The Madeleine Brand Show

The Madeleine Brand Show is a daily, two-hour program that looks at news and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by Madeleine Brand

London Olympics get off to rocky start

by The Madeleine Brand Show

42153 full
Armed police patrol around the Athletes' Village at the Olympic Park site on July 16, 2012 in Stratford, east London. (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images) WPA Pool/Getty Images

Today, the first wave of Olympians arrive in London. But for some athletes, the bus trip to London was anything but smooth.

Some Olympians complained that their bus got lost on the way from Heathrow Airport to the Olympic village.

It's just one in a string of issues that have arisen for Olympic organizers, and the Games haven't even started.

Last week, the private security firm G4S admitted it had run out of time to train all of its new personnel. Soldiers fresh from Afghanistan are among those who've been dispatched to London to help police the games.

There's also controversy over McDonald's being the official restaurant of the Olympics. McDondald's wanted to be the only restaurant to sell fries -- chips, as they say in England. But after public outcry, Olympic organizers have allowed other vendors to sell their chips.

Elsewhere in host city London, promoters are getting heat for turning off the mics on Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen. The rockers had violated the 10:30 p.m. curfew for Hyde Park.

London mayor Boris Johnson said during a radio interview on Sunday: “It sounds to me like an excessively efficacious decision. You won’t get that during the Olympics."

No word on Paul McCartney's reaction to the concert interruption. The former Beatle is headlining the opening Olympics ceremony.


Simon Hoggart columnist for The Guardian newspaper.

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