London 2012: Games Chasers unite

At an Olympics roof party in Beijing in 2008

Living in China for four years, I established something. I love an Olympics.

We may not have had the civilization classes, but Londoners, like Beijingers, are experiencing many of the same things that go with the Olympics, from lanyards to Games Lanes and the army of desperately helpful, garishly clad volunteers. The big difference? The Chinese can do mass transit like no-one else. They have to. With the population they have there would be riots where people died if they didn’t run enough trains and run them on time. We just grumble a bit and carry on leafing through The Standard.

Last time around I was working for China Daily. Now, I’m reporting on the Games for BBC London. Here are some of my Olympics stories so far:

London 2012: Domestic violence hub opens near Olympic Park

Olympics security poster ‘gibberish’ to Arabic speakers

The London workforce not receiving a Games bonus

The Olympics missile base with sun deck, pool and bar

Here’s looking forward to the drama, the parties, the world records, the controversies and that addictive feeling of being in the centre of the universe for a few weeks.

Were you in Beijing for the 2008 Games? Get in touch @jomcdermott.

Latest BBC feature: The London workforce not receiving a Games bonus

Dave Choo runs a souvenir stall in Oxford Street, central London

Hundreds of workers employed on London’s ‘Boris bike’ hire service have become the latest people to secure a bonus for working over the Olympic Games.

It seems each day brings another group of workers demanding a golden £500. The bus drivers are protesting, hot on the heels of London’s train and Tube workers.

But what about the majority of Londoners who will not be receiving extra money for their added time and hard work?

Asked if anyone in the Olympic Stadium’s borough, Newham, would be receiving a bonus, a press officer answered: “No, we’re all just going to have to work bloody hard.”

And that seems to sum up the resolve of most of London’s unsung heroes – the shop workers putting in extra hours, the hauliers who will work through the night to get deliveries made, the postal workers who could well find themselves sitting in their van cabins clocking up unpaid overtime.

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