Nor was it a Peoples' Olympics when so many people were denied the chance to purchase last minute tickets (affordable or otherwise) despite the obvious acres of empty seats visible on screen and small businesses who tried to join in the Olympic spirit to boost trade were swiftly stamped on by corporate concerns, no matter that these corporate concerns had actually paid very little towards the Olympics in real terms compared to the taxpayer and were in turn trying to dodge paying tax.
It might have offered up more razzmatazz than any previous Olympics but for me, momentous events should actually contain moments of gravitas, dignity and silence rather than endless shrieking and whooping, hysterical commentators and blaring pop music at every opportunity, thereby undercutting the genuinely extraordinary achievements of the athletes.
Dictionary definition of the word 'ceremony': 'The formal or ritualistic activities conducted on a solemn, important or state occasion'
(*note the words 'formal' and 'solemn'). Which, granted, you might not expect the opening and closing 'ceremonies' of the Olympics to have in spades as they are naturally more in the nature of 'celebrations' than 'ceremonies' but certainly the presentation of the medals should have been formal and solemn with no silly posing or biting the medal afterwards. As for the athletes constantly brandishing and flashing cameras and handycams as they made their way to the central enclosure during the closing ceremony - what next - a bride doing the same as she sweeps down the aisle for the biggest day of her life? It is for other people to take this kind of footage, not the principal players.
The sporting costumes were also hideous and made our athletes look like they'd been to the pound shop rather than purchasing highly expensive aerodynamic kit made employing the latest high-tech space technology, which it probably was. The women were defeminised, the men turned into alien life forms, particularly the cyclists. Mr Federer was the smartest turned-out sportsman of the lot and I was almost sorry he lost to the sartorially-challenged Andy Murray (albeit ever so slightly glad that Andy finally got his own back after such a long run of bad luck against his Swiss nemesis).
There was no classiness about this Olympics beyond the VIP Zil traffic lanes (also stolen from the British taxpayer). It was loud, vulgar and unashamedly corporate, and what THAT says about Britain to the rest of the world, I shudder to think.
The untold side of the Olympics was that a number of East Enders who were promised that their homes wouldn't be swept away to facilitate the construction of the Olympic village and stadia (as the Chinese suffered for the Beijing Olympics) saw that promise dishonoured when 425 council tenants lost their homes to be re-dispersed across London losing their community and ending up worse off financially. But hey, they were only council tenants, so who cares, right? Other losses included the treasured Manor Gardens allotment which had previously survived two world wars and lay on ground gifted to the community in perpetuity at the turn of the 20th century, so who was the 'London Development Agency' to place a compulsory purchase order on it? A listed theatre was another casualty to make way for luxury flats as part of the gentrification of the Olympic area (presumably 'listing' now stands for nothing when it comes to protecting a valuable piece of our heritage). So the character and community of the Olympic area has been irretrievably changed forever, and who is to say for the better if it is now to begin pricing its natives out? This process certainly leaves any green credentials claimed by Locog open to question. Ironic then that a celebration of the working man and England's green and pleasant land, not forgetting history, played such a pivotal role in the opening ceremony, albeit in a very twisted version of British history conveniently omitting any controversial bits.
Which leads me to another aspect of the Olympics which made me uneasy. The dishonesty of portraying our nation as a nation of absolute abundance at a time when it is anything but. Nor is it anywhere near as free as it gave the impression of being, if still free-er than all those unfortunate nations whose athletes had western freedoms somewhat unfairly rubbed into their noses by a string of undiplomatically-chosen songs in the closing ceremony. Though it also crossed my mind this might be a sneaky ploy to encourage oppressed athletes to defect to UK in order that 'Team GB' wins even more medals next Olympics!
But for all this, the whole shebang admittedly turned out better than my cynical predictions of four years ago, and it's undoubtedly served to cheer a depressed nation up (providing we don't think about the cost), but for how long? What will the real legacy be? Apart from a rather funny sitcom entitled '2012'.