Friday, July 13, 2012

Olympic Security Then and Now

Olympic Security or lack of it seems to be the lead story for all the media today. The chosen Security firm seems to have got it wrong and wisely the British Army has been called in to help out and why not? The armed forces are on the taxpayers pay role and are well trained to do an excellent job. 

The media condemnation has been scathing so it is a pity the powers that be did not present the case for the army in a better PR style. The government has taken the only sensible course of action avoiding chaos but perhaps should have presented it in a more positive light. It is a case of doing the right thing but in the wrong way.

After the horror of the Munich Games and to some extent 9/11 security has to be taken into consideration. I am so glad it was not visible at all in 1948 when I attended the Wembley Games at the ripe old age of four. There was little fuss, very little ceremony and yet the whole Games was so memorable even to a tiny child that I have found all other Games lacking.

The Wembley Games were inspiring and held up a spirit of hope that came across in the simplicity of the production. Yes it rained, buckets of rain, England does rain. There was little food and no Olympic Village.  There was no security at all just the normal staff.

Personally I think the UK producers should have planned for a closing roof a la Centre Court at Wimbledon then the rain on the Opening Ceremony problem would not arise. With a closing roof in place one could be quite sure that the weather would remain fine. Yes it would have been expensive but not half so expensive as a wet, washed out Opening Ceremony as that image of UK will be remembered forever.

I only produced one outside event, a mask at Old Government House in Auckland. The fear of rain and the cost of cancellation was the foremost worry. We got away it....JUST.... but I swore I should never do another. A past next door neighbor Michael Mizrahi and Marie Adams, who produce world class open air events have seen so many huge occasions washed out that I admire their perseverance in this area.

By using the army at least the security threat will hopefully be under control and fingers crossed for the rain. I don't want to be a Cassandra and say I told you so.

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