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Beijing is a tough act to follow. Even after all the controversy, the sheer spectacle of it all smacked the gobs of billions around the world. Now it's London's turn, in their third modern Summer Olympics, and LOCOG has decided to push substance over style.
The Olympic Stadium won't be flashy, the new stadiums are practical and long-lasting, and the English are proud of it, it seems. Faced with an almost $50 million budget cut after the Tory government took office, LOCOG have soldiered on, using what they have to great effect.
We'll have to wait until next year to see if it pays off, but most seem to be cautiously optimistic that a Games so different from 2008 will, at the very least, resonate with audiences by sheer principle alone.