Even table tennis tickets send shiver down spine with London 2012 one year away
Posted on 27 July 2011 | 1:07pm
My £7000 potential outlay led eventually to a couple of tickets for the table tennis early rounds and two sessions of athletic heats. Not exactly what I hoped for, and not nearly as good as the amazing (sponsors’) tickets I had for Athens, when my son and I saw Kelly Holmes win her second Gold, and the UK men win the 4 by 100 relay, and Hicham el-Gerrouj win one of the best races of the Games.
But London 2012 is fast emerging as one of the defining events of our lifetime, and today’s one year to go milestone is a good place to take stock of a remarkable series of achievements: first, getting the Games when Paris was widely expected to; securing the sponsorship required in a really tough economic environment; and delivering the facilities in good time and pretty much according to plan, and with the minimum of fuss.
There are going to be some big challenges along the way, not least the transport system. But every time I go past the Olympic site, I am impressed by the pace and scale of progress. And every time I feel the excitement ratcheting up.
As I tweeted this morning, I would happily swap table tennis for cycling or indeed several other sports. And I freely admit I will be on the look out for tickets from whatever source they may come. But when the time comes, a table tennis qualifier between a Swede and a Venezuelan will be a great event to witness.
Britain has hardly presented a great face to the world in recent weeks, as the phonehacking scandal has been the dominant global story to emerge from our shores, with its negative connotations for press, police, politics and public life.
London 2012 is already showing a different and better face, of vision, commitment, competence, political and administrative ability and organisational flair; and the story will get better and better all the way to the closing ceremony. Of that I am as sure as I can be of anything in this uncertain world.