It was a lot easier in 1908, when Britain ruled both the seas and the tug of war competition. The first Olympics in London was a smashing success, with no gridlock and a home team that not only swept the tug of war but also beat the upstarts from America in most other sports.
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.