it is really impossible NOT to talk about the olympics here at some point… they officially closed last sunday night, with another glitzy extravaganza that was bright enough to get caught on the tower blocks around my home. my favourite moment of that evening was the ugandan gold medal – their first olympic medal in 40 years!…
i was really very curious what would happen in the immediate aftermath of the olympics. i mean: people, teams, organisations, neighbourhoods, the city, the local athletes have worked towards this for 6 (S-I-X ) years. irrespective of my personal view about the olympics it felt like a growing movement, an avalanche slowly taking off, gaining momentum, increasing its pace, kicking loose and sweeping along more and more of anything near it, and finally gushing into the city with force impossible to stay unmoved by. but now it’s come to a halt – and what will the city do? get back to normal, a typical busy chaotic monday morning? total post-event exhaustion – maybe even depression? a continued party to celebrate the success – and finally summer???
somehow it wasn’t any of all of these. london to me felt almost like in a state of trance this week – quiet streets, quiet shops, quiet offices, quiet phones. every day another conversation about ‘where have you been to see the opening ceremony?’ conversations about favourite races, favourite venues, favourite medals, favourite moments. one very olympics-critical friend found london ‘magical’ during the 2 weeks. a mediator i worked with has dedicated their family holidays to the olympics and spent time on olympic volunteering and money on olympic tickets – and the whole family are now eagerly awaiting the paralympics.
and maybe that’s what it is: the big event is over, yes, but the little sister is still to come. and when i think of all the londoners i know (including myself) that got last-minute tickets to paralympic events out of a last-minute enthusiasm, then i think the avalanche is still moving, just pausing – yes, as if someone had pressed the ‘PAUSE’ button and everything stopped still – in anticipation for the ‘start’ button to open the grand finale. what will come after the finale, though?