Britain's Olympic Exports
As the world finally begins to grab the grass just above the open grave of the global financial crisis, we here in Britain are still looking for ways to boost our continually faltering economy. With ideas and innovation as to how to boost the manufacturing sector failing and the service sector placing only a little way in front, what else has Britain got to sell to the world?
Over the past few weeks, many would say that we have seen Britain at its best. With enough Olympic and Paralympic Gold to purchase Greece and still a hefty haul of bronze and silver leftover in the wallet to snap up Italy and Spain as well, Britain’s athletes have done exceptionally well as have Britain’s broadcasters and those that have managed to organise the whole thing.
The efforts of Lord Coe and the LOCOG team have not gone unnoticed of course; their impeccable planning and organisation of almost all aspects of the Games make them perfect candidates to become some sort of Olympic Guru team for future host nations. Why not sell our expertise to Brazil? We could even persuade Brazil to outsource the official opening of the 2016 Games to the Queen and perhaps teach the two remaining corgis to samba?
What’s more, with many questioning the choice of Channel 4 as the official channel for the Paralympic Games, they have in fact put in a sterling effort. Gone were the documentaries about the man with 4 legs, instead replaced by coverage of elite athletes often with fewer legs per event than the 4-legged man between them; for once, quality over quantity from C4.
In the US, where NBC’s coverage of the games attracted outrage following adverts interrupting mid-action, the American audience has turned to the ever-dependable BBC for its coverage. At least that was the official reason given for the switch. Personally, I think it has more to do with the outstanding, almost magical, influence of Clare Balding. If we are talking about natural resources the UK has to export, then surely Clare must be at the top of the list? Forget aerospace technology, forget renewable energy or the derivatives market, think informative, entertaining, lively sports presenter who invented the Mobot and has a slightly concerning but somewhat endearing love for our equine friends.
Workshop of the World, perhaps no longer – vendor of world class sporting events and Home of Clare Balding, most definitely.