World comes together in London
2012 Olympic Games
London, Great Britain, July 23, 2012. London is “the place to be” for the next three weeks and the Olympic spirit is clearly in the air. You feel it straight upon your arrival at Heathrow airport, where hundreds of volunteers are thoroughly performing the task they have been given thereby accompanying and assisting members of the Olympic family, officials and athletes as they embark on their special Olympic journey.
Actually you get to feel the Olympic atmosphere even while traveling to London as British Airways is extensively promoting the event on all routes and even the in-flight magazine is mostly devoted to the Olympics, via captivating portraits of the local heroes and heroines whose primary goal is to make their fans and their nation “proud of being British”.
The Olympics are actually not being held in London for the first time, as the world’s largest sports event already stopped here in 1908 as well as in 1948. However, even though the 1948 Olympics were seen as a real re-birth – and not exclusively for the Olympic spirit – after the many tragedies associated to World War II, still there is absolutely no comparison with the “tam-tam” that is surrounding the event whose official opening will be celebrated this coming Friday, July 27.
The local people know that London will be under the spotlight of all media and that billions of people around the world will be following the Games of the XXX Summer Olympiad. There will be some disruptions, of course, and even the Olympic lanes that will enter into force this Wednesday won’t avoid you get regularly stuck in the traffic jam. “I think I will never have the chance to see the Olympics back to London” says Shamira, one of the many volunteers that are picking up the official delegations at Heathrow. Born in Uganda, Shamira has got Indian roots and moved to the UK back in 1972. After a couple of trainings, she is now volunteering for the Olympics and even has got a special register to collect short messages left by the “guests” she is driving around to make sure she will be able to keep her Olympic memories and have some stories to tell once all this is over. “You always find people who are negative and keen on criticizing everything, but this time I have to say that the Olympics have really brought together most of the people living in London and I would say also across the nation” she stresses.
The Volleyball and Beach Volleyball competitions are about to start this coming Saturday and supposed to make the headlines even in a country that is traditionally not a major force to reckon with in these disciplines.
The Beach Volleyball competition at Horse Guards Parade is very much likely to turn into one of the real “must” of this Olympiad, but also Volleyball will draw the attention of the local and international audience. Europe is more than well represented in the Olympic events and the teams from the “Old Continent” are ready to embark on their quest for immortal glory.
“My relatives from the USA are supposed to arrive this weekend; one of my nephews is very sports-oriented and will be following basketball as well as soccer” reveals Shamira who does not know much about Volleyball but may well represent the enthusiasm and passion shared by the volunteers who were recruited since early last year to turn once again the Olympic spirit into reality.
The capital city of the United Kingdom is well-known for being multi-cultural and a place where anyone – regardless of race, gender, class and religion – may feel at home. This is probably the most suitable pre-condition for hosting the Olympics, the largest sports event in the world, but at the same time a unique and perfect cross section of humanity. And, as the adagio says, different is beautiful: profiles, roots, beliefs, skills, expectations, goals.
Every single athlete is unique and this is what makes people so much interested in the mega-show provided by the Olympics. There is always a story to tell and someone you may sympathize with out there. Sport is a mirror reflecting humanity with all its strengths and weaknesses. In the next couple of weeks we’ll all find our favorite side out that show called Olympics. A show that every four years brings the world together, thereby leaving apart if only for a while the ups and downs of everyday life.