Countdown to London 2012

London 2012 is merely a week away and it appears that nearly everything is ready to go, including:

  • Venues – completed.
  • Warehousing – UPS is braced to move >30m items.
  • Transportation – special Olympic routes set up throughout the city.

Even the weather is towing the line, for after months of nearly constant rain (including the wettest April & June on record) a warm front is approaching across the Atlantic.

 And then there’s G4S, the world’s leading provider of security solutions, who were awarded the contract for the security of the Olympic venues way back in 2008.  G4S had promised to provide 10,000 staff to secure the games, but merely days from the start of London 2012, they inform us that they have merely 4,000 staff.  Actually it seems that I am mistaken in that figure; my companion sitting next to me is waving yesterday’s Sun newspaper inches from my face whilst pointing animatedly at an article about how two of G4S’s staff members have been arrested for being suspected illegal immigrants.  That leaves 3,998 then.

Days after the announcement of the shortfall in staff, G4S’s deputy boasted that the company could handle two Olympics; this despite the fact that it is glaringly obvious to everyone else that G4S can handle only 0.4 Olympics.  Fortunately the British army will now be providing the shortfall in security for the Olympic venues, so we are all able to emit a communal sigh of relief.  A number of jokes have been appearing on the internet about this.  You may have already have heard them but I include them for those who haven’t.

Q). How many G4S staff does it take to secure the Olympics?

A). An army.

Q). How many G4S staff does it take to change a light bulb?

A).  Six soldiers and a policeman.

With any luck the whole debacle will soon be forgotten and in a week’s time we will be enjoying Danny Boyle’s (director of Slum Dog Millionaire) £27m opening ceremony extravaganza, which will be seen by 80k spectators and an estimated 1bn worldwide.  The Olympic stadium is to be transformed into an English countryside scene, complete with 70 sheep, 12 horses, 10 chickens, 3 cows, 2 goats, 8 geese and 3 dogs.  Let’s just hope that G4S aren’t providing the animals.

Have you had a chance to hear G4S’s anthem, if not here it is:


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  • This is funny, Guy! I did hear that FBI will be helping with security, too, following an urgent plea from the other side of the pond. 😉 I wonder how the people in the UK are taking this?

    Hey, do you follow cycling? Wiggins won today Le Tour de France – first Brit ever! And Froome (technically an African, but riding for the UK) was #2 + Cavendish won the stage is Paris. Sweeping victory by the British Sky team. The commentators, who were both British, were almost crying! Congrats! Unheard of result!

    • I didn’t know about the FBI assisting us, but seems like we need all the help we can get. Not sure how people will take it here or if there even aware of it. Great news for the UK about the
      cycling. I had never Froome prior to your comment, but the other two are household names here. No rest for Wiggins, he’s headed straight back to London for the Olympics; he must be fatigued after such an arduous Tour de France. Look forward to corresponding with you again soon Lada.

      • I think they were especially inspired because of the London Olympics. Good for the UK!
        Yeah, I guess they wouldn’t talk about Froome so much, as he is not originally British. They really wanted Wiggins to win. Chris Froome was stronger than Wiggins in the mountains, and sometimes had to wait for Wiggins, sacrificing his own chances. There was a lot of speculation that Sky should be riding for him, not for Wiggins. But Wiggins was best at time trials, and they had – unusually – 3 of those this year. Froome may either transfer to another team to get a chance to win LeTour, or Wiggins may have to move over next year, which I highly doubt because he’s Brit and they are bent on promoting him. Even Cavendish was sidetracked this year, because they really wanted to win LeTour in general, and sacrificed the whole team for that. Some say, Sky is not the best team for Cavendish either, if he wants to keep winning stages. We’ll know soon enough…

        I am disappointed in the Russian Katyusha team performance though. They were #4 as a team, so perhaps not TOO bad, but Denis Menchov, who was one of the pre-race favorites (winner of the Giro, La Vuelta, and #3 in LeTour 2 years ago), was only #15. VERY disappointing and surprising. 🙁
        And Australian Cadel Evans, former 2011 winner and my other favorite, finished only #7 🙁

        But life goes on! (As you can tell, I’m really into cycling).

        Cheers & be well!

        P.S. Will be watching the Olympics next – in between writing The Earth Shifter. 🙂

      • I’m sure things will work out better for Russia in the Olympics. I’ve been hearing great things about the Russian basketball team, not to mention another chance for Menchov to shine. Hope all is going well with ‘The Earth Shifter.’

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