The London Olympics are now history, and they’re being hailed as a tremendous success. The Queen got to make her acting debut with James Bond, wrapping up her Diamond Jubilee.
It was the Yanks and the Chinese who owned the podium, particularly the women. We even saw girls from Saudi Arabia in competition.
It was a familiar story for Canada, involving a harvest of mostly bronze instead of gold. Once again there were bitter disappointments along with celebration, most notably in women’s soccer.
In the never-ending communications revolution, London was the Twitter Games, and the Olympics coincided with a remarkable 50th anniversary. It was in the summer of July 1962 that we huddled in front of our black and whites TV’s to watch the first live broadcast from the other side of the world, in real time.
Marshall McLuhan was a product of the Canadian prairies, born in Edmonton and educated in Winnipeg. It was in his book, The Gutenberg Galaxy, published in 1962, that he first used the phrase Global Village. It described perfectly what it was we were watching in that 20 minute broadcast that was bounced off the Telstar satellite. The world seemed to stop for that moment.
Fifty years later nothing seems to stop. The athletes in London did their thing and millions watched, or chose something else. Among the hundreds of other choices on our magical handheld gadgets and big flat screens, spectacular high def pictures from Mars! They came from a rover spacecraft appropriately named Curiosity.
The first Mars rover arrived eight years ago, and the current mission has only just begun. Faster, Higher, Stronger. That’s been the motto of the Olympics since the 1924 games in Paris. Never has it been such a perfect fit, in London, around the planet Earth, and across the Universe.
I’m Roger Currie
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