According to a riotous unofficial history of the Olympics, security forces have tampered with the phones, cars and homes of suspected terrorists to keep the London Games safe.
“Creative methods” were used to ensure the 2012 showpiece went off without incident, with a series of clandestine black-ops measures, Michael Payne, former director of the International Olympic Committee in Toon In! which is released today.
In nearly 500 cartoon-illustrated and sensational pages in a four-pound tome, ex-commercial chief Payne sheds light on the often scandalous ins and outs of the world’s biggest sports show.
Former IOC director Michael Payne reveals the inside story about London 2012 in new book
London hosted the biggest sports show in the world nine years ago (opening ceremony pictured)
London 2012 gets the full treatment, with Payne first recalling how, after the surprise win over Paris, then-Chancellor Gordon Brown stormed the roof with officials.
Brown was only persuaded to sign the original Olympic budget based on his officials’ watertight assurances that the London bid had absolutely no chance of ever winning. “It was a glowing Gordon who met his officials after the bid, yelling, ‘What the hell have you been doing to me now?’
Payne also reveals how the run-up to the Games was in danger of being overshadowed by claims from a “serious source” that a nuclear weapon had been stolen from a sunken Russian submarine, planted in London and timed to detonate during the opening ceremony. The claim was later revealed to be a hoax, but the threat of attack was taken seriously with rocket launchers stationed in public tower blocks.
The book scoffs at the over-commercialization of the Olympics
London 2012 gets the full treatment in his book as Payne sheds light on the scandalous goings on behind the scenes
And then came the spy games. “While traditional British democratic principles did not allow the security forces to ‘lose’ risky characters, they were nevertheless able to be highly creative and innovative,” Payne recalls. “However, a few weeks before the opening ceremony, a small group of unsavory figures who may have been interested in the basics of terrorism were turned upside down.
To this day the pseudo-terrorists still don’t know why their cars suddenly stopped working, why their cell phones always ran out of battery even when they were just charged, why their garage keys never opened the lock opened and their debit cards ran out of credit.
“It was all very bizarre and confusing. And then suddenly, in September, right after the Paralympic Games, everything started working again.’
Payne even reveals how the run-up to the Games was in danger of being overshadowed by claims from a ‘serious source’ that a nuclear weapon had been planted in London (police officers pictured walking through the Olympic Park)
Payne highlights the controversies that have ruined the run-up to the 2020 Games 2020
Ex-British ski champion Payne, 63, also explores the Queen’s role in Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony, revealing her insistence that she would not only appear, but also have a speaking role in the James Bond parody in which she and Daniel Craig ‘parachute’ were seen. from an airplane above the stadium.
“Plans for filming the scene were done in total secrecy,” he recalls. “A famous actress was supposed to take the place of the Queen when she met James Bond. They only realized their mistake and that the Queen wouldn’t let anyone fill in for her when the Queen’s dresser called the organizers the day before filming to ask what dress they would like Her Majesty to wear.
“The production crew was taken aback when filming began and Her Majesty asked for her script. No script had been drawn up and the immortal ‘Good evening, Mr Bond’ was quickly scribbled on the back of an envelope.’
There is also a chapter on doping, with the Russians and the Americans both getting barrels. And Tokyo, host of this year’s postponed Games, is not evading Payne treatment.
Usain Bolt was one of the stars of the London Olympics, winning three gold medals
Payne believes Tokyo Games will continue despite growing pandemic fears
He believes they will continue despite growing fears about the impact of the pandemic on Japan.
“I think the Games will take place,” he said. ‘The existing protocols go a long way. The infection rate here is a third. It’s all relative in terms of what “gets out of hand”. There’s a political frenzy going on – it’s not unlikely to be fueled by a post-game political agenda.’
Proceeds from the sale of the book, which will cost £70, will go to four charities, including the Back Up Trust, which supports people with spinal cord injuries.
When asked what are old IOC bosses from Toon In! Payne replied, “I think they would say, ‘This is a crude, outrageous, and probably defamatory book. We can’t wait for the second edition.”’ They would be right.
l To Show In! to buy, please visit: olympiccartoon.com