Exactly a year from now, London will be hosting the Summer Olympic Games (19 sports on the day, to be exact), but the condition of the city right now is not appropriate for hosting one of the world's biggest events. For the third night in a row, rioters have ravaged, looted, and set fire to the city, the worst civil unrest in memory.
In a stroke of tragic irony, all 204 competing nations have sent managers to London this week, specifically to prepare for transportation, accommodations, and food for their Olympic teams. Obviously their concerns have shifted to security issues, as they've witnessed London's most urban areas become an apocalyptic nightmare. Croydon, Hackney, Notting Hill, Clapham, Peckham, East Dulwich, Enfield, Islington, Hackney, Camden Town, Soho and Bethnal Green are just some of the neighborhoods that have been burned and looted by gangs, but the violence has also spread to other cities in the U.K., including Birmingham and Liverpool.
As the world watches thousands of police in riot gear failing to cope with London's unrest, one must wonder if this is a city that is prepared to host the Olympics? Since the riots began, LOCOG has maintained that proper security plans are in place and they are constantly being reviewed. Security has always been a top priority for these games since the day London got the bid, but police and firefighters have already admitted that they are overstretched and cannot respond to every call. Despite such deficiency, LOCOG has not expressed concern over security for the games; they've only admitted that it's not exactly a great advert to bring people to the city.
So far, there has been no damage to the Olympic Venues, but soccer/football matches are being cancelled. Wednesday's friendly between England and Holland at Wembley Stadium has been cancelled, as well as every league match in the South and East London. East London is where a lot of the riots are occurring, a section of the city that is home to the Olympic Park.
As a result of these riots, would you cancel a trip to the Olympics? Comment below, and check out my last blog post to analyze a really unfortunate coincidence involving these riot's and London 2012's choice of advertising music.