We’re fortunate to have extensive coverage of the London 2012 Olympics here in Canada as the official media partners feed our insatiable appetite for athletic news and highlights. According to a Bell Media release issued this morning, the Olympic audience here has grown 74% over Beijing and the CTV websites (English and French) and apps received nearly 6 million visits by the end of Day 3, 11% higher than Vancouver 2010.
Despite all of this, the coverage I’m missing is from the ground, outside of the venue walls — the type of stories my friends were sharing during our Games. Where are the best pavilions? What are the free attractions? What is the general sentiment in and around the city? For a quick glimpse at London through the eyes of a non-accredited media outlet, I asked Jay Minter of Vancouver – who has been in England for the last 10 days – if he would put together a guest post with a few thoughts:
By Jay Minter, for Miss604.com
Since the start of London 2012 Olympics, just a few days ago, a change has come over the City. After years of the angst and political wrangling of planning an Olympics during the worst economic downturn in modern history it’s understandable that the populace had grown indifferent and weary of the Olympics.
However, after the brilliantly British Opening Ceremony many Londoners have had a change of heart. More than a few times I have heard people saying “I’m totally onboard now” or “I’m proud to be a Londoner / British”. Suddenly, the Games have gained new appeal and people are coming out in droves to take in whatever they can of the Games.
Whether it’s on TV, in the nearly sold out BT London Live sites in parks around the Capital or by luckily getting their hands on some of the newly released event tickets there is a new desire to be a part of the ‘event of the summer’.
The predicted traffic and travel woes have not materialized so people are getting around the city with relative ease as people stay out of Central London glued to the Games. The streets, homes and offices are dressed with flags, banners and bunting.
Usual British decorum and cynicism is fading away and being replaced with national bravado. For a population normally used to only cheering on their home country; England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, cheering on the nation is unusual but these home Games have made cheering on Great Britain and wearing the Union Flag more than alright. Cheers of “Go GeeBee Go” are echoing across the country from venue to venue in a friendly show of support for their athletes and perhaps themselves.
Follow Jay Minter on Twitter and Instagram for more photos and updates.