The last few weeks in London were surprising. The empty roads and transport seats stood as a testament to the power of media. The thoughts of renting out apartments and rooms for ridiculous prices remained a fantasy. The ambivalent feelings towards the Olympics became a drunken group hug to Hey Jude. London was – and still is – full of pride.
In a desolate attempt to digest the past two weeks and keep the spirit alive, links are being exchanged as round-ups keep emerging. This sea of content is immense – but we have selected a few favourites.
The overwhelming amount of content is partly thanks to the BBC. Despite criticism for their coverage of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, for the Olympics there could only be praise. Their team’s innovative camera set-ups enabled us to experience the games from almost every angle. For instance, a glass tube containing a camera in the end of a rope was dropped down in sync with the divers, to allow us to follow them throughout their entire jump.
We also enjoyed the Adam Curtis-style documentaries screened during the evening programmes, which revealed how the Olympic Games shapes history and politics at large. The emotional side of the event was also portrayed with the story of Derek Redmond. His determination and pride to finish his race exceeded the pain of his torn hamstring.
Because it is not only the athletes skills that has been analyzed and judged, it is also their bodies and emotional response to failure and success. We have scrutinized their facial expressions, fashion and tattoos. We have questioned the way they are portrayed and we have paid tribute to their success with humour. Even though all of this could be seen as a sign of ridicule, I see it as an embrace.
What really comes across from all this, is just how well-documented the Olympics was. And how this coverage has enabled us to feel part of the event. People have been, and still are, curating the information in most imaginative ways. It reminds us that the documentation of a project is often as important as the work itself. This is what future generation will remember of London 2012. And after the past riots and financial cuts, surely the expression of national pride and companionship is just what we needed.