Do you want to talk about the Olympics?

There is no getting away from the Olympics. Why would I want to? We are collectively obsessed with the games and with good reason: this has been the greatest Olympics ever. Because, as Caitlin Moran wrote in the Times yesterday “Just like every new baby is the best baby ever, and every new spring triumphs over the last, all Olympics are the best, ever.” Olympics is a crazy collective dream. Noone wants to miss it.

The face of the games: some of the competitors will win olympic medals making their wildest dreams come true. Many others will achieve their personal goals. Wojdan Shaherkani, a 16 year old girl  from Saudi Arabia, is doing something she probably never wanted, but more important than all the medals together: she is the first Saudi woman to compete at the Games.

On the outside looking in: from the Financial Times London in Love with its games.

All come backs to theatre: From Mark Lawson at the Guardian Why the Olympic opening ceremony was a triumph of agitprop theatre.

Because we can never talk too much about the London 2012 opening ceremony: a blog post by my twitter friend Lucas Hare “Thank you, Danny Boyle. You caught me off guard”.

Uncharacteristic behaviour: BBC commentators keep their cool. Or not. What happened as Mo Farah won the 10,000m Olympic gold?

And finishing with a tweet that was making the rounds last night, after Super Saturday: “a mixed race girl, an African refugee & a ginger bloke walk into a bar. Everyone buys them a drink”. Quite.

Five Reasons the London 2012 opening ceremony kicked ass

Better qualified people have been commenting on the ceremony (my current favourite is the Sports Illustrated article), but I figured most of them won’t be able to use “kick ass” in the title. Clearly, this is exactly what the ceremony (and Danny Boyle) did, so it’s entirely appropriate to correct this and to write my personal response to the event. (Further reading: the Illuminations blog has a good selection of articles about the ceremony). In no particular order:

1) It made us proud to be British: many said that exact thing last night. But when I say it, I think it means more: because I am not British. Many of us came from somewhere else and made a home here, and this ceremony, like the best of Britain and, especially, the best of London, made sense of the fact that London is my home too.

2) It was unifying: I don’t mean united in feeling or pride (although it was that too). I refer to that unique moment when everyone was thinking the same thing: “It can’t be her, can it?”. Outside fiction, how often can you have half a billion people having the same thought at the same moment? The deliciousness of a film featuring James Bond and The Queen (the real Queen) is obvious, but it’s worth noting the Sun had printed the story back in April. But it printed on April Fool’s and nobody believed it. Pay attention because it’s unlikely I ‘ll say this about the Sun ever again: how brilliant is that? Continue reading