I’m having trouble getting used to the loud music which is played at the Olympics between events and even during pauses and breaks in the action. Last night we watched (on TV) a women’s basketball match with pop music carefully choreographed to plug any moments of quiet or inactivity during the game. At the quarter-time breaks, as the athletes went off court, dancers ran on to entertain the spectators while the basketball players got their breath back. Even during short tactical conferences between the players, music rushed in to fill the void. At some of the track and field events, or in cycling events, you get the feeling that there are ‘music providers’ poised with their finger on the play button to make sure the audience is never left in disconcerting silence. The whole thing feels as if sport has become primarily an entertainment, or as if sport and pop music have been deliberately woven into some gigantic sensory onslaught, so that there’s always something to listen to whenever there isn’t something to look at.
How can I complain, when the atmosphere at the Olympic Park is clearly so good? Yet I can’t help feeling despondent about the way that music is poured over everything like a sauce. Is it not enough to enjoy the sight of these amazing athletes pushing the boundaries of what’s physically possible?