By Kath Woodward (auth.)
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Extra info for Sporting Times
1057/9781137275363 32 Sporting Times decker bus, gold medal cyclist Chris Hoy (subsequently Sir Hoy) dressed as a city gent accompanied by fellow British cyclists reflecting team GB’s success in cycling, popular singer Leona Lewis who is the winner of a television talent show. The X-Factor, and culminating in megastar footballer David Beckham, kicking a football into the crowd, before the action turned to a ‘memory tower’ in the centre of the stadium acknowledging the centrality of making history and making memories through the mechanism of the Olympics.
I pick Jessica Ennis because I know she will be mentioned, and I am a keen supporter of her as a spectacular athlete who comes from Sheffield. The ceremony engages with the senses: not only is there contrasting visual representations and timings but there is the musical accompaniment which is quasi religious and militaristic, albeit informed by shades of Hollywood, that is used to lend dignity and grandiosity to a spectacle that I feel needs no such assistance. The memories of recent triumphs are so enjoyable nonetheless.
Disruptions may be triggered by what appear to be individual actions, such as those of John Carlos and Tommie Smith in Mexico City in 1968, but they are located within a wider social and cultural terrain; the disruption relates to whose voice is being heard and how interventions can unsettle the existing social and political order. In the to and fro of memory-making the idea is perceived before it is represented (Bergson, 1896 ) and there is a delay in the making of memorable moments, although in 2012 there has already been an explosion of such claims.