Mayor of London Boris Johnson has told people worrying the Olympic Games will not be a success to “put a sock in it” and support Team GB.
Naysayers should look to the positive impact the Games are having on London, Johnson wrote in The Sun newspaper, instead of being gripped in a “paralysing stage fright”.
“We’ve got an advanced case of Olympo-funk. We agonise about the traffic, when our transport systems are performing well and the world’s athletes are arriving on time,” said Johnson.
“We worry about security when we always planned to have a strong military role in making our games as safe as possible.
“We are nervous about our Olympic accommodation – when our Stratford village is already being showered with foreign praise.
“We gnaw our fingernails about the blinking weather, when it seems to be brightening up a bit – and anyway, it’s England in July for goodness sake and a spot of rain never hurt anyone.”
The mayor called for people to “cut out the whining” and highlighted the Olympic Park, which he noted was built on schedule and under budget. It is a “great global calling card for British construction and engineering,” he said.
Johnson also talked up the free cultural events which will be taking place during the Games and the future prosperity the event has brought through improved rail links.
Event consultant Paul Southern, who is managing director of Central Hall Westminster, believes minor hitches are inevitable with the Games because of the scale of the event.
“There are a lot of elements and it is the biggest thing that has happened in London since the last time the Games were here and it is much bigger now. It is unprecedented to see such a big city taken over by a sporting event.
“There will be issues, but it’s because it’s under more of a microscope in this country than others. But there are things that are a mess and I am not sure about the transport system.
“I am managing director of a venue next to where the volleyball will be held and we have got contradictions on contradictions about what we can and can’t do here.
“Locog says one thing, then Westminster says we can’t do that.”
But even if there are a few problems, Southern is still optimistic the Games will be a success.
He said: “In any event it’s not the problems but how they are handled.
“There will be complaints because it’s in our nature and the media will be looking for problems and things may get blown out of proportion. But there is going to be issues because there has never been anything done on this scale.”
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