British pride

Olympics closing

With the upbeat and raucous London 2012 Closing Ceremony over and the British public reluctantly waving a tear-stained farewell to the departing athletes, we are now all hoping that the Olympics-fuelled euphoria can somehow become the start of a new era of British positivity.

One word that I have heard bandied about a great deal over the last fortnight is ‘Pride’.

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I was there


A few days ago, opinionated Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson sent out a rather revealing Tweet.

Having been one of the (many) critics of the London Olympics in the lead-up, he too was forced to re-evaluate hi stance, tweeting “Off to America today. Trip planned months ago to get away from Olympics. Thought it’d be dull. Mistake. Big mistake.”

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True Olympic spirit


As the Olympics enter day seven, it is a case of so far, so good on all counts.

With blanket media coverage and large crowds thronging to the venues (except, of course to those where the so-called Olympic family has selfishly demanded loads of tickets and then not shown up to watch) it is fair to say that the British public has embraced the spirit of the Games.

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12 years ago, the opening ceremony proved to be something of a watershed in the fortunes of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

Prior to that, the lead up to those Games had been riddled with concerns – transport, ticketing, security, costs, cynicism and just a general crisis of confidence – “can we do it?” or “what if we mess it up when the eyes of the world are on us?”.

Sounding familiar?

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Holding a torch

IMG_0533Today the Olympic torch came to my (new) home town, giving me, for the second time in my life, a once in a lifetime opportunity to see it.

It is now 12 years since I stood at the bottom of Oxford Street in Sydney for a couple of hours before witnessing a tracksuit-clad person shuffling by, torch held proudly aloft.

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Olympics watch: #8 Omega


Omega have quite a claim to fame – “official timekeepers of 25 Olympics”.

I dare say they must include Winter Olympics in this definition as well, otherwise I can imagine their role in the first of those 25 (Summer) Olympiads some 100 years ago would have involved some top-hatted official whipping out a fob watch to record the finishing time.

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Olympics watch: #5 Adidas

Today UK Athletics announced their final squad for the Olympics and in so doing, helped to realise the dreams of some athletes, whilst also shattering the hopes of many others.

Elsewhere, other UK sporting bodies have also been busy making their own final selections as they reach tough decisions over who they believe has the best chance of delivering those all important medals for Great Britain in a few weeks time.

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Olympics watch: #4 Pantene


As part of Procter & Gamble’s Olympics sponsorship, their main shampoo brand Pantene has just muscled its way up to the advertising campaign start line.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I find after a period of intense physical activity, albeit at a slightly sub-Olympic level, my hair is generally not quite at its best.

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Olympics watch: #3 Ariel washing powder


Imagine the briefing session at the ad agency for this one….

“Our client has spent their next 10 years’ budget on an Olympics sponsorship and we need to create an ad to celebrate their involvement”.

“Great. What are we selling? Running shoes? Clothing? Sports drink? “

“No. Sorry. It’s Ariel washing powder”

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