Preparations for the 2012 Olympics in London have been thrown into disarray today when it emerged that imperial measurements have been used for all aspects of planning and construction, including the fields, tracks and courses to be used by the athletes. The error came to light when John Prescott, visiting the Olympic stadium on his way to a local Bulimics Association meeting, clocked a time of 11 seconds for the 100m. Whilst Mr. Prescott chose to quite literally bask in his glory, concerned project workers promptly measured the distance as 91.44m – precisely 100yards. A flurry of activity followed as anxious construction teams across the various Olympic sites strove to ascertain if the error was isolated to the main stage alone. Worst fears were confirmed, when it emerged that workers at Greenwich Park used the wrong imperial measurements when constructing the equestrian jumps, believing horses to be measured in feet, rather than hands and the Olympic pool was measured at three ‘chains’ by five ‘poles’.
Lord Coe and Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport Ben Bradshaw were summonsed this morning by Gordon Brown to explain in person. The Prime Minister was said to have been livid following the revelations, although Mr. Bradshaw was unable to comment as he was receiving medical treatment having ‘walked into the door frame as he rushed to Mr. Brown’s office’. Mr. Brown allegedly asked why previous concerns had not been pursued, after allegations that British swimmers recorded exceptionally poor race times, Dwain Chambers unofficially broke the world record by over a second, and the show-horses were unable to clear the equestrian courses; ‘It was expected, drugs, and we thought the horses were small’, came the reply this afternoon from the British Olympic Association.
The event now faces extensive delays as contractors battle to remeasure and reconstruct the facilities. The British Olympic Association could face severe sanctions if they fail to do so in time for the scheduled start date and are likely to be fined as well as banned from taking part in Olympic competition for up to three consecutive summer games. Furthermore, the various international Olympic boards are likely to seek financial compensation from the BOA. However, it is thought that government will look to pursue a sanctioned rescheduling. In a brief statement to the press as he left Downing Street, Lord Coe stated, ‘we are hoping that it will in fact appeal to the IOC given that it imbues the games with a rather British sensibility; we’re calling it London 2013: The Baker’s Dozen’.