It can’t be a bad thing. Impossible. Rivalries in sport tend to create greatness, magical moments, snapshots that eventually outlive those special athletes talented enough to produce them.
Think of it this way: If the opening ceremony of an Olympics is designed to celebrate the concepts of friendship and peace while also paying tribute to a host nation’s history and traditions, those who welcomed the world to the London 2012 Games on Friday did so with varied success.
The queen and James Bond gave the London Olympics a royal entrance like no other in an opening ceremony tonight that rolled to the rock of the Beatles, the Stones and The Who.
Four years ago, Sebastian Coe stood in a conference room at the main press center in Beijing and spoke about the kind of Olympics that China was in the process of hosting.
“The International Olympic Committee recognizes this will be the last edition of a games which is going to look and feel like this,” Coe said that August afternoon. “We won’t attempt to equal the scale and stature of such an extravaganza.”