Joined: 14 Jul 2005
Club: BSAC 109
Sport : SubAqua Diving
10 lessons for Rio
After the most incredible three months of sport and culture on our isles of wonder it's time for London to extinguish the Paralympic flame and hand over the keys to the city of Rio de Janeiro. Last month it was the Olympics; lest for those who've been watching and spectating, Sunday's Paralympic Closing Ceremony signals the end of the journey for thousands of LOCOG employees and volunteers and concludes a seven year journey of planning and delivery.
And yet, with Britain being Britain so much of that toil has been in the public eye. So being the upstanding citizens we are it seems only right to share a few pointers to our Brazilian cousins as the countdown truly begins to 2016. Here's ten of the best:
There is no escaping the fact that the ticketing situation will be one of the keenest elements for debrief when the IOC (and IPC) meet LOCOG in the months ahead. The technical and logistical struggles to get tickets to the Games nearly threatened to overshadow the Olympics and matters were not helped when swathes of empty seats were visible in venues. Rio's organisers need to ensure they partner with the right vendors early and understand the nuances to Olympic and Paralympic ticket buying quickly. Transparency will be the key to everything in this endeavour.
Believed to be one of the major concerns for locals, the Rio authorities need to make sure their vast transport network is improved in plenty of time and stress-tested thoroughly before the Games arrive. The 2014 FIFA World Cup will go a long to aiding this, but strong integration between different services, as well harnessing staff and aligning them with the volunteers is key. LOCOG and Transport for London deserve immense credit for planning early, communicating well and having the foresight to be flexible. This needs to be replicated.
In the same way that perhaps London could have benefited from the experiences of Barcelona and Sydney, so Rio should get testimonials from a wide range of spectators, athletes, administrators and volunteers to talk about the 2012 journey - and share these tales with the audience back at home. Aside from the obvious, it is the little anecdotes which will help Brazilians understand the magnitude of what's coming over the next four years - and to start getting enthusiastic about it now!
Who knows whether Facebook and Twitter will be the most preeminent social networks in 2016. What does matter is the rise of the smartphone and tablet is unstoppable; London 2012 organisers recognised this and produced a fantastic digital estate that spanned web, mobile and apps. The stats for usage and uptake are emerging constantly and the trend is only expected to be upward over the next four years. Rio should respect this and harness the best technical and creative minds to bring their Olympic and Paralympic Games up to the next digital level.
The BBC's coverage of London 2012 is widely recognised as the best television (as a medium) has ever seen. Public service broadcasting at its very finest. Brazil's networks need to learn those lessons set out by Auntie and acknowledge that multi-channel, cross-platform coverage is what people want. If there ever was a symbol to emboss a sign of wealth and progression, it is TV. And in fairness, the Olympic Broadcast Service has lessons to learn too, especially in the context of the Paralympics. Less is most definitely not more!
Brazil will undoubtedly have better weather than the UK - so while it's always worth preparing for the worst, the best does have its extremes. The lack of cover at the BMX, Riverside and Eton Manor venues on the Olympic Park during heat waves made for a testing spectator experience. Consider this carefully Rio!
It's not about football
Yes, Brazil are the five-time World champions - and will start as favourites to win number six in two years time. But a key lesson from London is that for all the British connotations with 'the beautiful game', footballers and the sport were rarely used in marketing and communication of the Games. Rio should showcase the talent in the country that will soar at the Sambódromo and others. By all means, use some of your greatest ever stars but at the same time use 2016 to show the world that you are not a one-trick pony.
The Games Makers have been the most glorious element of London 2012. No one, conceptually, knew when the process started two years ago that we would be lauding this magnificent army of people. Their kindness, energy and candour have made our Games a success and if Rio's organisers are smart they'll lasso the lot and ship them over. Failing that, learn and harness the local population. They will be the difference maker.
Rio's plans were released during the London Olympics and they are certainly impressive, following a Barcelona-style plan of sports zones around the city. Transport and volunteers will make these venues come alive, but it's important that they capture the imagination and cater for the widest and most discerning sporting palates. London 2012's Games time experience is one that should be bottled and sent over - the use of music and video in the Park, and in venues, was a huge plus point for spectators and using local talent to present the action a great legacy point.
Be inclusive, consider everyone. Whether it's having broad price-bands on ticketing, reaching out to as many communities possible in the build up or just having more wheelchair and disabled places for spectators in the Maracanã, Rio has to place accessibility at the heart of their Games experience. 2016 should be a massive, joyous celebration and it can be made so by reaching out and selling the best of Brazil - not just to the world - to Brazilians themselves.
Cariocas: Pessoas do Rio: Você é dentro para um deleite!
Scuba Divers support the Games in 2012, do you? Anonymous