Music during Olympic events
Until the 2012 Olympic Games I hadn't realised stadium DJs were employed for sporting events. Background musak between events is bad enough but during events is distasteful. Defending this practice Lord Coe revealed himself as a cultural ignoramus. The London 2012 organisers reckoned they'd got things 'about right' with pumping dance music during the women's 10,000 metre final. Does sport need a soundtrack? Of course not.
Coe made some remark about appealling to the 'younger element' when interviewer John Inverdale suggested it was inappropriate for the Olympic events, the pinnacle of sport, to be polluted with artificial sound. Inverdale was right to be indignant; patronising nonsense from Coe, as if young people are incapable of appreciating a contest without it being spiced up by attention-seeking idiots with a sound system. It was they – the young people – who made the Games.
It wasn't just the 10,000 metre final. Background music (it wouldn't be so bad if it stayed in the background) was played during many events: the women's 3,000m steeplechase & triathlon, long jump final, hockey, basketball, rowing, canoeing, and probably others. DJs have absolutely no place in athletic competitions such as these. Synchronised swimming or artistic gymnastics maybe, but non-rythmic sports should be held pure and free from any musical interference. Everything that happens on the field of play is between the athletes and the people gathered to watch, nobody else. But I think the damage has already been done and no-one – certainly not His Lordship Mr Coe – is capable of putting a stop to it. At Rio, listen out for the Samba in the 100 metre final and the drumroll as Jessica runs up to launch her javelin.