Numerous studies and research have been conducted concerning the impact that arts, and films in specific have to a country concerning identity and presentation of the country. Films in most of the instances present a true reflection and happening in the society, whereby different cultures and beliefs that are featured in a film allow it to be classified and categorized regarding a country’s distinctiveness. Britain has been involved in film production over many decades and it has also produced extensive market for film consumption among other forms of entertainment in general. Olympics are noted as an event that promote and encourages different nations to produce teams in various categories of sports fields competing and participating between and among each other. International events and sports in many situations present an opportunity for the host nations to showcase their identity and potential not only in terms of managing the events successfully, but also displaying the country’s culture and identity (Poynter & Macrury 2009, p17). As a result, many countries that have been fortunate to host and conduct such international activities have used the occasions to show case the entire world their abilities in many spheres and areas including film and art talents, and Britain is no exception as it is noted from the 2012 London Olympics.
Countries normally invest heavily in showcasing and displaying their abilities and talents in different fields and this has been witnessed mostly from the opening ceremonies as well as closing ceremonies by countries that many have produced marvelous and exceptional displays that have in turn proved and asserted their command in relation to film and film and media production in general (22). Poynter and Macrury (2009) in their piece Olympic cities: 2012 and the remaking of London pointed out that due to the quality that was displayed in opening of the London Olympics and how the event was managed from the start to the end of the exercise, in comparison to other events in the past that were hosted by other countries including a recent one that was hosted by Beijing (18). Analysts compared and contrasted different Olympic event that had been hosted by different countries and cities and they asserted that the London Olympic 2012 stood the taste of time and raised the standards as it displayed features that had previously not been seen, and made many people not only citizens of British origin, but also other nationalities to appreciate and acknowledge the good efforts that resulted in what can be termed and described as a cut above the rest. The opening presentation displayed the British history and identity since the early days and times as well as the transformations that have taken place over time as it is viewed and presented in the contemporary days (Simon 2012, p 2).
In consideration of history, Fussey (2011) in his article Securing and sustaining the Olympic city: reconfiguring London for 2012 and beyond asserted that Britain has proved to be an active player in global events and happenings, and many countries in the world have been under British rule at one time or the other including the United States (US) among others (p. 14). Therefore, many people and parties of the world have had a taste or experience of the British culture and identity at one point or the other. However, the London Olympics of 2012 presented a different scenario about the perception of culture and identity that Britain and her people have. The quality exhibited from the 2012 event proved and showed the world that in deed Britain is a powerhouse, and has full potential in terms of media and entertainment production in general (Polley & Inglis 2011, p 16 ). It is important t note that Olympic Games have a history that spans over 100 years since its inception and the main ideology and philosophy that drives the events is the cultural philosophy and programs that form the basis and foundation for formation and hosting of the events. London hosting the event presented a great opportunity that Britain in particular could display its culture and identity to the world. The year 2012 marked 100 years of celebrating cultural programming within the Olympic Games, and this compelled Britain to put its best resources forward and celebrate with the world many years that culture and identity has been recognized and appreciated worldwide.
The Olympic Games it is asserted has helped many countries realize the cultural potentials in them, and this has resulted into positive appreciation of a country’s culture both locally and internationally (Fussey 2011, p 44). Locally, for those who do not value and appreciate their culture and identities, from the display and positive feedbacks that they receive from their fellow local people and the international media in one way or the other contributes to the change in perception from such people. From international and national point of view, the positive comments and appreciation of other peoples culture and identity, and as an event that is covered by many media houses worldwide, it presents an opportunity not only to the local people to affirm and asserts their culture and identities but also the rest of the world. It is imperative to note that Olympics do incorporate a cultural Olympiad which is implemented as a four year event that takes place until the times that the main event occurs (Polley & Inglis 2011, p 24). Therefore, for the city of London and Britain in general, from the year 2008 to the year that the real event took place, a nation-wide program of activities was launched for the four year period that focused on culture and identity of the people. This allowed and presented Britons with an opportunity to identify and reinforce their cultural identity as this concept had been introduced from early 1990s. The last time Britain hosted such games, the idea especially of relating the games to theme and philosophy of promoting culture and identity had not been launched, and it was purposefully meant for sports and games. However, the 2012 London Olympics presented a great opportunity that Britain displayed its cultural identities to the whole world, and the four year period that cultural Olympiad took place starting from September 2008 provided a period that is long enough to realize great impact in terms or promoting and reinforcing identity not only within the different cultures that exists within Britain, but also to the rest of the world (Campkin 2013, p. 18).
Within the games staging process of the Olympics, there are various sources for cultural value production that plays and reinforces identification processes, which London as host also underwent and impacted positively to Britain’s identity and culture. London City synthesized its attractive features and included it in the promotion of the Olympics. This ideology is helpful in promotional strategy for the games and branding the image of the host city. Mallon, Buchanan, and Heijmans (2011) in their great work about the Olympics history titled Historical dictionary of the Olympic movement noted that London Olympics of the year 2012 not only did it enable Britain in general to better understand their capital city especially to those people who come from other regions and places different from London to better understand their capital, but it also enabled other places and people of the world recognize the cultures and identities for the British people (28). This contributed to promote their culture and identity. The symbols of the games is also important and recognized to contribute in identity, and it include the logos and emblems of the games, Olympic posters and symbols among other features that are designed in consideration of the host cities and countries’ culture and identity, and London did exactly that. This impacted and reinforced understanding and opening of storytelling about London and Britain in general (Mallon, Buchanan & Heijmans 2011, p. 54). Olympic rituals and ceremonies, which include opening and closing ceremonies, which in many situations is recorded as the most viewed TV coverage worldwide. It also includes the Olympic torch relay and in most circumstances people with great influence over the society, in many instances have been observed and preferred in participating in the relay. In doing so, great awareness is created both locally and internationally, and when this happened in Britain in the 2012 Olympics, it further reinforced the pride and cultural identity of the country. Medal ceremony presentation in podiums as well as raising national flags and national anthem and hymns refreshes, and renews nationality spirits and pride. When a flag of a country is raised and the national anthem played, it reinforces one’s belief to identify with the country and region (Poynter & Macrury 2009, p 23).
Britain won many medals from the games and the national hymn as well as flag was raised severally and this contributed as well in identity. Cultural activity programs that offer cultural, as well as arts events, before and after the Olympic periods. It should be noted that that among all the events and activities that transpires in the planning process of the Olympics, it is the least regulated and this presents a good opportunity that cities and host countries exploit, and implement distinct cultural identities, and policies. London exploited the opportunity as well just like many other countries and presented the exceptional display that was realized during the opening and closing ceremonies of the event.
It can be argued that in deed the London Olympic provided the turning point in analysis and presentation of Britain’s culture and identity. The reasons that experts and scholars have given in terms of interpreting the impacts that the London Olympics had not only to Britain as a country but also to the world at large in identifying and answering fundamental questions concerning Britain’s culture and identity got answered (Fussey 2011, p 32 ). The four year period had great impact locally in the entire Britain because cultural Olympiad events it is affirmed got conducted across the entire territorial borders of Britain. Britain as a developed country that is rich in history had been assumed by some as have eroded its cultures and identities simply because of the different lifestyles that is experienced in many parts of Britain. Many skeptics were wondering the kind of presentation that was to be displayed that would conform to the cultural requirements and themes related to the Olympics.
However, it has been asserted that many got surprised and up to date questions still ponder in how Britain made it a success. The most important part noted and recorded to have contributed to promotion of identity was experienced during the four years commencing the year two thousand and eight. The curiosity and excitement that the whole nation experienced especially after successful Beijing Olympics made many people to be concerned and participate in the success of the event (Mallon et.al 2011,p.28 ). It therefore increased the identity and culture concepts because there was goodwill from many people including the politicians, and they knew that it was an excellent chance to prove and show to the world Britain’s capabilities in the international arena and community. This urge and desire to succeed therefore played a great part in reinforcing the cultural identity directly and indirectly in many ways that has continued to the present times. For one to proclaim and say that the 2012 London Olympics contributed positively to improving and asserting to the entire world Britain’s position regarding identity and culture to be still intact carries a lot of merits and backing (Poynter & Macrury 2009, p 22).
In conclusion, 2012 London Olympics had great influence and impact to Britain. It was the period when the ideology and concept of cultural Olympiad had been introduced in the recent past and this provided an opportunity for Britain and its people in general to reinforce and reexamine their cultural identities. As a result, it contributed to part of the success that was witnessed and realized in the successful hosting of the event that has had a great impact to date. It made and gave Britons an opportunity to not only understand the different cultures and identities within themselves but also for the outside world to understand them. It would be interesting to note the general impact the games had in different areas and sectors of the economy that include political, social and economical areas as well.
Campkin, B 2013, The Regeneration Game: Urban Decline And Renewal In London.
Fussey, P 2011, Securing And Sustaining The Olympic City: Reconfiguring London For 2012 And Beyond. Farnham, Surrey, England, Ashgate.
Mallon, B., Buchanan, I., & Heijmans, J 2011, Historical Dictionary Of The Olympic Movement. Lanham, Md, Scarecrow Press.
Polley, M., & Inglis, S 2011, The British Olympics Britain's Olympic Heritage 1612-2012. [London], English Heritage. Http://Search.Ebscohost.Com/Login.Aspx?Direct=True&Scope=Site&Db=Nlebk&Db=Nlabk&An=482631.
Poynter, G., & Macrury, I 2009, Olympic Cities: 2012 And The Remaking Of London. Farnham, England, Ashgate.
Simon, R,J. 2012, Good –Bye, Stodgy Beijing. London Rocks And Yet Http:Www. Http://Pjmedia.Com/Rogerlsimon/2012/07/27/London-Rocks-And-Yet/ Pg 2