x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

London Olympic legacy a flop, according to what fans want to watch

BBC Sports compiled a list of the most-watched video clips from last summer's London Olympic Games and a German diver's back flop took the cake, writes Will Batchelor.

Germany's Stephan Feck competes in the men's 3m springboard preliminary round during the diving event at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Martin Bureau / AFP
Germany's Stephan Feck competes in the men's 3m springboard preliminary round during the diving event at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Martin Bureau / AFP

Have you ever wondered why the world of sport tends to favour cliches and unexamined truisms over cold, hard facts?

It may be because overly close scrutiny does not always yield the most edifying conclusions.

Take last year's Olympics, for example, which were book-ended by two speeches from Lord Coe.

"There is a truth to sport," he said at the opening ceremony. "A drama, a purity, an intensity."

Fine words indeed. So which moment of pure and intense drama did sports fans in the host country hold dearest?

Usain Bolt powering across the line? Mo Farah's elation at his historic double? Golden girl Jess Ennis welling up during the national anthem?

Well, not exactly.

According to the BBC website, the most watched moment of the games was an amusingly named German springboard diver doing a spectacular "back flop".

Apparently more than one million of us felt the need to re-watch Stephan Feck making what Lord Coe would call his "indelible mark on human history", not to mention his own spine.

I do not point this out to be mean-spirited, merely to offset the rather self-righteous tones in which we Brits discuss our post-Olympics legacy – or rather the lack of it given the debates over cutbacks going on at present.

Lord Coe promised his Games would "inspire a generation".

Inspire them to what, precisely, he did not specify. Based on this evidence, I'm guessing it was "watch 'You've Been Framed'."

sports@thenational.ae

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