London Calling: Olympics 100 Days Out
The drumbeat is starting. A hundred days from today, the Summer Games will open in London. The milestone was marked by athletes and sports fans in Britain and around the globe.
The U.S. Olympic Committee created a mini-Olympic Village in Times Square in honor of the 100-days out featuring dozens of elite athletes, giveaways, autograph sessions, media interviews, interactive sport experiences, and a touch of London. All day, fans stopped by to meet such athletes as Missy Franklin (the "female Phelps"), Allyson Felix and Janet Evans.
From London'sTrafalgar Square to the West Bank in Palestine, 100-day celebrations took place in Istanbul, Caracas, Miami, Wellington, Berlin, Sarajevo, St. Petersburg and 2014 Winter Olympics host Sochi.
The Olympics, an all-consuming sporting event that takes place every two years (Summer and Winter Games) for two weeks, are a bit like the holidays. We're filled with anticipation and the Games return us, at least sub-consciously, to the school playing field and memories of families gathered around the TV watching treasured moments.
100 Days Olympic Clock : © Tolga Akmen/London News Pictures/ZUMAPRESS.com
With test events, training camps, and time trials now underway, the London 2012 Olympic chiefs say they are in "great shape" for the final lap before the sports extravaganza kicks off. Getting ready for the Olympics is no easy task for the host city. The modern Games are a grand spectacle of the highest order and Beijing raised the bar rather high.
In recent times, however, the Games have either been hijacked by corporations, ruined national economies or been embroiled in politics. London, a city that was ablaze with rioting last summer, is now 100 days from welcoming the world into their backyard. How will it all play out?
The Telegraph sums it up this way:
London will become the Olympics and the Olympics will become London so that the two are indivisible. This is how it works for two weeks. Then it lifts like a spaceship and lands somewhere else, leaving the empty stadiums, the memories and the bills.
The Olympics are really a story of obsession. Whether it is the focused attention of the IOC bureaucrats, the host city planners, or the networks and sponsors, the preoccupation is similar. But underneath the headlines touting super stars and super feats, and the millions of dollars gained or lost, thousands of relatively unknown athletes continue to toil, performing repetitive actions in preparation for their big day. At the heart of the Olympics are the athletes themselves - the men and women who represent their countries on the world's largest sporting stage.
In the weeks and months and ahead, we'll meet some of those athletes. Whether their event lasts 10 seconds or 10 hours, whether they participate in a blue ribbon event or an underappreciated sport, we'll meet them and their teams. No one wins an Olympic medal alone. It takes family members, trainers, coaches, sponsors, etc. working in concert for one goal.
It may be too soon to call favorites going into London, but we're ready for the Games to begin.
On your marks...