After poor attendances and empty seats at some of the early events, how reassuring for the Olympic organisers to see a nearly full house at one of Olympic Park's open-air venues - the River Bank arena - for a preliminary stage Men's Hockey match between Great Britain and Argentina.
Perhaps it was the tumultuous political relationship between the two nations, which has appeared sporadically on the front pages over the past year that inspired such a large number to turn out. Or maybe it was the event’s ticket price, ranging from a modest £20 to a still rather reasonable £65. Whatever the reason, the stadium was bursting with atmosphere before either side took to the field.
Team GB started aggressively, with an early goal being ruled out following an Argentine referral. Still, GB continued to dominate possession, circling on their opponent’s penalty area for long spells.
After the GB team’s captain (and serious contender for world’s most absurdly named man) Barry Middleton put the home side ahead, a small brass band struck up a rousing rendition of ‘Rule Britannia’. Whether this was to wind up the Argentine fans in attendance remains unknown.
Tensions spilled over just before the end of the first half after GB’s Matt Daly left Argentina’s Pedro Ibarra in a heap on the floor with the type of tackle that could very well lead to a job on the defensive staff at Stoke City.
Early in the second half Middleton hit the net again to double the British score, which was nearly extended further when James Tindall masterfully turned past two defenders before screwing the ball inches wide.
Soon after Dan Fox put GB three ahead, allowing the largely British crowd to relax and enjoy the remainder of the match.
Richard Smith put in a fourth, yet the crowd wanted more, braying in unison: “We want five”. The brass band piped up once more, this time with a triumphant ‘When the Saints Go Marching In’.
Argentina clawed a goal back in the closing minutes, but the game was already won, leaving the clock to run down and the crowd to concentrate on several Mexican Waves… alongside some friendly taunting of the visitors.
INC- Network of Local Radio Stations in cooperation with in total 15 local radio stations from Kosovo broadcasting in Serbian language and five local radio stations in Serbia including Radio Presheva, Albanian local broadcaster, with the support, of BTD, Austrian.., KFOS Soros Fund and NED, in the period of July-September 2011, produced and broadcast weekly shows titled The Bridge, Prishtina - Belgrade Civil Dialogue which as the main objective had promotion of ethnic tolerance, intra-ethnic and regional cooperation between Albanians and Serbs i.e. Kosovo and Serbia. The motivation for the initiation and then implementation of this unique project which involved in total 15 local broadcasters from Kosovo and Serbia was the beginning of the technical dialogue between two capitols with the mediation of European Union. As the opinion is aware these ongoing talks as the main objective had solving of issues that remains an obstacle in normalization of relations between two capitols. The project was unique for couple of reasons which will be elaborated in this report, however we need to underline here the fact that ‘The Bridge” is the first project which saw such close cooperation and joint work between local broadcasters from Kosovo and Serbia, i.e. for the first time local broadcasters from these two countries together produced and broadcasted same weekly shows, a fact that in itself is an indicator of the conclusion that this project was unique and that was successful in its implementation.