The Hunger Games

No, I’m not here to talk about either the book or the film but rather the forthcoming supposed celebration of sporting greatness that this country is about to partake in. Anyone else get the feeling that it’s all slipping out of control a little bit? That it’s no longer about the sporting achievement but rather the sponsorship, security and everything else?

When it was first announced that we’d won the games seven years ago I saw it as a positive thing, I’d experienced the Commonwealth Games (okay, it’s only a third of the number of participating countries, but it’s still pretty big) and could see what they could do for a city and the country as a whole – this time I’m not getting the same vibe at all from it.

So, here are my predictions for the forthcoming games – probably a little more cynical than every other list you’ll see but let’s see how many I get right.

  • – Danny Boyle’s Opening Ceremony will be cringingly embarrassing in its expression of a Britain that no longer exists. “Twee” will be used by the commentators to describe it on more than one occasion.
  • – The combined age of the celebrities involved in the ceremony will be more than a thousand.
  • – Boris will make an absolute tit of himself during it, Cameron will be seen busy drumming up party funding from the sponsors and everyone will know who Jeremy “Rhyming Slang” Hunt is by the end of it.
  • – There will be biblical levels of rain.
  • – This will prove to our advantage as it will provide a readymade excuse as to why we perform so poorly in events.
  • – At least on cyclist will be killed when they accidentally stray into one of the “Olympic Highways” following the closure of cycle lanes in London to accommodate said highways…
  • – It will – of course – be blamed on the cyclist.
  • – The sponsorship aspect will be overwhelming – it will feel like Leni Riefenstahl is there to promote Coca-Cola and McDonalds. Old athletes bought in to commentate will remark on the negative aspect of this and never be seen again…
  • – We’ll be sick to the back teeth of Muse’s anthem for the games, it will get to Number One by virtue of people will want a copy to burn to get the bloody thing out of their heads.
  • – Like the bloody spectre of Jean Charles de Menezes there will be at least one ill-advised shooting.
  • – Cameron will send a stooge to deal with the inevitable fall-out from the incident.
  • – Ordinary Londoner’s will find the games seriously impinges on their ability to get to work, reducing productivity levels and off-setting the supposed economic benefit.
  • – Despite the clamour and difficulties getting tickets, the stadium will look curiously empty.
  • – The Armed Forces will do a sterling job in providing security, will be friendly and polite and will be universally praised (see, they’re not all cynical).
  • – A third of them will return home afterwards to find they’ve been made redundant…
  • – At the end of the games, the President of the Olympic Committee will not declare them the best games ever…
  • – Brazil’s appearance in the Closing Ceremony will shame us.

The worst thing is, I’ll still watch a bunch of it – I just wish we didn’t have everything else getting in the way.

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