We are a week into the Olympic games and we have witnessed some brilliant sporting moments. Many were thrilled by Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony, Helen Glover and Heather Stanning became the first British women to win gold in rowing and Michael Phelps added another gold and silver to his scintillating swimming career. He is now officially the greatest Olympian of all time obtaining a record 19th Olympic medal. The great Games have however experienced a few set backs and shortcomings, which we will discuss here.
I am only one of the many outraged fans who can’t understand why tickets have been sparse for many of the sporting events being hosted at London 2012. My reaction can only be one of greater animosity when I see rows of empty seats on the TV. Organizers responded to the problem by handing out free tickets to British troops and schoolchildren to fill the void. The question I have, why offer so many tickets to corporate sponsors who just couldn’t be bothered to turn up to the event and have effectively ruined the enjoyment for the rest of us.
No Debit; No Credit
A colossal failure at Wembley stadium last Sunday when thousands of football fans were unable to pay for refreshments with their credit or debit cards because the local IT systems failed. This left visitors with the only option of withdrawing cash to pay for their food and drinks. The bigger issue – there were only eight cash machines in the whole stadium to serve all those fans, because the majority of cash machines had been removed to honour Visa’s sponsorship of the Games.
Raise the Wrong Flag
When the North Korean women’s football team came out for their match against Columbia imagine their anger when the South Korean flag was displayed on the electronic scoreboard to represent the team. As a result of this huge overhaul the squad refused to play and the game was delayed for at least an hour until the flag was corrected. What a way to start the Olympic campaign.
16 year old Chinese swimmer, Ye Shiwen, executes a world-record breaking swim to clinch the 400m individual medley. How do competitors react to her performance, by making allegations she has been doping. Many have jumped to her defense including Swimming legend, Ian Thorpe, who told the BBC many younger swimmers are able to make greater improvements in their personal best times, compared to other swimmers. Also is there no possibility she could have really fought for the gold medal and pushed all her internal barriers to win the 400m individual medley?
No Space to see the Shooting
Almost 40 fans were denied entry into the men’s 10-metre air rifle qualifying competition held at the Royal Artillery Barracks. Fans who had taken the time to attend the event were told seats for qualifying matches would be allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis, if they wanted to see the 47 rifle shooters taking part. All because the Games website had not effectively outlined what “general admission tickets” actually entailed.
Competing to Lose
Acrimony and indignation filled the Wembley Arena once badminton fans discovered World doubles champions Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang of China, and their South Korean opponents Jung Kyun-eun and Kim Ha-na were intentionally losing their match in order to set up an easier quarter final draw. Both teams were deliberately throwing serves into the net and making blatant errors, such as flicking the shuttlecock wide so they could lose the game. Good on the Badminton World Federation for disqualifying eight badminton players for throwing their matches which included a player from Indonesia.
Racism on Twitter
Swiss footballer, Michel Morganella, was sent home for posting racist comments about his South Korean counterparts, after they lost 2-1 to South Korea on Sunday. He follows Greek triple jumper, Voula Papachristou, after she was expelled from the tournament for ridiculing African immigrants on Twitter. Frankly if you are not willing to show some form of human decency you don’t deserve to be a part of these wonderful games.