Giant Olympic rings suspended from the Tower Bridge, 26 June 2012. Photo by Karen Roe, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, UK (Wikipedia Commons).


The London Olympics

It’s gold, gold, gold for Australia!

The London Games are on and yes, I know I’m late with this you weren’t sitting up watching the opening ceremony!

The ceremony began on Saturday at 5.30 a.m. (July 28, Australian time) and I, like many other Australians, crawled out of bed on a freezing morning to watch the enthusiastic 60,000–70,000-odd people in the Olympic Stadium waiting with mounting excitement for the games to begin.

The British brains trust knew that the Sydney Games were the ones to beat and, as it turned out, Ceremony Director Danny Boyle dazzled us with more British icons than you could shake a stick at.

The athletes on parade didn’t so much march as dance into the stadium accompanied by Adele and Pet Shop Boys and Sir Paul McCartney singing Hey Jude at the end of the ceremony was the highlight for many—you could feel the love in the stadium. It’s hard to believe that this song is over fifty years old. Maybe the old trouper’s voice was not as robust as it once was, but nobody cared as they joined in – na, na, na… hey Jude!

The event cost British taxpayers close to $45 million but they certainly got their money's worth. The spectacular Opening Ceremony continued for nearly four hours and was filled with high drama, wit and quirky humor in the grand British tradition. You have to hand it to them – good on the Poms!

MAGIC MOMENT – The Queen in a striking salmon (watermelon?) outfit smiles: ‘Good evening Mr Bond!’ Whereupon, Bond, James Bond (alias Daniel Craig) picks Her Majesty up from Buck House, flies her across London in a helicopter and parachutes her into the Olympic stadium. The 70,000-odd people in the stadium and millions watching across the world on television cheer at the top of their voices. Monty Python is BACK!

And then it was gold, gold, gold for Australia! The Australian women’s 4 x 100m relay team won gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games on 28 July 2012, as Alicia Coutts, Cate Campbell, Brittany Elmslie, and Melanie Schlanger broke the Olympic record, coming in at 3:33:15. It was our first gold for the games and Channel 9's broadcasting team went ape, as we did at home. Go you good things and congratulations!

Good luck readers as you try to fit in a full working day after sitting up all night watching sports you never knew existed and becoming fascinated all the same. And just when you thought it was all over – don’t forget that the Paralympic Games are on from 29 August – 9 September 2012. You can visit the official site listed under Website Watch for more information.

JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT YOU WERE SAFE! – In Australia, the Gruen mob just couldn’t resist it. Their new program, Gruen Sweat, will run over four weeks on ABC1, starting at 8.30 p.m. on Wednesday night, 1 August, 2012. Handsome dude, Will Anderson, will once again lead the panel, which includes regulars Todd Sampson and Russel Howcroft, in examining who’s actually making money from the Olympics marketing machine. Ah Gruen! – now with improved 5-way wetness protection.

And Ab Fab fans are in for an Olympics treat as British comedians Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley reunite for an Absolutely Fabulous – Olympics special, in which Eddy and Pats lace up their Gucci trainers – or something. I can hear it now: ‘Oh God Eddy, my feet are killing me! Get Pats a bolly before dehydration sets in for heaven’s sake!’ The special screens on ABC1 at 8.00 p.m. on Thursday night, 2 August, 2012.

And now for the pub quiz!

Q. How many Australians are competing in London? 

A. There are 410 Australians competing.

Q. When were the olympic rings designed and when and where did they make their first appearance? 

A. The five Olympic Rings were designed in 1912, adopted in June 1914 and made their debut at the 1920 Antwerp Olympics.

Q. What are the five colours of the Olympic Rings and what do they represent?

A. The five rings represent the five parts of the world which agree to accept healthy competition. Blue stands for Europe, Black for Africa, Red for the Americas, Yellow for Asia, and green for Oceania.

That should win you a beer or a bottle of something! I am nothing if not helpful.

Website Watch

London 2012 Olympics

London 2012 Olympics is the official website for the London 2012 Summer Olympics. You can keep up with the results, what’s on in competition, news, photos, the medal count, and athletes’ bios at

You can download the Official London 2012 Join in app at This includes comprehensive event listings for thousands of events across London and the UK, not to mention spectator information and interactive maps – all integrated with Facebook, Twitter and FourSquare. And don’t forget to check out the official website for the Paralympic Games, which are on from the 29 August–9 September 2012, at

'Where did you say Stratford was again?... Car 64 where are you?'