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Lewis: London hoping to impress the world with Olympics
Olympics » Despite the early controversies, prime minister insists “Britain can deliver.”


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Organizers are even armed with a breakthrough new test for human-growth hormone.

World indoor champion high jumper Dimitris Chondrokoukis of Greece was among those caught, but his scandal doesn’t seem to have measured up to countrywoman Voula Papachristou, a triple-jumper expelled by the Greek Olympic Committee for posting what many viewed as a racist joke on Twitter.

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It was the first casualty in what’s fast becoming the "Social Networking" Olympics. Heavy traffic shut down Twitter worldwide for a time on Thursday, and athletes were being warned to be careful about what they post online.

Otherwise, though, things on the ground so far have been mostly lovely, save for a series of blips that caused traffic delays.

The sun has been out after a miserably sopping summer, the locals and volunteers have been unfailingly friendly. Work in the Olympic Park was down to the touch-up stage, with Japanese athletes from the nearby village jogging along its wide boulevards while dancers rehearsed in the shade of buildings and trees.

Yet questions about the transport and the security are legitimate; in the most serious scandal, security firm G4S failed to provide enough guards, prompting the military to deploy some 3,500 soldiers to help fill the gap.

"Ten days to the Games," a headline in the Guardian newspaper sarcastically read last week, "what could go wrong?"

Equally uncertain is the degree to which citizens in one of the world’s most diverse cities will get excited for an event that doesn’t seem to have moved the needle quite the same way it did in Beijing and Vancouver, the host cities for the past two Olympics.

Perhaps that’s owing to London’s place on the international stage, nowhere near an inferiority complex, or to the other national sensibilities of propriety and understatement.

Either way, it should be fun to watch.


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"I hope what people will see is obviously all the things they love about Britain’s past, all the things they like about our history, our institutions, our culture, our contributions to world development," Cameron said. "But I also hope they’ll see a very open country and one that has an enormous amount to offer for the future."

mcl@sltrib.com

Twitter: @MCLTribune



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