LETTER: London 2012 Olympic Games need pruning

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MISTEr Pendle echoed the sentiments of many of us a little while ago when he advocated a serious pruning of the ultra-expensive, superficial glamour of the Olympic Games opening ceremony.

Not many days to go now to the big event, but are pulse rates rising, or sporting tensions mounting as the countdown continues? Not yet, perhaps. Maybe the adrenaline will start pumping soon and sports’ lovers will begin to discuss London 2012.

Mr Pendle won’t watch the crazy flag-waving on the opening day. He won’t be the only one by any means. But what happens next?

How’s this for starters: archery, beach volleyball without a real beach in sight, fencing, handball, shooting, basketball. True Olympic sports? No way!

But there’s more nonentities lined up on the 2012 London menu. How about canoeing, badminton, synchronised swimming?

The sanity will be restored when the athletes mount the rostrum after their efforts in such stellar events as the 1,500m, 100 and 200m, 800m, the marathon, the decathlon and the relays.

All events not to be missed. Events to produce true Olympians.

It won’t be too easy to get a ticket for, say, the 100m final. Too many are booked for corporate sponsors or International Olympic Committee hierarchy and, if Joe Bloggs is lucky enough to get one, he’ll have to get a mortgage top-up to pay for it.

Many thousands of words have already been written about the Games. From Day One, the allocation of tickets has been shambolic. Some hoteliers are grabbing the chance to double or even treble their accommodation rates for the duration of the games.

The worried security chiefs have arranged for a bigger safeguard presence than we had in Afghanistan. In grid-locked London, there will be scores of traffic-free lanes - but that facility is only for use by VIPs. Joe Public can get to any event of his choice if he’s lucky.

Some of us are already looking to the 2016 Olympiad. Darts is sure to be on that agenda, provided someone can afford the cash for the scantilly-dressed dancing girls.

You can’t have one without the other, can you?

ERIC GREENWOOD

Beaufort Street, Nelson