Erica Yokoyama (UWCAC 2011-2013)
On July 27th 2012, the London Olympic kicked off with a glamorous opening ceremony, including a 2.7 million pound of budget, 15 thousand of volunteers, and 70 sheep, a lot of appealing materials were prepared for that moment. The 30th summer Olympics in London seemed to be amazingly cool.
Not only London, but also the whole world was heating up as the competition progressed. The marathon in the streets of London, tennis matches in Wimbledon, exciting games captured audiences’ attention. However, unfortunately, this London Olympics 2012 also became famous for so many troubles which happened during this period. I would like to criticize about several things which occurred in the hottest 19 days in the summer of 2012.
First of all, some troubles happened even in the opening ceremony. An unknown woman slipped into the Indian athletes’ team, and she was leading the team with the flagman. Moreover, the Japanese athletes’ team was misled to an exit during their marching by mistake. These mistakes made people suspect about the security system of the organisers.
On other points, the organisers have been criticized again. One of the most significant issues for this Olympics was the ‘vacant seat’. I even heard that a lot of people could not get the seats selected by raffles, but we could see many vacant seats in the stadium through TV screen, especially in the gymnastics and swimming matches. In particular, the vacant seats for basketball games abounded. The venue of basketball game allowed accommodation for 12000 people, but 2000 seats were vacant. Those empty seats were supposed to be taken by sponsors and authorized people who had booked. Those conspicuous seats without any people definitely discouraged athletes’ eagerness, and even the audience’s passion.
The second sad thing about London Olympic was that we had to watch some disappointing games. In respect to the conformity of sportsmanship, athletes should always fight fairly and openly. However, some athletes didn’t behave like that-they just focused on winning medals. For examples, in the girl badminton doubles games, China, Indonesia, and 2 South Korean teams were disqualified because they all behaved lethargically in order to get the more attractive combination in the further stage.
On the other hand, troubles with judgements also happened quite a lot in this Olympics. In the case of the Japanese athletes, the judgement was overturned and the winner changed in both Judo and a boxing game. Also, one striking scene was the fencing game. The South Korean athlete was sitting on the edge of playing field for 45 minutes to consider why she had lost the game. In fact, a lot of people suggested that it was totally the judge’s mistake to give the German athlete scores in the last second.
Finally, this Olympics created political troubles as usual. Some athletes went missing during the Olympic period. Following the London Olympic rules, athletes are allowed to stay in the UK, the host country without a VISA until November for financial reasons. Apparently, 7 Cameroon athletes went missing before the closing ceremony. 3 athletes from Guinea, 3 athletes and a coach from Congo-republic are also missing.
Athletes, referees, organisers, and the audience-they all are Olympic participants. We all should be concerned with fairness, honesty and sportsmanship once again in order to maintain the tradition of the “holy ‘Olympics” as a festival of peace.