london olympics 2012

August 1, 2012

The Olympics are on and over 200 countries are in showcase mode. As the host nation, Great Britain has pulled out all the stops to creatively package its people, athletes, major city and culture. It’s a global Cirque de Solei feast for the senses. Of course the United States is there in full force, as the world expects, reminding all who is the super power in media, entertainment, business and—oh yeah, sports.

In the mass media and the blogosphere,both inside and outside China,commentators have been discussing the differences between the cultural segments of the Beijing and London ceremonies as representative of two opposed political systems.

For Olympics organizers who pride themselves on putting on a carefully choreographed — obsessively controlled, some would say — 17-day show, the bursts of Twitter activity are like gamma rays escaping from a solar flare. They're impossible to stop and spellbinding to behold.

The London 2012 Games have been touted as the first Olympics to live fully in the age of social media. After all, the organization's Twitter feed has nearly 1.4 million followers...But a rash of scandals and news related to Twitter has put a new mark on the face of these games. And, as they say, it ain't pretty.

The opening weekend of the London 2012 Olympics saw medals, shocks, world records and controversy...The London Games have been dubbed the most social yet, with the organizers encouraging the athletes and fans to use social media. Here are the highlights from the opening weekend.

As the profile of the Games has exponentially increased over the years,the Games is no longer seen purely as a celebration of the best of sport, but also a celebration of the host country, a communication exercise intended to increase a country’s ‘soft power’ and relative standing within the international arena.

Whatever the London 2012 opening ceremony includes, I am sure it will effectively communicate to a mass audience more about modern Britain in just one show than politicians have achieved in decades... we must remember that no matter what our countries financial difficulties (or not), the arts have a role to play challenging the idea of what a country is and stands for… So here’s to cultural diplomacy.

And the winner is... London? You would hope that for a country in recession – which slid deeper into it in the second quarter than many expected – and facing a crisis over the fixing of wholesale interest rates by its banks, the Olympic games that wind up on August 12 will give the UK a much-needed boost. ‘Brand UK’ desperately needs some polishing.