Tara, one of our temps helping out with years of unsorted Boris-related filing, can’t abide sport. She won’t watch it on the telly and doesn’t know the difference between Jessica Ennis and Jessica Rabbit. So, as you may imagine, she’s dreading the next few months when EVERYTHING ON THE TELEVISION has something to do with the forthcoming Olympic Games.
This week, TV coverage was dominated not by Olympic qualifying or events, but by ancient ceremonies in which something that looks like a giant Cornetto (but on fire) was passed from person to person. Yes, the Olympic Torch has been lit in Greece, and is on its way to making a laborious and lengthy journey around the UK. Yes, people of Britain! Come and catch a glimpse of a local celebrity running down your High Street brandishing a giant flaming object!
Boris was joined at the ceremony by Princess Anne, Lord Coe and, according to the Greeks, Sir David Beckham. Well, it’s only a matter of time, isn’t it?
The president of the Hellenic Olympic Committee, Spyros Capralos, handed the flame to the Princess Royal at the Panathenaic Stadium, which staged the first modern Games in 1896. Lord Coe told spectators: “For the past eight days our two countries have connected in a very special way, in the spirit of peace and friendship of the flame and the values of this great Olympic movement.”
He described the handover as “an occasion of international significance and importance”. The ceremonies over recent days have been attended by thousands of Greeks – hardly a surprise when you consider the vast majority of them are now unemployed or on strike thanks to all that austerity and bailout shenanigans.
Bozza said: “Bringing the Olympic flame back from its ancient home in Greece is a hugely symbolic moment which will ignite people’s hopes and aspirations for what will be a summer like no other. As well as providing a fantastic spectacle of sport the London Games are giving us a once in a lifetime chance to make London an even better place to live, work and do business in.
“We must grasp the huge opportunities that they present to build on the investment we are making to deliver thousands of new jobs, new homes and new infrastructure that are already delivering solid economic growth in our great city.”