London Prepares Athletics Test Event – 4th-7th May 2012
The Olympic Stadium, The Olympic Park, Stratford, East London
Pierre de Coubertin was the original Seb Coe – the original organisational mastermind behind the modern Olympic Games. He would’ve said ‘Bonjour’. Being linguistically inferior I will just say ‘Hello’. I am a postgraduate student currently researching my dissertation into the Olympic Movement and its relationship with the practice and discourse of sustainable international development. Jonathan Bean has kindly allowed me to use this blog Ethical Athlete as a platform from which to launch some of my ideas and thoughts as I delve deeper into my studies. In doing so I seek to complement Jonathan’s more personal approach with the global perspective of minimizing the social and environmental impact of living an active life.
The fast approaching London Olympics are everywhere from missile launch pads, unruly landlords, and doping controversies right through to the virgin pages of this blog. So I hope what I put forward here can offer some stimulus for thought behind and between the headlines that will increasingly dominate the media formats around us. But before going global please forgive the personal beginnings of this, my first contribution…
Recently I was lucky enough to take part in the BUCS Visa Outdoor Track and Field Athletic Championships in the Olympic Stadium that Jonathan mentioned here. Competing for my current institution, Edinburgh University, in the Men’s 400m I unfortunately did not make it to the semi-finals and so found myself with two full free days to indulge myself as a spectator of both the remaining events and their resplendent surroundings. Alongside watching some truly world class performances (Andrew Pozzi, Men’s 110mH Olympic qualification ‘A’ standard, Personal Best, and Championship Best Performance of 13.35s) in a truly wonderful stadium that meant making the most of the free coffee and water provided in the athlete’s area (in disposable paper and plastic vessels respectively), reading one of thousands of copies of the same free programme and magazine (both glossy A4) or clapping loudly on my very own Visa-emblazoned, cardboard concertina noise-maker (technical term).
Now I don’t mean to get carried away with the easy enviro-critiques of this event or any of the others that will take place on the site over the coming weeks and especially those in the fortnight after the 27th July. I only seek to remind myself and any readers here that as I begin to look at the macro environmental effects of Olympism across the world, away from the Games themselves, there are plenty of sustainability issues to address closer to home as well.
Any fans of The Apprentice amongst us will be familiar with Azar’s insistence on strategy. His persistent repetitions of the word in his farewell episode the other week mirror that of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) and their obsession with legacy. My posts here and my dissertation proper will be asking if LOCOG’s legacy has a strategy for the planet and not just its people.