Monday, August 25, 2008

London Games 2012 vs Beijing Games 2008













As the world watched the Chinese performed their magic once again in the Beijing Games closing ceremony, it turned its attention to London - the city hosting Games 2012.

After its much talked about opening ceremony just two weeks back, the Chinese had another go at impressing the billions who were glued to their tv sets. The audience weren't disappointed. However, Beijing Games 2008, which comes with a hefty price tag of just over £20 billion pounds, didn't come cheap.

Unlike the Chinese' comparatively bottomless money pit, London committed just over £9.6 billion. Looking at higher cost of living in London, it is unlikely that it'll get the same bang for its, well, pound. So what can we expect from London 2012?


What can we expect for London Games 2012?

London's Mayor, Boris Johnson with his speech at the handover party, which had the audience including PM Gordan Brown and David Beckham in stitches, pretty much sumed it up.

"There you have, I think, the essential difference between us and the rest of the world. Other nations such as the French looked at the dining table and saw the opportunity to have dinner. We looked at the dining table and saw an opportunity to play whiff whaff."

London, can never hope to compete with the Chinese' manpower coordination, its political will and the volume of fireworks. It doesn't have Zhang Yimou, Liu Xiang and Lan Lan. But it can count on David Beckham's star power, the Queen and Boris Johnson.

It will (and must) not compete on cultural homogeneity but should celebrate the differences that makes London the way it is today. Its many quirks, the London Underground, the British wit and the willingness of Londoners to ridicule and laugh at themselves should serve London well when the Games bring the world to this city.

For those who were sorely disappointed at London's eight minutes presentation in Beijing Games closing ceremony, just think of Sydney's inflatable kangaroos in their eight minutes. Seriously, what do you expect to do with eight minutes? Upstage the host at their game?

As Mayor Johnson so succinctly put it, let ping pong come back home!

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16 comments:

Chris said...

I was in London in 2004 & 2005...there were '2012 Olympics in London' signs allll over the place.

I thought it was ridiculous being that it would be 8 years away. Seeing that London won the bid, I guess it panned out well for them.

Chili said...

Pin Pong rocks,:D but I will tell you one thing, in London in 2012 it will rock, because of history, grace and the best bloks in the World.

Looking Forward to it. :D

Eaststopper said...

When I compare Beijing vs London, I think of efficiency vs spontaneity, order vs chaos. The chosen logo for London 2012 personifies the city - creativity bordering on messiness. Lets see what the Brits have in store for us.

Anonymous said...

Hv they marked the spot for the event ? Will be quite a task to find the space for a brand new Olympic Village, right ?

suplado said...

another zero medals for the Philippines. Hope in London we could have one.....

C K said...

@chris,
You know what they say about drumming up anticipation and expectations.. anyway, although the Games is in four years' time, the preparations have already started and budget has been allocated. Just waiting to see how it'll go. :)

C K said...

@chilli,
Glad to see that you're looking forward to the Games. Honestly, I'm surprised that anyone (other than the Chinese) will be very enthusiastic about ping pong.

You should see what the Chinese have thought of Boris Johnson... lol.

C K said...

@eaststopper,
I liken London to that box of chocolates made famous by Forrest Gump.

"You never know what you will gonna get..."

C K said...

@anon,
Actually the venue has already been allocated and building works have begun.

It's not that difficult really as London Games 2012 will be used to revitalise East London. The only issue is how London will keep up the momentum after the Games.

C K said...

@suplado,
Hey, I'm sure you guys will score in London 2012. Will be rooting for you guys as well. :)

capybara said...

They may not have the budget but London will put on a great show in 2012 and our human rights record is second to none.

C K said...

@capybara,
At the end of the day, it's really not how impressive the show is but the spirit behind it all. Ultimately, different people will have varying opinions about the same thing.

While British may view its human rights record to be her main achievement, the Chinese may not hold that in high regard.

On the other hand, the Chinese values unity and single mindedness while British values creativity and open debate.

So really, there's no one true benchmark is there? :)

xiaocangshu said...

After watching the Chinese opening ceremony I was imagining there will be Shakesphere at London's in 2012...

And yes, we finally won some medals!

C K said...

@xiaocangshu,
Hey, thanks for stopping by.

Yep, glad that there's a medal to Singapore's name after all these years.... though there are still grumblings about it being brought in by our 'foreign talents'...

xiaocangshu said...

The foreign talent issue caused quite a stir among my school friends. My take is that they [b]chose[/b] to come here.

Anyway, the Paralympic medals (3 as of now) were won by Singapore-born athletes. So it's been a good Olympics for us. :D

C K said...

@xiaocangshu,
Unsurprisingly, the hype for paralympics is nothing compared to the Olympics even over here in London.

How's the event coverage back home?