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Leith on life: the pre-Olympics

The playing of sport is a great public good—even if I don’t happen to do it myself. But that’s not what the Olympics will be about

By Sam Leith   January 2011

Warning: just watching sport does not lead to a healthier lifestyle

One of the biggest stories of 2011 will be something that hasn’t happened. I’m talking about the phoney war: the pre-Olympics. The buzz—I know people use this term to convey excitement, but it makes me think of killer bees spoiling a picnic—has already started and mark me, by the middle of spring it’ll be deafening.

We’ll have the rows about tickets (too many for foreigners, too expensive, too many corporate tickets, forgeries, booking systems collapsing). We’ll have the rows about security (grave-faced investigative reporters infiltrating the Olympic village with…

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