Worldwide Media Hails London Games As Better Than Beijing, Sydney
Following Sunday night's London Games Closing Ceremony, journalists in the U.K. and around the globe began heaping praise on the host city. In London, Paul Hayward wrote, “The Games will be remembered as a triumph for warmth, civility, excellence and enthusiasm -- hosted by a nation in love with sport, and happy in its own skin” (TELEGRAPH, 8/13). Also in London, Simon Barnes wrote, “Looks like we got away with it. ... London got it right” (LONDON TIMES, 8/13). The London INDEPENDENT’s James Lawton: “These were the Games you couldn’t fail to love. The Games that seduced cold-headed calculation of cost and reward with their sheer vitality. The Games that took on astonishing life” (INDEPENDENT, 8/13). The London GUARDIAN’S Richard Williams wrote the Games “began with an explosion of goodwill and never lost its capacity to charm and to amaze“ (GUARDIAN, 8/13). A London TELEGRAPH editorial stated, “The Olympics did not dominate London: London dominated the Olympics. … This was an event about the people, not the VIPs” (TELEGRAPH, 8/10). A London INDEPENDENT editorial stated, “Hosting the Olympics has boosted national morale more than any single event in most people’s living memory. The capital and country have been transformed” (INDEPENDENT, 8/13).
MAKING IT LOOK SMOOTH: The WALL STREET JOURNAL’s Orwall & Bryan-Low wrote LOCOG is winning “strong reviews for a smooth running, well-executed 17-day event that avoided all the feared problems.” Yesterday it “seemed as if London didn’t want the games to end” (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/13). In N.Y., Sarah Lyall wrote, “To the shock and then relief of a nation used to large events going awry, the Olympics instead went smoothly” (N.Y. TIMES, 8/12). In London, Simon Kapur wrote, “Throwing a party costs money. You do it not for profits but for happiness. Even in strapped times, that might be worth” the cost (FINANCIAL TIMES, 8/13). In Toronto, Steve Simmons wrote under the header, “London Games Rank Among Best,” and added, “The brilliance of the London Games was not all about sport. It was about putting the country on display and they managed that perfectly” (TORONTO SUN, 8/13). Also in Toronto, Cathal Kelly: “London succeeded in its primary Olympic missions -- first, keep the city undetonated and second, having a good time” (TORONTO STAR, 8/13). The AP’s Stephen Wilson wrote, “Take a victory lap, London. The nightmare that was supposed to be the 2012 Olympics … simply never materialized” (AP, 8/12). In Boston, John Powers: “On the whole, these Games were a smashing success” (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/13).
HEAPING PRAISE: In London, Sadie Gray noted that American journalists "talked of a reinvigorated nation punching above its weight." Chinese newspapers "grudgingly admitted" that these Olympics had “not been the worst ever.” Even an Australia disappointed by its team’s performance "was magnanimous" (LONDON TIMES, 8/13). The London TELEGRAPH, under the header "London 2012 Wins Gold Medal For Best Olympics Ever," noted what journalists worldwide were saying about the London Games. The Australian's Peter Wilson wrote: "It is one thing for the British to thrash Australia in the medals table of the London Olympics. But now the Games are over, it is just as clear they have knocked Sydney off its pedestal as the best host of a modern Olympic Games." The N.Y. Times' David Segal: "One of the great stories of these Olympics was the effect they had on England itself." The National Post's Bruce Arthur: "This was a brilliant Olympics, in almost every way: wonderful crowds, marvellous volunteers, logistical coherence, a galvanizing performance by the home side." The New Zealand Herald's David Leggart: "Hats off to the Lord Coe and his LOCOG planning chums. They can put their feet up knowing London did itself, and the Olympics, proud..." (TELEGRAPH, 8/13). The London GUARDIAN, under the header "Verdict From Around The World," also noted reaction from int'l publications. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung's Gina Thomas wrote that "Britons who for years have become used to their own failings have amazed themselves at the Olympic Games." In Paris, Le Monde noted that Britain has as many "whingers and professional pessimists as France, and these had gladly predicted doom, gloom and chaos before the start of the Games, but had been proved wrong" (GUARDIAN, 8/13).