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September 1, 2008


Can Britain Meet Expectations in 2012?


By Hope Dowsett

Junior reporter

Youth Journalism International


Dinas Cross, WALES – As Beijing waved goodbye to the Olympic flame, Britain could only think of itself.

Now, after what seems like one of the most successful Summer Games ever, we have the colossal task of following it up. But, being Britain, sitting beneath China’s shadow is not a viable nor acceptable option.

It may be four years until 2012, but already Britain has caught Olympic fever. This can, of course, only be a positive thing, according to the government.

With soaring obesity death rates and a new labeling of ‘Fat Britain,’ a promotion of sport of any kind is seen as hugely beneficial. It’s also a chance for our nation’s floundering Labor government to prove itself to its people, and fulfill promises of a happy and prosperous country for all.

The Olympics will also be, as they have been to China, a showcase for us – a chance for Britain to show the rest of the world our country in a brand new light, drawing attention away from issues such as the war in Iraq and the July 7, 2005 terrorist attacks.

Quintessentially, 2012 will be Britain’s almighty chance to mercilessly show off – and there are plans already to savor every bit of it. 

But it’s difficult to show off something that is not yet complete – and even Britain, with its usual brash confidence – seems a bit unsure.

With budgets under half the size of Beijing’s for the Games and visible governmental confusion over whether to make this the ‘British Games’ or the ‘London Games,’ everyone’s already feeling slightly jaded.

With tax money taken from every UK pocket for the Games, citizens throughout the rest of Britain may well find the idea of limiting it to London unfair and narrow-minded.

London 2012’s 8-minute slot in Beijing’s closing ceremony barely installed confidence in our nation’s abilities, either.

The performance, which consisted mainly of David Beckham, topiary, and an open-top bus has been slammed by many top newspapers and critics as being ‘overly cliched’ and ‘tacky,’ some even deeming it ‘laughable.’

In short, it just didn’t live up to expectations – and left viewers feeling somewhat empty. 

Let’s hope, for our fantastic athletes and our country’s sake, that the 8-minute slot doesn’t reflect our Olympics, and that our country can still march on proudly four years from now.


Read more coverage of the 2008 Olympics


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