Olympic Football
August 12, 2012

Some of you have asked why I have been so quiet over this week. Well that is because I was actually working (and pretty hard at that too for a change). London might be quiet but that hasn’t stopped my UK staff keeping me busy this last week. I did make sure I got home to watch the evening athletics though generally.

Yesterday was the football final and I had a ticket (and was entertaining clients) for Wembley. The game was between Brazil and Mexico for the gold medal. It started at 3pm but we had hospitality included in our tickets and so we met at 12pm for lunch at the stadium. As you can see from the picture, the weather in London has been really good the last few days. It was 26 degrees yesterday and today it is around 28 degrees.

First time I have been to Wembley Stadium and it is quite an impressive stadium. We had superb seats just to the right of the half way line about 20 rows up (directly behind where the Mexican coach was positioned). Fortunately we were in our seats as the game started because Mexico scored in 32 seconds from the kick off. Brazil actually kicked off so you can tell from that they made an absolute mess of the start and basically gifted Mexico the goal.

Mexico dominated the possession and game during the first half and fully deserved their 1-0 lead at half time. It wasn’t great football though but fortunately the 2nd half was much improved with a more open game which created opportunities for both teams. Mexico scored again and at 2-0 with only a few minutes left there was pretty much no hope for Brazil. They did have a few chances in those minutes and eventually did net one but at that point there was only 3 minutes to go and Mexico just hoofed everything down field and so they won (in what was somewhat of an upset) 2-1. The Mexican supporters in the ground went crazy and by the time I got on the train about 2 hours after the finish they still were going for it. Big party night for them.

One of our clients managed to get sick and throw up at half time. He left immediately the match left (understandably) but I would have preferred if he hadn’t shook my hand! Kept that hand apart of the rest of me and didn’t touch anything until I could get to the bathroom and it is a good scrub with soap and hot water.

The crowds leaving the stadium were just ridiculous. By the far the worst I have experienced at any Olympic event. This was after I waited for about an hour after the finish to avoid the crowds! That clearly did not work. It took me an hour to get on the train and home. Can’t really complain too much because generally there were no or only few delays.

After having been to 5 Olympic events, the football was my least favourite one. It didn’t really feel like an Olympic event. The clients seemed to enjoy it though.

So that is my Olympic experience over as I head home tonight. I did get a last minute experience today as the men’s marathon finished around 1pm very close to the flat so I “experienced” some of the crowd waiting for the runners to come through. I did think though that given I am pretty experienced now in Olympic matters I could conclude my Olympic blogging with some (random) thoughts about the Olympics so here they are:

1. The Olympic Oath is “In the name of all the competitors I promise that we shall take part in these Olympic Games, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them, committing ourselves to a sport without doping and without drugs, in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honor of our teams.” Right. Sure. Say those words and then the competitors pretty much break each part of those. The 1500m was won by an athlete just back from a doping ban (wonder what he was during his ban?); bronze medal in the 100m to an Athlete who has twice been bust for doping and our own Cameron vd Bergh wins gold by cheating in tbe Breaststroke by using a butterfly kick and even admits it but says it is ok because he couldn’t win otherwise. He then proceeded to say that it is important for him for the ethics of the sport to admit he did it. Umm, I think that is confused ethics. How about not cheating to win the gold?! I know he is from SA but I would rather have him give the medal back.

2. 82 men have run under 10 seconds in the 100m – 81 of those are black. And just before the race the BBC runs a segment on whether running (and speed) is nature or nurture. Let me answer that one, if you’re black you could be nurtured to run in under 10 seconds. If you’re white, don’t bother trying it ain’t in your nature.

3. Who invented some of these sports and what were they smoking at the time? Dressage for instance. I understood that the Olympics was for people and not for animals. I didn’t see any of the horses parading around during the opening ceremony. So why how does a horse doing tricks get you a gold medal at the Olympics? And who would ever not use their hands to stop someone kicking you in the head like in Taekwondo? And how does that scoring work – kick the guy in the head you get 3 points, kick the guy in the chest and you get 1 point. And their are style points for how you kick the guy? Really?! Style for kicking?!! All I would do is kick the guy between the legs and move on to the next competitor. I could win a medal in Taekwondo. Rather bring back some of the sports they ditched from the Olympics where there was no dispute who the winner is. Like ‘Duelling pistols’ which was stopped in 1906 (I guess the problem was that the silver medallist couldn’t collect their medal and they couldn’t decide who gets bronze). Or maybe ‘Live Pigeon Shooting’ (stopped in 1900) – whoever killed the most pigeons got the gold (they could have held that event at Trafalgar Square this year).

4. Someone said to me this week any sport that requires judges to give you points should not be at the Olympics. How does one person doing three turns and jumping in the pool get less points than one person who only does one flip but makes less of a splash? I am in agreement with this thought. I suspect we might be headed for Ballroom dancing becoming an Olympic sport otherwise.

5. Beach Volleyball is my new favourite sport.

6. What happened to all the unfriendly Londoners? Someone actually spoke to my on the tube this week (in fact it happened more than once). And 3 people stopped me to ask for help. I was afraid I was about to get mugged. Held on tight to my wallet during those exchanges but it turned out they really were in need of help. The only question is now whether they will stay this way or whether on Monday they go back to being grumpy again.

7. The Brits do know how to organise things. The organisation has been extremely well done. They really can take a bow. I don’t believe you could improve much on how things have worked. The IOC should just make a decision to allow London to host all Olympic games.

8. Why on earth do they give posies to the winners? I can understand giving flowers to the women but the men, really?! I know this the first Olympic games to have gender equality but really, I don’t know a man that wants a posy. I bet they just get thrown away or handed to the nearest good looking female they see. They could have saved a lot of money.

9. Who says arrogance doesn’t get you places? Anyone watch and/or listen to Usain Bolt over the last few days. His arrogance is so extreme it is actually funny. The guy can run though (but then he is black so we shouldn’t be surprised – see point 2).

10. And my last thought, are we reaching the end to improvement in times and distances. Only three world records in the athletics and two of those in relays. There is an interesting link if you’re interested in this type of thing. You can see the improvement in the 100m here:

Those are my thoughts exhausted. Thanks for your comments (for those of you who did comment).

5 thoughts on “Olympic Football

  1. Well Peter, thanks for giving us some feed back as you went….. I enjoyed it and I agree with a number of points you have made.

    BUT what I am very very happy about is the England dropped Kevin Pietersen talk about arrogance !! who does he really think he is? let this be a lesson that he takes very seriously. Chat soon, sure your family will be happy to see you.

  2. Many thanks, Peter, for your entries and for taking our granddaughter on holiday with you. Brian and I know she is a lovely girl but we still thought it was both brave and generous of you to do that.
    I have enjoyed all your entries and hope you find some other theme to comment on as I shall miss them. I must admit that I was also chicken and did not enter my height and weight but before you condemn us all it may be that others were like me and did not wish to be identified with a discus-thrower or weight-lifter or some other strangely shaped person! By the way, who were you matched with?

  3. After all that, I don’t need to bother going to the Olympics. Felt like I experienced it with you. Enlightening and every hilarious blog on the Olympics. Thanks.

  4. After one of Usain Bolt’s interviews, the American commentator added: “No one can have a higher opinion of Usain Bolt than than he has of himself”. We were also laughing at him.

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