Monday, July 23, 2012

Secret of the popularity of the Olympics (Lol)

The 2012 summer Olympic Games start next Friday. Millions of enthusiasts are going to have a time of their life in London. Organisers announced a sales target of a whopping 6.6 million tickets, almost entirely allocated. To give you some perspective, the entire population of Denmark is about 5.5 million. Yet a million enthusiasts are grumbling about being shut out of first-hand tickets for the great games.
It would interest you to know that this great event has not always generated this much interest. Indeed, very early editions left organisers scratching their bald heads about why the galleries were bare.
Well, I’ve been doing some research on the transition from a period of poorly attended Olympics to an era of sold-out Olympic Games. My theory is that the organisers, after agonising over poor attendance for long, hit upon a bright idea that has continued to work like magic.  Follow the transition in pictures....
1908 London Olympics: Ladies Archery

Check out the full regalia of the ladies. Note how their ankles disappeared completely under the Cinderella skirt. Do note also that the only audience here seemed to be the couple of boys recovering the arrows for the ladies...

 1908 London Olympics: Gymnastics

Danish team getting set for action. Research is still ongoing to determine if the bottom part of this team’s attire was meant to be a skirt, a pair of shorts or full trousers. Please, note, as well, how the stockings took off from where the shorts ended.
  1908 London Olympics: Gymnastics

In action. A Danish gymnast performing on a gymnastic pommel horse at the 1908 London Olympics.  Save for a couple hiding behind the railings (probably seizing the occasion of a deserted sporting event to smooch), this athlete was performing strictly for self, the judges and the camera man.

1948 London Olympics: Track and Field 

Female competitors in one of the heats in the 80-Metres Hurdles at the London Olympics, Wembley Stadium, London, 3rd August 1948. Track and field was one of the few crowd pullers. Even then, there were still many empty seats.

Then, the Turnaround

A few decades ago, the organisers of the games hit upon a bright idea and thereupon started tweaking the wear of the athletes, especially the female artistes, with amazing results and incredible audience numbers. They have continued to tweak and tweak until....

Gymnast Nastia Liukin at the London 2012 Olympics trials. (She didn’t make the cut for the US, by the way.)

Alluring gymnast Aly Raisman, in her form-fitting wear, doing her thing. (She was beaten to a spot, too.) 

Track and Field:

Basic Essentials: Sensational German sprinter Sina Schielke, 100-meter dash queen.
And of course, Beach Volleyball

See the expressions on the faces of a majority of these boys. Just watching these girls, I mean, this game, these boys are dead and gone to heaven!

Are you still wondering why some of the largest ticket sales are made in Beach Volleyball?
I lay no claim to being infallible. But this theory of mine has been subjected to rigorous scrutiny. Now, if you have a different theory as to how the audience numbers have ballooned over the years, I would love to hear it. :-)  


Anonymous said...

Interesting perspective. Nice!

Anonymous said...

Well, whatever anyone says, I love my beach volleyball.

Anonymous said...

Horrible what those women had to wear. Probably top fashion at the time. Lol