With the Olympics opening ceremony being eagerly anticipated by many, that the Games have already started might have passed some of us by. Our women footballers kicked off Team GB’s Olympic campaign in Cardiff on Wednesday, setting what we hope will be a positive tone with their win. However, the pre-match national anthem left a few of the ladies looking bemused, as the music continued after they had completed the first, and what’s traditionally been the only, verse of God Save the Queen. It transpires that Team GB members are now required to also sing the third verse of the anthem…who knew?!
This is a worthy idea, particularly in terms of boosting the host nation’s ego – the British National Anthem is rather short when compared to others’ (such as Uruguay’s which is a lengthy six minutes!). However, the manner in which the message was conveyed was maybe not the best. According to Darryl Seibel, the communications director for the BOA, the decision to make all anthems 90 seconds long was made by the International Olympic Committee and, as a result, Britain’s was lengthened to match. They didn’t think to inform the athletes though, only the team leaders, which might explain the vague and muddled mouthing as God Save the Queen played out. Confidence inspiring? We think not.
However, fret not GB women footballers, a lot has happened in the world of London Olympics blunders since Wednesday evening, making this seem a very minor blip in comparison. Let’s take the North Korean flag incident ,or the “nonsensical” Arabic at Westfield shopping centre, or the Ukraine being listed as an area of Russia – unfortunately the list goes on. These blunders have rather taken the shine off what should be the finest sporting spectacle this country has ever held. To err is human but come on guys, engage brains! Afterall, we have our Great British reputation to uphold.