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Didn’t they do well! Barbicania

hate catch phrases – and the one I’ve used to title this editorial is one of the ones I dislike the most – but it seems so appropriate for the recent summer of athletics and how London coped, and perhaps most of all how the Olympic euphoria

appears to have illuminated the whole country. At the time of writing the Olympic Games are now behind us and the Paralympics in full flow – but they will be over by the time you read this. Failing some disaster at the latter games – and the portents are positive at the time

of writing with the expectation that some 2.5 million tickets will have been sold - London will perhaps have gone down as hosting the best Olympics/Paralympics ever, and the horror predictions of airport and transport chaos and hugely congested traffic systems have all proved to be nothing more than schadenfreude by the doubters. Indeed the scaremongering may well have been so prevalent that it contributed to

the overall success of the Games. It appears that people who work in London stayed away in their thousands, managing to work quite happily from home instead of making the commute. Indeed travelling against the commute over London Bridge one early evening it was noticeable how few people were actually crossing the Thames on foot to head towards what was supposed to be likely to be one of the most congested stations in the capital. Normally the bridge would be packed with commuters heading home. Indeed the most disruptive element from the writer’s point of view was the convoluted one-way station approach system for pedestrians at London Bridge which, in terms of numbers passing through it, seemed to be totally unnecessary. Even the whingers on Barbican Talk were pretty well silenced as those accessing

the bulletin board who had travelled to the Olympic Park were commenting how short a time it took to get there and how quick it was to negotiate the queues to get in through security and the gates. Indeed the Barbican proved to be a great location for those lucky enough to get tickets to the events. And of course three Olympic Gold medals at the athletic arena on the same

Saturday evening, with another to follow exactly a week later were the highlights and created a remarkable feelgood factor for UK attendees and the millions watching on live TV – while in the Velodrome, UK cyclists dominated, while the rowers and horsemen and women were superb – and as for that supreme test of the triathlon the brothers Brownlee’s gold and bronze medals were an amazing achievement. Made us all feel good to be from the United Kingdom. The costs of the games were obviously high, but one suspects the heritage of the

Games may well make the whole thing worthwhile. Holding many of the events close by key historical landmarks will undoubtedly help boost tourism for the future – particularly given that for the most part the weather was halfway decent – while the specially built facilities will hopefully be put to great use in the future. Overall I think it’s fair to say LOCOG did a pretty good job and silenced the

doubters while we in the Barbican were in a great location to take advantage. Lawrence Williams


Lawrence Williams Editor

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