Views | London 2012 : The Games are a celebration of diversity

Views | London 2012 : The Games are a celebration of diversity

The past and the present blended skilfully on a sultry London evening to mark the start of the Olympic Games. In a quintessentially British manner, Danny Boyle brought the history and contribution of a nation to the fore with humour and verve as the Games began spectacularly in London. For the next fortnight, as this global city plays host to this sporting extravaganza, the medley of peoples and cultures that it embodies is a reminder of what is best about London. Seen in this light, London 2012 promises to be a simultaneous celebration of diversity and a common humanity that can speak with symbolic potency to a global audience.

Second, it was heartening to see the prominent role given to the construction workers who formed a guard of honour to welcome Steve Redgrave as he carried the torch into the stadium. It was fitting that those who built the stadium weren’t forgotten in the end. It drove home the oft-overlooked point that London is sustained by a huge unsung workforce - of construction workers to cleaners - that toil with honesty and diligence in unglamorous but essential roles.

Third, the vast number of volunteers that took part in the ceremony and are helping with the Games selflessly epitomised the Olympic ideal.

Rishabh Bhandari is a lawyer based in London. He also writes on subjects that include British and Indian social, political and economic affairs.