian team was as unimpressive as the British were impressive. “Lord of the Rings” Coates has been upbeat in his goal-setting for Rio de Janeiro 2016 targeting a top five finish – the same target he gave going into London where Australia finished 10th. Until the athletes from “Down Under” stop celebrating failure they will continue to be a “once great” sporting nation.
  • The battle between the US and China for overall honors kept us on our seats right to the end of the Games. While the Chinese were just pipped by the US, China has proved she is up there as a contender for the title of world’s greatest sporting nation. What is particularly impressive is China’s medal tally of 88 (38 gold, 27 silver and 23 bronze) was just 16 behind the US, who sent 539 athletes to compete in 25 sports, compared to China’s 396 athletes who competed in 23 sports.

There were many more highlights and lowlights and we’re sure everyone has their own opinions on what was great and what disappointed. To be truthful we’ll be happy to get back to the world of professional sport. Next stop Rio, thankfully we have four years to recover so we’ll be just as enthusiastic about the Olympic sporting spectacle in 2016.