Sunday, 14 August 2022

My Icon for the Commonwealth Games 2022 is the Raging Bull ...

 

It has become the focal point in Birmingham (UK!!) of our Commonwealth Games … where other sports also featured …


Commonwealth Games Seal -
The Friendly Games and most inclusive Games
 - para sportsmen and women also compete

Perhaps before I start this post I'd better explain where I'm coming from … I was a (hockey, tennis and eventually only squash) ball player – definitely not any other sport … especially running …



but way back in the 'Ark' … I was fortunate enough to get a job working for the British Olympic Association as a clothing administrator (another no – no – clothes do not interest me) – but the lure of the Olympics definitely did … Munich 1972.


Munich Olympic Park - photo
taken in 2014
I've found my bumph on that era – so once Paris 2024 comes around I'll get my act into gear and see what's in the pile … and post some info … for example our Dickensian offices … wooden stair treads worn by 200 years of toil …


It was at this point I became interested in all sports and have been ever since … the nod back to the 1972 era will become obvious in my next post …


I enjoy watching as I can get about doing other things … while people swim, somersault, cycling, run rings round friends, bash balls about … today: move like lightning – my heart is still palpitating after watching the competitors play … way better than our day and in London and Johannesburg where we had some of the best squash players in the world at the club … I'm quite glad I lived through the slower pace of life!


Soweto Kinch - who played
at the Opening Ceremony; there
was a festival going on in and
around the Birmingham area

I wrote three comprehensive posts I 2014 on the Games held in Glasgow … so I won't belabour (a better word than bore!) you with much info here – the Birmingham Games came about, after Durban, South Africa pulled out and the UK accepted the Challenge – we compete as England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Island, Guernsey Jersey and the Isle of Man – not combined under the UK/British banner.



These Commonwealth Games came very soon after the World Athletics Championships had been held at the new Hayward Field, Eugene, Oregon … where only athletics was featured … following on in unseemly order due to the pandemic – the Commonwealth Games …



Concept of the new stadium and track
Eugene, Oregon

The new stadium falls under the remit of Oregon University … but I was interested in seeing the new design … also I'd never heard of Eugene as a centre of sporting achievement/excellence – I guess not living in the States allows for this omission of knowledge – not any more …



Showcasing Oregon's lumber in all
its glory - the Eugene concourse

So before another week disappears into the hot ether we're in (or I am in the south of England) – I'd better get this post finished and up … as we're into another sporting event in Munich … the European Championships …



Back to the Commonwealth Games - The Brummie Bull isn't really raging … he's a Steampunk 'concoction' for the 2022 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony/(The Friendly and most inclusive Games – para-competitors too) … and has captured many a person's heart.



The not so (at this moment) Raging Bull

The Opening Ceremony gave us a ceremonial view of Birmingham from its humble beginnings as a Saxon settlement (mid 5th century), to a market town in the 12th century, until the 1700s came around …




The gathering place at the start of
the Jewellery Quarter - as it is today

when the beating heart of the Industrial Revolution began in the 'Midlands' and Birmingham became the city of a thousand trades … including its Jewellery Quarter from the early 1900s …



Imaginery industrial heartland

nearby over half a century ago … an emerging bard made his appearance ensuring that Stratford-on-Avon would remind us of our creative arts … which now includes a ten-day literature festival.



Creative image for the Raging Bull

Back to the red-eyed, steam-threatening bull as he made his entrance onto the Commonwealth Stage – a creative masterpiece …




made from re-cycled aluminium tubing, foam and plastic – painted over to resemble metal and armour …



Mike Kelt - Chairman of the Special Effects
team at Artem Design Company

It took sixty workers over five months to create and was pulled into the Alexander Stadium by a gang of female chain-makers representing the Industrial Revolution … the chains were made from very high density foam machined on a computer controlled cutting machine.



Raging Bull arriving for the 
Opening Ceremony

What next for the Raging Bull – well he'd wilt when it rained again … so for now he can be outside … then as a home has been found – he can remain in Birmingham as a cultural icon – somewhere …



The copy-cat dog ...
empathising with
the Raging Bull!

This is long … but there is more – via the links (should you wish to visit) … and I'll elaborate (I hope more succinctly) in my next but one post – as WEP has caught up due next week.




William Blake - dark Satanic world

Life ticks on … I am so glad I live at the coast! Many of my verbs should be in the past tense … days have gone by! I've been somewhat overwhelmed with over commitment this year … so these idle days are helping … everything starts up again towards the end of the month …



The plays of William Shakespeare by
Sir John Gilbert 1849

My posts … Commonwealth Games three posts from August 2014 - the first is here ... they follow on ... 

Artem Special Effects and Innovative Solutions ...

Mike Kelt - c/o BBC talking about the innovative bull ... 

History and Culture of Birmingham ... an interesting overview of Birmingham and its surrounds ... 


Forbes - the new Hayward Field ... 


PS - Apologies for length ... 


Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

22 comments:

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
I love that bull and am relieved they found a permanent home. It would have been heartbreaking to think of it being deconstructed... YAM xx

hels said...

Thank you Birmingham! Games are amazing events, both Olympic and Commonwealth. They wake up the host city and the rest of the world, and nobody sleeps for a fortnight. Especially in sports mad Australia.

The Games that stand out for me were the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne. My father was the engineer in the pools, so he on radio and newspapers for months before. Plus we got free tickets for the swimming, diving and water pool events :)

Elephant's Child said...

Love the 'Brummie Bull' and am very glad he has a permanent home. I am not interested in many sports at all but do love the idea of friendly competition.
Stay cool, stay safe.

Liz A. said...

I was just reading about the events in Eugene, OR. Eugene isn't a large city, so I can't fault you for not having heard of it before. It's a college town, and they do a lot of track and field there. I'm only familiar with the area as my uncle lived there for around 15 years.

The Commonwealth Games sound like they were a lot of fun to watch.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Yam - thanks ... and yes I'm pleased they will find a permanent home for him - I'm sure many will visit and inspire the creative youngsters ...

@ Hels - lots of sport happening at the moment ... I'm enjoying it - and trying to stay away from the tv as best I can!! I know Australia is sports mad - there's cricket too ...

How very fortunate your father was able to get you tickets to various pool events for the Melbourne 1956 Olympics - great job he had!! Also to have that coverage recorded for you to remember and read about - let alone all the family memories ... I'm enjoying the European Swimming Championships on in Rome - at the outdoor pool - the setting looks amazing.

@ EC - the Brummie bull is an extraordinary creation ... I'd love to have that spatial awareness. Yes - the friendly competition is what the Commonwealth Games is known as ...

Thank you re the 'stay cool' ... it is cooling down ...

@ Liz - thanks for letting me know about Eugene - I'm glad I've learnt more about it - must have been interesting visiting your uncle.

The Commonwealth Games are always interesting and fun ...

Thanks so much for visiting this long post - cheers for now - Hilary

David M. Gascoigne, said...

It is certainly a good thing, Hilary, that the Brummie Bull has a permanent home, Hilary. It would be a shame not to treat an icon well and ensure that future sports lovers will be able to love him. As for the Commonwealth Games, I wonder how much longer they will endure? The future of the Commonwealth itself seems on shaky grounds, and it's probably fair to say that most Canadians view it as anachronistic - and some don't even know what it is! Institutions both here and in your country will change, I suspect, when the queen departs, and that day is not far off. Take good care and try to stay cool. David

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

What a fantastic bull!

And how cool you worked for the British Olympic Association in '72! That must have been fascinating.

Thanks, as always, for the interesting post!

Annalisa Crawford said...

The bull is an amazing feat of engineering and sculpture. And the games themselves were wonderful. I didn't watch all of it - the heat kept us in the garden most evenings - but I enjoyed the diving and athletics, and the inclusivity of it all.

Jacqui Murray said...

That is amazing, Hilary. I spent some time in Eugene years ago opening a child care center at the University. Wonderful city with great people.

lostinimaginaryworlds.blogspot.com said...

Hello again,

As always, Hilary, a fascinating blog.

I'm back hopefully more regularly, my grandson is rebuilding my website, and to make a push for the new books I'm trying to complete and to save my sanity, I'm rebuilding my blogspot blog.

Would you be kind enough to visit

https://lostinimaginaryworlds.blogspot.com/

and make a comment. The blog post was just something to say to get the blog started! I'm not sure if I've set up the posting. correctly!

With kind regards, Carole xx

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ David - yes I'm glad they've found (or will find) a permanent place for him - he deserves to be admired for his creative build.

The Commonwealth Games I think will survive - as it supports the tiny countries/island countries that have no other way of being represented at a sporting event.

Re the Commonwealth itself ... it has been settling its place as a group of nations - not aligned elsewhere - but its future ... so much change is afoot - after Putin's invasion - the whole world order is up in the air. Prince Philip had a great deal of input ...

Yup - I'm cool! thankfully ... but the weather is about to break the clouds are gathering. Not sure when the rain will happen here - possibly tomorrow, though the forecast says Wednesday ...

@ Elizabeth - yes I was lucky ... it was a chorish job, but I was happy just being involved - and getting to Munich - even if only briefly ... just glad you enjoyed the post ...

@ Annalisa - yes the bull was quite extraordinary sculpture. I agree - I didn't watch all of it ... way too much tv - but so good to be able to watch ... However not having a garden I couldn't escape into - just down to the promenade to be beside the seaside!

@ Jacqui - How interesting you spent time up in Eugene - so know the area rather well. I know the athletes mentioned it was a friendly city ... and I loved learning about it ...

@ Carole - I've emailed you ... there's no comment box set up ...

I hope Richard, your grandson can sort out for you ... all the best.

Thanks so much to you all for being here and commenting - cheers Hilary

Damyanti Biswas said...

This is a wonderful post Hilary! The Munich Olympic Park is such a beautiful structure of engineering.

Joanne said...

This post was a rager - stomping through sports, locations, and snorting through the heat. Glad you can enjoy a bit of a coastal breeze (?). Your interactions with sports are eclectic to say the least. Very fun and I do like the steampunk Raging Bull. Very cool design.

Jeff said...

What interesting work--and what a neat bull icon.

I'm concerned about the Olympics and such games. I couldn't get into the Winter Olympics this year and it seemed to political, but I suppose it was that way with Berlin in 1936. While in high school, I remember the 72 Munich olympics and the tragedy there (a foretaste of what was to come).

Sandra Cox said...

I love the Steampunk bull:)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Damyanti - lots of memories hidden amongst those words ... and yes the engineering is quite extraordinary ... I must find out more ...

@ Joanne - yes ... it was rather a run-around - but things I wanted to remember, while I was at it. Believe it or not ... it's been raining all day - and not too torrential, I'm pleased to say ... now if it could stay off until next week - Eastbourne Airbourne will be pleased!

That Steampunk Raging Bull would be amazing to see in all its glory ... I loved seeing it on the tv ...

@ Jeff - thank you ... the bull is just brilliant - I think.

The Winter Games this year - in Beijing - was shut down for the Pandemic ... a winter of discontent, which in China is not over yet.

@ Sandra - thank you ... the bull is spectacular ...

Cheers to you all - thanks for pandering to my eclectic post! ... Hilary

lostinimaginaryworlds.blogspot.com said...

So many shared memories, especially the history of Birmingham, having spent some years there whilst learning. Thank you as ever for your support, Hilary, your kind words. My grandson is building a new website for me that hopefully incorporates a blog, so we'll see. Much love, Carole Anne.

mail4rosey said...

I'm still hovering over the fact that you played hockey. Hats off to you, that's hard core!! The bull is most excellent.

Sue Bursztynski said...

This looks amazing! I wonder if the opening ceremony is on YouTube?

Melbourne, where I live, is getting the Commonwealth Games because nobody else wanted it! I’m not a sports person, but athletics competitions are special. And I remember watching an Olympic netball competition, breathless at its speed and grace. It made me appreciate the difference between that and the girls’ game we had to play at school for PE.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Carole Anne - the history of Birmingham is interesting to know about ... and you were fortunate to study there. Pleasure - I'll always help if I can. You mentioned your grandson was building you a new site ... and I hope (and expect!) he'll include a blog or a link to one of your others. Good luck with it ...

@ Rosey - it was grass hockey - and a school standard in those days - I enjoyed it ... not the running aspect - short bursts were ok, much longer was awful!!

The bull is just wonderful ...

@ Sue - I'm sure clips will be on YouTube or via the BBC ... I've put other links in ...

What interests me is the range of countries with participants - we learn about other cultures - and other sports ... which make me wonder: eg wall climbing ...

The speed and quality of the squash players staggered me - we were reasonably good ... but totally over-awed by these players ... as you say so quick ... yes appreciation of all participants ...

That's great the Games are coming back to you in 2026 ... and there's Paris Olympics in between.

Thanks to the three of you ... there's always things to learn from these Games - cheers Hilary

Deniz Bevan said...

Wow, this is a fascinating post, Hilary! Thanks so much for the wealth of detail. I'd love to hear more about Munich, 1972, too!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Thanks Deniz - I'll write about Munich 1972 (or my part of it) in 1924 before the Paris Olympics ... not long now! I've found my saved information ...

I'm happy you enjoyed this brief sum-up of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham ...

Cheers Hilary