Continuing The Substantive series of dispatches on the London 2012 Olympics from writers at The Games, Mark Perryman shares his experience from attending the Water Polo on Day 3.
Water Polo, Water Polo Arena, Olympic Park
Over the past few days I’ve lost count of the number of politicians decrying critics of the Olympics. Labour’s newly appointed ‘Olympic Legacy Adviser’ Tony Blair has returned to one of his favourite themes, declaring war on cynicism. Boris Johnson joins the chorus of boasts that the Games proves London to be the world’s greatest city. And in the press Jonathan Freedland has been amongst those demanding that enthusiasm for the Games must trump any tendency towards critique.
What none of these, and plenty of others, appear capable of recognising is that it is perfectly possible to be both a fan of the Olympics and a critic. When I passed through the Olympic Park turnstiles I was both looking forward to the event we had tickets to see but also entirely aware of the limitations of the Games model as insisted upon by the IOC and dutifully followed by Seb Coe and LOCOG. Continue reading…