The Anchor: 6 things to watch out for in the 2012 London Games

27 Jul,2012

By Ranjona Banerji


I hope everyone interested in having a good laugh has been watching Twenty Twelve on BBC Entertainment, a comedy series which follows “the deliverance committee” involved in making sure the 2012 London Games run smoothly. Everything from bureaucracy to PR to political correctness to politics to jargon to celebrity are satirised brilliantly and it all seems so real.


However, it is also possible that you interested in the Games themselves. In which case, here’s what to watch out for.


1. The Opening ceremony on Friday, that is 1am (Saturday morning technically) for India on ESPN, Star Sports. Directed by Danny Boyle, (yes, he of the Jai Ho and slums are fun fame) it is expected to be a massive extravaganza. He has to compete with the glorious, breathtaking performance put up by the Chinese in Beijing in 2008. I don’t actually quite remember it actually, but it was spectacular. Lots of firework dragons. Or was that the first Lord of the Rings movie? Whatever.


2. The Indian medal chase. This is supposed to be our best chance “ever” (please substitute your own version of an American teenager’s twang here) of winning lots of medals. Boxing, tennis (oh, wait, in India sometimes there’re both the same thing), hockey, badminton, wrestling, shooting… In fact, anything except running and jumping which, of course, are what the Olympics started with in ancient Greece. No one expects us to run and jump, least of all, us.


3. Badminton starts on Saturday (go Saina Nehwal!), which is why badminton players may not be at the Danny Boyle show. Actually, so does boxing, athletics, handball, judo, tennis, volleyball, weightlifting and just about everything else. Football has already started. So maybe no one will be at that opening ceremony, so it’ll be all sparse and minimalist and New Age.


4. London, the best city in the world. Apart of course from New York, Paris, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Dubai, Delhi, well of course, of course, that’s a joke! If you can’t be there, you can watch it, especially that giant red squirly whirly steel thingie made by that famous Indian artist chappie Anish Kapoor (Indian! We are the greatest!). So wish you were at the West End, Covent Garden, Piccadilly,Oxford Street,Kensington Gardens, Buckingham Palace, Tate Modern, instead of wherever you are.


5. Wimbledon! This one is for me. The Championships are over, but tennis is going back to the green (or re-greened) grass. Twice in one year is remarkable and unique. (I wrote Wimbledon! But I meant Roger Federer! Of course.)


6. There’s a special Olympic sport that has been included just for India. It’s called: Where’s That Kalmadi? You can seek him here, seek him there as the former head honcho of sporty stuff and hmm, other stuff, Suresh Kalmadi, weaves and dodges his way around the Games, avoiding the media, the athletes, the police…


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