Why the London Olympics were a gigantic waste of time and money. Oh really, Richard?

The 2016 Olympic Games in Rio are just days away – the perfect opportunity for the Olympic doom-mongers and nay-sayers to start the bandwagon up again. Just a few days ago Richard Williams let fly in the Guardian with an item entitled “Why the London Olympics were a gigantic waste of time and money“. It’s worth a read, if you have the time, and there are some real issues highlighted in the article, but if you think in terms of cause and effect, then most of those issues cannot be attributed to the Olympics. There are some fundamental issues with the Olympic Games, largely to do with finance, sponsorship and brand protectionism. But Richard Williams’ argument pinpoints trends in . . . → Read More: Why the London Olympics were a gigantic waste of time and money. Oh really, Richard?

Team GB post-Olympics Parade

How often does your name come out of the hat? A limited number of places were available to members of the London Olympics volunteer force for the Team GB parade in London on Sept 10th. The parade started at Mansion House and worked its way through Central London to Buckingham Palace. The Mall was only accessible to the Great, the Good and the selected Volunteers, and I was lucky enough to be one of them, volunteer that is, not great or good!

So, the last chance to live the Olympics’ dream before we all become miserable again. It was an amazing atmosphere along the Mall awaiting the parade, with Gamesmakers, Ambassadors, and participants from the opening and closing ceremonies all . . . → Read More: Team GB post-Olympics Parade

London 2012 – A Family Affair?

If you’ve ploughed your way through my posts on the volunteering experience at London 2012, and still haven’t had enough, Daughter No.1 was also a GamesMaker, different venue, different role, and you can read her stories at

I’m not being paid for this plug; it’s just a family thing!

Football vs. The Olympic Games

There has been a one-week hiatus between the end of the Olympic Games and the start of the new football season. Almost predictably the media have been filling he gap by pumping out a number of articles and TV debates, comparing the culture, morality and behaviour associated with football, with those qualities we’ve witnessed in London2012.

Unfortunately, it all seems a bit pointless since it’s rather like comparing your day job with a fortnight’s holiday in the Bahamas. For a significant number of people, football is a lifestyle; the Olympics won’t change that. The Olympics have been a refreshing breather; something different for a couple of weeks, and made so much the better because it all worked out far better . . . → Read More: Football vs. The Olympic Games

London 2012 – Final thoughts

London 2012, by all accounts, has delivered what it promised in terms of a memorable Olympic Games that caught the attention of the world. The opening and closing ceremonies said something about us British in a way that probably hasn’t been said before, which might just have been a defining moment, and instead of forever looking back to when we were a world power, we can accept that we have confidence in our current role, our abilities and our quirky humour. A couple of examples from the press: International Business Times; The Guardian

To be involved in the Games was very special, and unforgettable, although I must acknowledge that mine was a back-office role. There were . . . → Read More: London 2012 – Final thoughts

London 2012 – The Technology Team @Wembley

This is just an explanation of the role of the Technology Team at Wembley Stadium and how it was structured. The team’s role was basically to provide the underlying technology to facilitate all aspects of communication within the venue. This meant providing the infrastructure and all of the communications equipment such as PCs, fixed telephones, mobile phones, radios, televisions and other equipment to support LOCOG operational requirements in the venues, the distribution of information, and to meet the needs of the press, broadcasters, photographers. In addition, provision was made for event continuity through the deployment of Uninterrupted Power Supplies (UPS) in all communication cabinets and for the broadcast equipment.

The Team comprised a Venue Technology Manager, with four direct reports, . . . → Read More: London 2012 – The Technology Team @Wembley

London 2012 – Wembley Stadium

Wembley has always been an iconic stadium in the world of football. The original stadium with it’s ‘twin towers’ was the home of England’s national team, and the setting for FA Cup Finals, European Club and International tournaments, and the World Cup in 1966. It’s demolition to make way for the new stadium caused a good deal of anguish amongst the millions who had witnessed football history being made on it’s ‘hallowed turf’. The demise of one icon, has undoubtedly seen the birth of another; the new stadium and its arch is a familiar landmark all across north west London.

There’s something mystical about any major sports venue, if you’re really in to sport, that is. The different seating areas, . . . → Read More: London 2012 – Wembley Stadium

London 2012 – The Football Tournament

Football seems to be a peripheral event for the Olympics. Due to the prevalence of men’s football as a major global sport with its own regional and global tournaments, there are conditions laid down about the constitution of the qualifying teams in the Olympic tournament; basically, it’s an under 23 tournament, with 3 over-age players per squad. Few of the major footballing powers seem to take the Olympic tournament very seriously, and for that reason it can throw up some surprises. On the other hand, the women’s tournament does seem to have more kudos as an Olympic event.

As far as Team GB (men) was concerned, there was endless bickering amongst the ‘home’ nations, England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, . . . → Read More: London 2012 – The Football Tournament

London 2012 – Memorabilia

An Olympic Games in your home city is a once-in-a-lifetime event, and wanting to preserve memories and/or collect some mementos is a pretty natural thing. For months leading up to the Games, I was being bombarded by emails encouraging me to spend surprising large amounts of cash on depressingly poor London 2012 goods. Somehow the whole ‘branding’ associated with London 2012 has seriously disappointed me. In particular, the design of the logo seems to defy every logical requirement of a logo, i.e. simple, memorable, distinctive, etc. In the end it was only its familiarity that seems to mean anything. Most of the other stuff was just overpriced tat – I bought nothing.

I didn’t care for the Team GB kit . . . → Read More: London 2012 – Memorabilia

London 2012 Working with the Technology Team at Wembley

July 9th 9:00am – the adventure begins.

I was assigned directly to the Venue Technology Manager, Germana Gili. I was later to learn that Germana was a former member of the Italian National Skeleton squad – that’s the ‘sport’ where you lay headfirst on a tea tray and launch yourself down a mountainside at suicidal speeds.

For some reason that I didn’t know, and still don’t, I was the only volunteer with the Technology Team at this time; the others would start around Jul 24th.

The first day was . . . → Read More: London 2012 Working with the Technology Team at Wembley