Living the Olympics

By David Rowe

5 September 2012

During the 2012 Olympics Professor David Rowe spent time in London to investigate the ‘city beyond the stadium’ and to compare the event with other mega events such as the Sydney Olympics.

Here are some of his Twitter observations.

A man stands on the stadium steps holding a sign in each hand - 'Australian Olympic Team Westfield'.

London 2012 is imminent, but the Australian team seems to be lost. Can you help? Last spotted at the Westfield near Olympic Park.

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A boat on the river has 'cutting through complexity' printed on its side.

The Institute for Culture and Society now, it seems, has a presence on Thames River ferries: 'cutting through complexity?!'

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Prince Charles Cinema from the outside. The lit sign reads 'Sod the Olympics come & see a film'.    

Mega events tend to crowd out other cultural forms. Note the combative response from this cinema near Leicester Square.

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An old theatre building advertising Chariots of Fire.    

If you can't beat a chariot of fire, you can always ride and stage it. Or exhibit the newly digitally remastered film.

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A sign outside a hotel reads 'London Olympus hotel'. There are overflowing rubbish bins on the street directly outside.

A compelling sport: 'Thwarting the Olympic Brand Police'. Prime example a discus toss from London 2012 Olympic Stadium.

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A red cafe's sign reads 'Cafe lympic'. The 'O' is missing.

'Thwarting the Olympic Brand Police 2'. Somehow, the 'O' went missing in this café opposite Stratford police station.

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A shop called 'Olympia fish & chips. Kebabs'. 

'Thwarting the Olympic Brand Police 3'.The Revival of Ancient Greece really took hold in London's East End this summer.

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The backs of people who are wrapped in the UK flag, as they stand watching the closing ceremony on a TV screen in a park.   

Britannia's last stand in front of another big screen, Closing Ceremony, Victoria Park Live Site. Next, the hangover.

A screen in Trafalgar Square counts down to the Paralympic Games: 10 days, 4 hours, 10 minutes, 6 seconds. People sit by the fountain behind it.  

Hold the front page. Paralympics imminent and Trafalgar Square comes alive as the main Live Site. But not alas for me.