One of the great things about the Olympics is the viewer becoming intimately familiar with the host city (and, by extension, the country) from the overwhelming video coverage. The tales of the city’s physical transformation, with infrastructure reworked in order to properly accept the world’s best athletes and the fans that follow them. The landscape shots of cobblestone streets, scored with traditional English music. The panache and revelry of the Olympic Village and all its sex. Bob Costas’ voice.
(Costas is one of those sportscasters with the uncanny ability to appear the same age as the people he covers, despite being 60 years old. I don’t think he ages. Marv Albert had this ability, then he started biting women.)
Through all of the Olympic Games’ coverage from the weekend, did you notice anything specific about the London Olympics? Like how all the athletes get around (ha! Pun from above!), and what London had to do to accommodate everyone, including the people who live in the city?
As I said, you learn a lot about a place and its official automotive partner (BMW) when they host the Olympics. To wit:
- The average car speed in the center of London is a whopping 10 mph. That’s when the Olympics aren’t there. City officials are hoping 25% of all commuters will work from home to keep things moving normal and smooth.
- BMW provided 3,200 vehicles to transport the athletes, officials, media members, and other folks associated with the Games.
- The 320d Efficient Dynamic sedans will be used for the Technical Delegates (also known as the “resident fascists of the Games who enforce the rules”), and to accompany bicyclists during the road cycling competition.
- The 520d Efficient Dynamic sedans are for the athletes.
- 17 X3 SUVs will tow boats during sailing and rowing competitions.
- 10 X5s will pull horse ambulances during equestrian events.
- London put in 30 miles of ‘Games Lanes’ on its roadways. These lanes (think bike lanes for cars) are exclusively for athletes and Olympic VIPs to move from one place to another quickly. (Bob Costas would qualify as a VIP). If you’re a London commoner and you get caught riding in these lanes, it’ll cost you $201.
See? It’s like a bike lane, but bigger.
And, to think, the Games HAVE ONLY JUST BEGUN! What bloody else will we learn?