Seb Sheiky, founder of Flatnav shares is view on what makes London truly remarkable the morning after the closing of the Paralympics.
It is almost been a month since the epic London 2012 games ended. Given Team GBs performance and the party atmosphere sweeping across the city, the spirits were high (the shinning Sun also helped). There were celebrations, jubilation, hope, despair, disappointment, excitement and luck. All in all a job well done!
The games will leave all kind of legacies behind. For some the new (now empty) accommodation built-in London and excess capacity of venues is a concern and for the others, the inspiration it left behind to the future sportsmen/women is one of the biggest rewards of all the efforts of the last 4 years.
Whatever the concerns are, what we know is that everyone enjoyed every bit of it but now that the games are behind us, what did we Londoners learn from it?
Well one thing which has come out of the games was that talent doesn’t have to do with a specific race, country or religion. I don’t think I need to name any of the athletes to prove this. Worn torn countries in Afghanistan winning medals, a Muslim in living in Britain being called “one of the best athlete of all times”, an American breaking most records and the Jamaican who reigns as the superman of the world, all were just a few highlights of the games.
Secondly, and perhaps one thing which was strange yet very interesting, is that London didn’t change a bit during the Olympics. All the hype, all the scare and all the doubts – London rose above that. This city and its people have the power to cope with anything thrown at it. We were so ready for the world to come to us that when they came, it was so normal for us. A very strange feeling actually. We are so excited and so sure that we wanted them to come early and leave late. But why?
Looking around during the games period, the streets of the capital didn’t surprise us at all. We didn’t see any “unusual” faces who we could call tourists or foreigners. This city remained the same for one single reason – London is the place where the world already lives. This city didn’t only welcome the world and its nations in 2012, but it does that every second every day. Every nationality, every culture and every religion is already present here. They practice and live as they wish. The spirit of Olympics is captured by people’s daily lives here. This city lets you feel at home, wherever you are from. If Olympics were in any other city, one would have noticed the change, the new faces, the new languages and etiquette.
Yet in London, business was as usual.
There were so many questions and doubts about this city to cope with welcoming the world. The irony is that this exactly what it does every day!
Long live diversity and the spirit of Olympics