British Airways Vaults into London Olympics

Posted February 22, 2008 by Zak Patten

Track The U.K.'s flagship carrier, British Airways, has been named a top-tier partner for London's 2012 summer Olympics. Which makes me wonder, will the airline's involvement go beyond providing transportation and getting good PR in return?

I hope so. Because the possibilities are tantalizing. For starters, commercial aircraft are perfect venues for several events, particularly those of the track-and-field variety. I'm thinking the 100-meter dash would work well on a BA 747, which has those two long aisles on either side of the middle seats. One world-class sprinter could line up at the back of each aisle and at the sound of the gun (which would have to pass through security, wouldn't it?), they'd race from the worst coach seat by the lavatory to the best flat-bed first-class accommodations—in under 10 seconds. Of course, all of the seats would be filled with Olympic spectators, cheering on the runners as they breezed by.

I'm thinking certain jumping events are well suited to British Airways' fleet. And while the long jump is a good fit for onboard entertainment, the high jump brings up overhead space limitations and the pole vault is simply out of the question. But I have to draw the line at anything involving heavy or sharp objects being thrown, such as a javelin, shot put, or discus. With fans literally in the field of play, the liability issues are too numerous to mention.

I know we're already straying a bit from standard Olympic fare, but since we're being theoretical, perhaps we could "think outside the plane"? It's all well and good to have weightlifters at the games, but British Airways could sponsor a real test of strength by asking athletes to compete in a plane pull. After all, this guy did it to get into the Guinness World Records, and he doesn't even look that big.

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(Photo: William Jewell College)

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