The M4 is closed, there is no security at the Park, Boris is blaring out Orwellian style from transport hubs across London – are we really ready to host the greatest show on earth?
Such nerves are natural of course, I remember what I was like on the morning of my wedding, and this party has over 3million people invited – not to mention the 2billion plus watching the wedding video. That said, it is time now to run a collective hot bath, add some lavender oil, sink in, reflect and get a little perspective.
London 2012 has been the biggest peace-time infrastructure project since the late 1940’s and has been completed on-time and pretty much to budget. Not only that, the Olympic Park looks amazing. During this time tens of thousands of jobs have been created at a time when they have been needed more than ever, and a grotty, underinvested part of London has received the face-lift of face-lifts.
Not only that, but our creative industry has been delivered a major boost delivering advertising campaigns, TV shows and driving media awareness on behalf of sponsors and non-sponsors alike. The shop window that has been created for agencies in this sector will reap rewards for many years to come.
Then there are less obvious benefits. As we speak there over 550 British swimmers, athletes, gymnasts, rowers and elite performers from a dozen other disciplines all going through their final stages of preparation before the Games. Each and every one of these incredible people have the potential to inspire an entire nation. Kelly Holmes, Denise Lewis, Linford Christie, Seb Coe – the hairs on my arms still stand up as I remember their achievements. If they can inspire a slightly overweight dad of two standing on the 7:59 from Chiswick, imagine what this generation of sporting heroes will do for our kids?
So, with just 14days to go and as I wonder round London, looking at the flags on the lamposts, the rings on tower bridge I can’t help but feel really excited. The time for grumbling and pessimism is over – let the Games begin!