Olympic Stadium

For all its foibles, shortcomings, and outright fails, the ticketing system of the London 2012 Olympic Games had us hooked. At its mercy, we were stuck refreshing the page again and again hoping to strike Olympic pay dirt.

 

Olympic Park in the distance. So close, yet so far… Read more

Gideon Rachman

The stands at Olympic events are dotted with small children. Their parents have usually kitted them out in expensive replica kits. It is clearly all meant to be a great family day out, a treasured memory and so on.  But, usually, it does not work out like that.

The problem is that the average five year-old has limited patience with watching the heats for the women’s shot put – even if the tickets were fiendishly expensive and hard to get hold of. Young children are also bad at dissembling. I was in the Olympic Stadium on Saturday morning, as Jessica Ennis closed in on gold in the heptathalon. The adults in the crowd were going crazy, as she prepared for the long-jump. But the child behind me, made it clear that he was much more interested in eating a Kit-Kat.  As the morning wore on, his hapless parents were ground down by their toddler’s repeated question – “Is that one Usain Bolt?” After a couple of hours, Bolt actually did appear to run his heat. But the kid had long since interest and was now campaigning to go for a wee. Read more

Will there be enough food – and staff – to serve the hordes of spectators at the Olympic stadium? Mark Wembridge gives his view Read more

James Blitz

The Olympics offer a chance for a deeper debate in the UK over how the Army can be used in homeland resilience, says James Blitz Read more

I snapped this from a flat near the Olympic Park during a rehearsal for the opening ceremony, which my friends attended. The contents of the show are supposed to be shrouded in secrecy ahead of Friday’s extravaganza, so I’m going to stick to the #savethesurprise mantra.

For background: here are some of the already-known details about the opening ceremony, but Danny Boyle, the Oscar-winning film director who is the mastermind of the show, appealed to the audience to keep the secret going until Friday night, so I won’t give anything more away from inside the stadium. Read more