Seldom can the mood around a major event have changed so profoundly, so quickly.
Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony for the London 2012 Olympic Games may have only hinted at the scale on show in China four years earlier, but it tapped into something deep within the psyche of the host nation, setting the scene for a brilliantly successful event that swept aside the fears and cynicism of the build-up.
On reflection, London 2012 was the high watermark not just of British self-esteem – now collapsed into the rancour of Brexit – but also of mega-event confidence. For all the disputes over a growing budget, the UK could fairly well afford its Games but not every city in the world is London. What those two balmy August weeks actually heralded – together with the wonderful Paralympics that followed in September – was the age of megaevents fit largely for mega-cities. Towards the end of the year, as it struggled to find takers for an expanded 24-team tournament, Uefa confirmed that the 2020 edition of its European Championship would be spread right across the continent.
Another thing the Games emphatically confirmed was London’s status as a leading sporting capital. The industry there was further boosted by the arrival of BT Sport, whose entry into the Premier League rights market was a major factor in the pumping of another UK£3.018 billion of TV cash into English soccer clubs’ coffers.
The athletes know now that the authorities know too much about them with all the blood testing; there are something like 10,000 blood tests a year. We know too much, so they’re not going to take the risk
Pat McQuaid, president, UCI – Issue 40
- IOC and USOC bury the hatchet with new revenuesharing deal
- All Blacks break with tradition to sell first shirt sponsorship to AIG
- Poland and Ukraine make their major event bow, staging Uefa Euro 2012
- LA Dodgers sell for US$2 billion in record franchise transaction