"I bet it didn't take you so long to open the envelope with the bribe in it, did it, Jacques?"
I didn’t think I was all that bothered – London and Paris (and it had looked likely to be one of those two for quite some time) are both pretty close by – either way, I’ll be attending the Olympic games in seven years.
Perhaps it was the brilliantly staged, tension-building show the IOC staged to announce the winner, although that’s unlikely, as I only got to a TV two minutes before the announcement, and even then, it was a TV in Dixons surrounded by other TV’s showing music videos.
Perhaps it was the accidental tension that arose when it seemed Jacques Rogge had forgotten how to open an envelope (did it ever take anyone so long? And why even bother? The vote was finalised an hour beforehand – he knew what was in the envelope already – why didn’t he just tell us?).
Perhaps it was the big sweaty man next to me in the shop who muttered “Get on with it!” just loud enough for everyone to hear – something in his urgent desire to know (one way or the other) spread throughout the thirty lunchtime shoppers who were by then staring at the screen.
Perhaps it was because I still remember the addled nonsense that was spouted by the drunken heckler at Stephen Martin’s presentation in February, and in a way I still hoped that London would get the games just to spite her.
Whatever the reason, as I stood there watching the head of the IOC fumble with the envelope, I found myself violently gnawing a fingernail and willing him to say the word “London”
And so he did. The little crowd in Dixons cheered, in that slightly self-conscious way that a ‘crowd’ of less than fifty people tends to, before breaking into a terribly English round of applause. I joined in, with both the cheer and the clapping. The news has cheered me up.
It’s easy to be cynical – about Live8, about the Olympic bid, about anything really – a well-timed cynical comment gets a laugh every time. But, for all their failings, these things have benefits, even if those benefits sometimes aren’t as identifiable or quantifiable as their costs. I’m going to set cynicism aside for a minute and say that I’m delighted London got the 2012 games.
Just as long as it doesn’t mean I have to listen to Heather Small singing that bloody song every five minutes for the next seven years.
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Posted by John McClure at 1:07 pm