Predictably, the crescendo of Olympic risk talk gets louder as the start of the Games nears. The Financial Times reports that:
Ministers on Tuesday were scrambling to avert concerns that London was heading for “Olympic-geddon” amid growing fears that the capital’s transport infrastructure will buckle under the strain of hosting the games, which start in just over two weeks.
As stories accumulate of last minute difficulties with event readiness (such as immigration queues noted above and a potential shortage of private security guards), concerns about the potential consequences for the reputation of London and the UK come into increasing focus. Keeping the media happy is a crucial part of managing Olympic PR. Difficulties with transportation and results systems for the media at the Atlanta 1996 Olympics contributed to negative media coverage of the Games. The UK should have learned its own lessons after the disastrous logistics of the opening night of the Millennium Dome, which left a sizeable media contingent queuing for several hours at Stratford station.