The Olympics

The Olympics

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News, information and stories about the 2016 Brazilian Olympic Games and the Olympics in general.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Beware Olympics Hubris

Jacques Rogge, the president of the International Olympic Committee, is flying into London for the final inspection before the Summer Olympics.

Rogge is expected to heap praise upon the organisers. In fact the Olympic co-ordination commission chairman, Denis Oswald, is also very pleased with how things are going and is quoted in the Telegraph:
We are in a rather comfortable situation.

A few months before the Games, everything is in place.
We are not pushing to finish things as we had to do before. We feel confident. We can refine a few small things, but basically London is ready and will be ready.” 
Gentlemen beware Olympics hubris!

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

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Monday, March 26, 2012

ODA £200 Parking Fine Nixed

The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) has been thwarted in its plans to levy fines of £200 on those who park on the Olympic Route Network (ORN) during the Games.

Kerching!

The transport secretary Justine Greening has rejected this plan, noting that it would be an unnecessary burden in a challenging economic climate.

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.olympicswarehouse.com

www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Nice Little Earner - Torchbearers Charged For Torch

People who have volunteered to carry the Olympic torch around the UK, have received an email from the powers that be (London 2012) telling them that they will have to pay £199 if they want to keep the torch as a souvenir.

However, not everyone will have to pay the charge (if they want to keep the torch). Some sponsors of the torchbearers (eg Coca-Cola) have stated that the torchbearers it nominates will not have to pay.

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.olympicswarehouse.com

www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Three Cheers For The Blue White and Blue

The official outfits of Team GB for the London Olympics have been revealed today on Facebook.

For reasons best known to the designer (Stella McCartney) she has used the Union Jack but removed the red from it and replaced it with blue.

She claims that she wants the athletes to be "proud of their identity".

That being the case, why bastardise the Union flag?

Result: Loser!

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.olympicswarehouse.com

www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sponsorship Stupidity - The True Olympic's Spirit

The paranoia of Olympics sponsors (when it comes to protecting their "investment" in the London Olympics) knows no bounds.

Last month I wrote:

"There seems to be something of a hissy fit going on between the BOA and the agents of one of the sponsors of the London 2012 Olympics.

The agents of some competitors, who are sponsored by Nike, have told the BOA that athletes would be in breach of contracts if they are forced to wear Team GB’s official ”presentation outfit” which is sponsored by Adidas.


The agents have told the BOA that athletes might have to take off their shoes before mounting the presentation dais.

The BOA have hit back, and said that the rules mean that the athletes must wear the sponsor's (Adidas) footwear at all times.
"

The issue over footwear won't die down, the Telegraph reports that Aidan Kirkwood (a soldier injured in Afghanistan) was required to cover up the Raebok logo on his trainers with white tape when he appeared at an Olympic torch relay event this week.

There's the true "Olympic spirit" for you, money before sport or community spirit!

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.olympicswarehouse.com

www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

There Won't Be Chaos At Heathrow!

As citizens of, and regular travellers to, the UK know our airports (especially London airport) are operating at overcapaicity, shambolic and prone to descend into chaos at the merest hint of a snowflake or ash cloud. Therefore it should come as no surprise at all to learn that four major airlines (British Airways, BMI, Virgin Atlantic and Easyjet) have warned about the congestion and chaos likely at our airports (especially Heathrow) during the forthcoming Olympics.

Despite the fact that airlines know something (one would have thought) about the business in which they operate, Sebastian Coe is having none of it and is insisting that the airports will operate well during the games.

He is quoted by the BBC:

"There won't be chaos.

Heathrow Airport operates at full capacity all the time....we have a very good operational plan...", with Heathrow "operating a very effective service".

Hmmm, that's all very well in theory. However, he neglected to point out that Heathrow, because it operates at full capacity, often descends into chaos when the slightest little thing (eg one snowflake) goes wrong.

A temporary terminal (Terminal 6) is being constructed at Heathrow, to ease congestion.

British Airways, BMI, Virgin Atlantic and Easyjet remain unimpressed:


"As the situation currently stands the industry believes that there is a significant risk of severe delay and disruption at all of London's major airports unless urgent action is taken

Time is running out to ensure that any changes to procedures and the appropriate training are in place prior to the Games."

The proof of the pudding will be in the eating!

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.olympicswarehouse.com

www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Monday, March 19, 2012

Dorries Objects To Relaxed Sunday Trading

The absurdly out of date Sunday Trading Act 1994, that states that shops over 280 square metres in England and Wales are restricted to any six hours of continuous trading between 10:00 and 18:00 on Sundays, will be suspended for eight consecutive weekends commencing 22 June for the duration of the Olympics. 

The fact that Nadine Dorries opposes this relaxation of this hangover from the Victorian era shows what a truly inspired move this is!

Let us hope that the "relaxation" becomes permanent.

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.olympicswarehouse.com

www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

RMT Backs Driverless Trains



Last month I wrote:

"It appears that the RMT are in favour of driverless trains and, having rejected the £500 bribe offered to drivers to do their normal job during the London Olympics, will be balloting their members about strike action."

Well, the RMT continue to vote for driverless trains; the RMT has rejected an £850 bonus for London Underground (LU) employees to work during the Olympics.

Driverless trains here we come!

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.olympicswarehouse.com

www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

OIympics Budget Cat Is Finally Out of The Bag

The Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), and the rest of the government, are less than pleased that the true costs of the Olympics £12BN (including £2BN running costs) has finally hit the headlines of the mainstream media.

The Telegraph reports that Jonathan Stephens, the senior civil servant at DCMS, has written to Margaret Hodge (Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee) to complain about the fact that PAC have quoted a figure higher than the £9BN sanctioned by the government and dutifully reported by the MSM.

The £2BN running costs will come from the taxpayer (therefore it is a cost). However, the government is so keen to keep the headline figure below £10BN (a psychological breakpoint) that it is using an accounting fudge to hide the extra £2BN (by claiming some monies will be recouped, and others are not "Olympic costs").

Smoke and mirrors will no longer hide this con trick, the budget cat (reported here in 2007) is finally out of the bag and about time too!


Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.olympicswarehouse.com

www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Porridge

It seems that whilst those who compete in the Olympics stadium this year will be fit and healthy, many of those who constructed it were/are not.

The Olympics Delivery Authority (ODA) have stated that many of the 12,000 builders working on the stadium were living an 'unhealthy lifestyle', and that 28% were obese.

It seems that the workforce were living the high life at night (gorging on takeaways etc), then skipping breakfast. This then caused them to be fatigued by lunchtime, and increased the accident rate.

The solution offered by ODA was to serve bowls of porridge at £1 a bowl.

Accidents in the morning apparently decreased, as blood sugar levels and food cravings were "normalised".


Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.olympicswarehouse.com

www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Michelle Obama To Lead US Olympics Delegation

Michele Obama will lead the US delegation at the opening ceremony of the London Olympics.

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.olympicswarehouse.com

www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Friday, March 9, 2012

Olympics Budget Is £12BN

I am amused to read that MPs and the mainstream media have finally woken up to the fact that the London Olympics "budget" is not £9.3BN (as is usually stated by politicians and the media) but in fact close to £12BN (as I have always stated).

For why?

There are £2.2BN running costs on top of the £9.3BN construction costs!

I have been warning about this accounting sleight of hand for many years, eg 2007:

"Adding further pressure to the already out of control London Olympics budget (currently standing at £12BN, including £2BN running costs); Tessa Jowell revealed that the bill for policing London and the United Kingdom during the Games had soared from £200M, at the time of the 2005 bid, to a total of £1.2BN."



Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.olympicswarehouse.com

www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Unofficial London 2012 Promotional Video



Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.olympicswarehouse.com

www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Sensitivity Training

Volunteers who have stepped forward to help out at the London 2012 Olympics will be given a "sensitivity" questionnaire, in order to ensure that they do not unintentionally offend those attending or competing in the games.

These questions form part of a “diversity and inclusion” questionnaire.
Here is the questionnaire (as per the Telegraph), some of the multiple choice possible answers are quite idiotic.

1. Sexual Orientation: A spectator complains to you that there are two men holding hands sitting next to them - they feel very uncomfortable and would like you to tell the couple to stop. What do you do?
a) You tell the person to stop being a homophobic idiot and walk away.
b) You want everybody to feel comfortable and welcome at the Games, so you politely ask the couple to stop holding hands.
c) You explain that there is a huge diversity of people at the London 2012 Games, which includes gay, lesbian and bisexual couples.
2. Ethnicity/Race: You need to point out one of your team members to another colleague who requires his level of expertise. How do you describe him?
a) The tall black guy with short dark hair.
b) That guy over there, who looks like an athlete.
c) As your colleague is black, you are worried about sounding racist when you describe him, so you select another less qualified team member to assist instead.

3. Gender/Gender Identity: A spectator approaches you asking politely where the nearest toilets are. You are not sure if the spectator is male or female. What do you do?
a) Panic - you are not qualified to make this decision. Explain politely that you do not know, and sadly cannot be of assistance.
b) Just in case, tell them where the male, female and accessible toilets are.

c) Ask the spectator politely if they are male or female, so that you can direct them appropriately.
4. Disability: You are stopped by two spectators. Your attention was drawn by the man as he called over to you politely from a short distance away. The man is accompanied by a lady in a wheelchair. She has a speech impairment and speaks very quietly. She is asking you a question but you are finding it very difficult to understand her. What do you do?
a) Turn to the non-disabled man and ask him what she is saying.
b) Tell her politely that you are unable to understand her, and you are very sorry, but you need to be at your team briefing in two minutes.
c) Tell her that unfortunately you are unable to understand her, and ask if there is anything you can do to help her communicate with you.

5. Age: You have been asked by your Team Leader to assign several duties to you and your team members. One of your team members is a great deal older than the others, what do you do?
a) Ask your colleagues if they have any preferences or issues with any of the duties you need to share out, and then assign appropriately. Your older colleague does not raise any issues, so you give him one of the more physically demanding roles, as he says he has done it before.
b) Assign duties regardless of the colleague in question.
c) Wink cheekily at your older colleague and explain that you will be kind on his 'old bones' and the 'young 'uns' can do the running around today.

6. Belief: You are chatting to a fellow Games Maker at the security line while waiting to access the venue. They point out a woman in front of you who is wearing a scarf on her head and remark 'surely she won't be allowed to wear that in the venue!'. What do you say in response?
a) Ignore the comment and change the subject.
b) Point out that the woman is wearing a hijab, which is a form of Muslim headwear some women choose to wear as part of their faith.
c) Wait until your first shift with the colleague wearing the headscarf and raise your issue in front of them and your fellow team members.

Answers: 1) c; 2) a; 3) b; 4) c; 5) a; 6) b

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.olympicswarehouse.com

www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Handshakes Banned

The British Olympic Association (BOA), ever vigilant about the health safety of our nation's athletes, have come up with a "terrific wheeze" to keep our athletes safe.

The BOA have banned them from shaking hands with rivals and dignitaries at the London Olympics, lest some bug be passed on.

Given that other teams are not advised about handshakes, does this not make the BOA look rather ridiculous?

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.olympicswarehouse.com

www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Friday, March 2, 2012

Dow - It's Still Not A Wrap!

The ongoing controversy over Dow's sponsorship of the London 2012 Olympics continues, as Indian officials and politicians have stepped up the pressure to boycott the opening and closing ceremonies and other Games events.

Despite the fact that Dow did not own the chemical company involved in the Bhopal disaster at the time of the disaster (it bought Union Carbide 16 years after the disaster), many people want Dow to be stripped of its sponsorship rights.

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.olympicswarehouse.com

www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Olympics Dampen Demand

Willie Walsh, chief executive of International Airlines Group (IAG), which owns BA (the official airline of the Olympic Games) has warned that the Games will "dampen" demand for its flights, especially business class flights.

This is hardly surprising, given that the Olympics will be hugely disruptive to London's already overstretched and poorly performing third world transport infrastructure, anyone with any sense will pro-actively do all they can to avoid flying to or being in London during the Games.

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.olympicswarehouse.com

www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"