Will the Olympics light up your world?

The Olympic Torch, coming to a city near you.
The Olympic Torch, coming to a city near you.

Will you go to see the Olympic torch when it comes here next June? I won’t.

I wouldn’t go to the garden gate to see it or even look out of the front window. But then, I’m huffing.

“Now everyone is invited to plan their welcome and find out where they can go to be part of this historic occasion,” enthused Lord Coe. “The Olympic Games are coming to you as the Olympic flame gives people across Northern Ireland their moment to shine,” he said.

Big deal! “The Olympic Games are coming to you,” he says. But you’re not going to the Olympics.

The so called “People’s Olympics” are only the ‘top’ people’s and the lucky people’s Olympics. The rest of us will get a flaming torch going past the end of our road.

Still, according to the noble lord, it’ll give us a “moment to shine”. We’re easily satisfied, so!

I’m huffing because allocating tickets by ballot is unfair and wrong.

If it were the right way of doing it why don’t they let their computer also decide who gets the medals? It would cut out all that palaver.

The point is that in sport it’s the people who come first, second and third who get the prizes. So, shouldn’t spectators get their tickets on a first come, first served basis, as well?

The corporate fat cats will be there, entertaining their friends. They’ll probably include wealthy bankers.

It’ll be some consolation to them for all that public opprobrium they’ve had to face. At last they’ll be treated like the royalty they think they are.

Those of us who’ve spent a lifetime taking part in particular sports, coaching and encouraging young people, administering and travelling to competitions can bog off when it comes to “The People’s Olympics.”

The system encouraged a huge number of people to apply for tickets for events they had virtually no interest in just for the sake of getting tickets for something. That meant that the real enthusiasts lost out.

For most people, my own favoured sport of rowing would just possibly be of some interest to the general public if they changed the rules to allow the boats to ram each other.

Surely it’s only the real aficionados who’d want to watch grown men and women racing each other whilst sitting down, going backwards?

Yet close relatives of competitors and those of us who’ve spent time coaching them won’t get to see them race because so many tickets have gone to those with little or no interest. I might watch on TV if I can get over the bitterness.

Ah well, we’ll all have a wonderful “moment to shine” as Lord Coe’s flaming torch passes. It’ll be in the North between June 3 and June 7 with an evening celebration in St Columb’s Park on June 4.