First Person - with Fiona Purnell

Fiona Purnell, Fife Free Press
Fiona Purnell, Fife Free Press

BY the time Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony was revealed to the world on Friday I already felt as if I’d had enough of the Olympics.

With such a long run up to the event - those seven years since it was announced London would be the host city - I was sure it must have already been and gone.

For a two week programme of events, it seemed like we’ve lived through it countless times already.

It didn’t help when one of the main headlines on news programmes in the week leading up to the games was always about London 2012.

Whenever you switched the TV on there was always something about the Olympics - there was no escape (and there still isn’t).

Whether it was building up our athletes; security problems and the army being drafted in; a general countdown to the opening ceremony or talk of tickets - there was always something for the newsreaders and correspondents to talk about.

A prior engagement meant I was unable to watch Friday’s opening ceremony at the same time as the rest of the world - yes, I know I had been given several years of advanced warning, but some things can’t be avoided - however I was sure to catch up and see it for myself the following day.

My desire to watch it was more out of curiosity than anything else.

Fantastic show

I’m not sure anyone can dispute the fact that Danny Boyle put on a fantastic show and he did a tremendous job putting it all together.

The story of the changing land from countryside to an industrial landscape was incredible.

But how those watching in the stadium having got their hands on the precious tickets were able to focus on one thing when there was so much going on I’ll never know.

In a sense I think Boyle forgot about the stadium crowd and instead produced the spectacular for the audience watching from the comfort of armchairs in their own homes around the world.

Her Majesty taking part in the Bond scene was brilliant and I enjoyed Mr Bean’s Chariots of Fire moment when the St Andrews skyline made an appearance.

The spectacular show must have had some form of magic within it as since watching it my view of the Olympics has changed.

The overkill of coverage I felt smothered by before the games is no longer choking me and my television viewing.

Random sports

I’m now voluntarily watching a ridiculous amount of sport - many random sports I’ve never watched before and am trying to understand (yes, handball is one of these, I just don’t get it.)

And for a change it’s not just me watching the sport because there’s nothing else on. It’s true, there is little on the television at the moment other than sport, but I’m still consciously choosing to watch the Olympics and genuinely getting excited when Team GB are doing well.

We’re only a few days into the two week games period, but already there have been a number of ups and downs for the team, a few medals in the bag and a few narrowly missed.

Either way, the sportsmen and women are doing a terrific job and those of us sitting in the comfort of our armchairs cannot criticise their performances as we would not be able to do any better, these people are the best in their sport.

There’s been the biggest build up to these games as it’s right on our doorsteps, but you have to feel a little sympathy to the competitors of Team GB who have had so much pressure heaped on them to perform outstandingly and win medals at these games.

Win or lose, there’s no denying these people are out there giving it their all and they need our support.