It is hard to believe that it is three years since the Beijing Olympics. We all knew that was going to be a hard act to follow. So I was with some trepidation that I realized that London, not Paris had won the dubious honour of being chosen for the 2012 summer Olympic Games. I mean how do you compete with China at the moment?
Yesterday I got a pleasant surprise when I saw what my home town had accomplished. In fact I was blown away by the beauty and simplicity of the swimming venue. The picture above does not do it justice. So far the London organizers appear to be doing the almost impossible job of parring down the now over blown Olympics without losing any of the Olympic spirit.
I was privileged to have been taken to the 1948 Games. It was just after the war and austerity ruled and yet at the age of four I could tell the importance of these Games. The production values were simple but the result was exceptional. In truth no other opening ceremony seems to have had the power of this one. The pigeons were totally memorable. One thing we Brits can do is organise. We can work to a deadline and get the job done. It is our talent.
My father was Wembley Stadiums unofficial 'official' photographer for the Games. He was the only staff member with a Leica camera, (garnered during the war and no questions asked!). To compare the two photos of now and then is quite illuminating. Both are simple and both will do the job.
I was at the 1948 Opening Ceremony and much as I should enjoy being there in 2012 I learnt back then that actually it is better on television!