x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Olympian churlishness

Only a killjoy would rejoice in the minor mishaps of London's Olympics

Athletes ushered through wrong exits at the opening ceremony. A wrong flag hoisted at a medal presentation. False starts in swimming competitions. Gymnasts losing their balance.

Is that what you remember from London 2012? Only the most curmudgeonly killjoys would compile a list of minor mishaps after the success of these Olympic Games.

And so they did. On the morning after the Games wrapped up, the editors of the China Daily offered a decidedly different view of events. The 21-picture newspaper spread, entitled "Unexpected moments at the Olympic Games", chose to focus on a few logistical mishaps, several disqualifications of athletes and, rather churlishly, individual athletes who muffed a routine or suffered a setback.

It should be remembered that Beijing hosted its own Games in 2008, overcoming challenges - the capital's smoggy streets and pro-Tibet protest campaigns - to carry off another celebration of sport. London's two weeks in the sun this year do nothing to diminish earlier Games, nor should anyone think so.

At Sunday's closing ceremony, US and Iranian athletes embraced - one moment among thousands that made these Games inspirational. Nitpicking the negative details is hardly worthy of a champion.