When we won the bid in July 2005 it was to tearful, joyous celebration! Sure enough, it will enhance British tourism no end, boost the economy and raise our international profile. There are plenty of reasons to be excited....but did they REALLY think this through?
If you're a dedicated Olympic enthusiast (on telly of course, from the comfort and safety of your own sofa) then you'll know that the Olympic events themselves don't really matter. Who cares who wins gold in the relay, the 1500 metres, or whether Usain Bolt manages to run the 100m in 5.4 seconds this year?
The fact is that all this is secondary, what we're REALLY judging is that Opening Ceremony, that's what it all boils down to, what we as Britons will be being measured against.
We don't stand a chance!
Sure, we can pull all the fireworks out of the hat, the lightshows, incredible artistic displays etc etc etc.
But what on earth are we going to do for a national dance?
At the 2008 Beijing Olympics there were what seemed like thousands of martial arts dancers, lighted dancers and gorgeous lady-dancers in flowing imperialesque (word?) robes, performing during a seemingly endless 4 hour opening ceremony. Do we even HAVE that many people? I think they had an unfair advantage there.
in 2004 the Olympics went home, to Athens. They didn't have a dance as such, but they did have ladies with their boobies out (ok...so they were covered in body paint.....but STILL). I very much doubt we could do something like that without it looking like we were attempting to resort to our Page 3 model selection. Sheer class and elegance not being our strong point, I think it's best avoided.
The 1992 Olympics in Barcelona was seen in in traditional flamenco style.
So....what do we have?
The consensus in October 2005 seemed to be that most peculiar of British institutions....the Morris Dance. Given the increasing competition that seems to have been developing over the years in regards to opening ceremonies, (comparable only to the nuclear arms race) can you imagine how perplexed our international visitors might be when faced with a thousand strangely clad men waving hankies and sticks, bells a-jingling as they jig up and down?
This would likely follow a procession of Page 3 models headed up by Boris Johnson poised proudly under a giant helium-filled Toad in the Hole.
For those of you who may not have witnessed morris dancing in it's full glory, let me educate you.
Fear not Britain....London, for I think I may have come to the rescue. I've come up with four alternatives for your perusal and I'd like to perform a poll! Please, feast your eyes upon the glut of talent I have provided:
First off, the obvious: David Brents Charity Dance from The Office
The next option: Mr Beans Dance
Number 3: Monty Pythons Fish-Slapping Dance
And finally: Possibly my favourite, Webbs Banana Dance
I say that was my favourite, but picture a stadia filled to the brim with prancing Englishmen brandishing a mackerel in each hand. I'd pay.
In case you think I'm being unnecessarily cruel in mocking our Olympic capabilities, may I remind you of the 2012 logo:
Don't pretend like you don't remember how it's been described!
Vote away ladies and gents!