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Writer, Fatter, Slower: Seen and not seen in London

Flame firt day of track
Finally, on opening day of track trials the Olympic cauldron can be seen.

Where's the fire?

At the end of the first week of Olympic competition there has been one major element missing - the Olympic flame. The symbol of the event. The logo, the burning flame of international unity and blah, blah,  blah, was not evident, not at all. The designers of the cauldron made a huge mistake, the cauldron is too short. It can only be seen from inside the stadium and until the track and field trials began the cauldron was asleep on the job.

Typically the cauldron is the most photographed element of the Olympics. For 2012 the cauldron's photo ops were cut in half. This should never happen.

Designer, Thomas Heatherwick was more concerned about the 204 petals on long stems, one for every participating country. When flat on the field the petals looked like a flower then the petals were lit, the stems rose, and the burning petals united into the cauldron configuration. It was very symbolic.

 Heatherwick wasn't sure the organizers would approve a multi-part cauldron with so many moving parts but they liked it. It was approved and built. All worked perfectly on opening ceremony night.  The crowd was moved. Clap. Clap. Clap. End of opening ceremony, end of Olympic flame.

Ab Fab and torch
The only solace for those yearning for fire, was the torch lighting moment from the British television show Absolutely Fabulous that had gone viral. In one of the best moments of sacriledge from this fashion centric confection Patsy lights her cig off the torch carried by her besty Edina. You have to know the show to know why it was so Ab Fab, but trust, it was. 

Now the big flame is back. Finally.

Race of Thrones

ThroneAnother bit of questionable design thinking was at the end of the cycling time trials, a race that began with cyclists leaving every 90 seconds and returning to Hampton Court Palace. This was the home of Henry VIII and it is a major tourist stop for it's scandalicious story and great gardens. It is also far from the city center in a very scenic part of London. Nearby are parks, shops, bridges over the Thames, and tree-lined roads. BUT at the end of the race were three large gold thrones. As the riders finished their races they were told to take a throne seat. They could stay there until their time was beaten. They were cycled out of there as fast as Henry renewed his wives. It was a game of musical thrones and was stupid beyond belief.  Here, women's time trial winner USA's Kristin Armstrong who didn't have to move.  

High def television and abs

I have had no reason to sing the praises of high definition television. It only seemed to make the botoxed look frozen and the non-botoxed look like unironed linen.Abs american and british

The reason for it became apparent with the first time trial for the women's 400-meter race. The high definition of their muscles especially their abs was mezmerising. The heats were a lesson in a physiology that I have never seen. Those women and their fat free bodies are breathtaking. Above are  USA's Francena McCorory (at left) and Britain's Christine Ohuruogu (at right). If this page does not show abs that look striated granite along a geological fault line you need a better monitor.

My new flat screen HD LED 3-D TV, bought specifically for the Olympics, was worth the insane amounts of money spent.

Note to self: NEVER get within 50 feet of a television camera. Note again: Try and expense the TV.

--Gaile Robinson



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