A really fair, balanced take on it:
The London Games, commencing in July, will also showcase sites far more familiar to a global audience — think tennis at Wimbledon, triathlon at Hyde Park and beach volleyball a spike away from No. 10 Downing Street. But leading experts say the move to concentrate new Olympics-related construction and its longer-term benefits in historically poor neighborhoods will amount to a test case of just how much the Olympics can be leveraged to effect social change.
I mean, no superlative does it justice:
Most important, sport was turning into something that could reflect the larger social questions of the day. One of the major anxieties that shows up again and again in the English sportswriting of the era is whether sport weakens society or makes it stronger. Is there some innate connection between winning an athletic contest and moral virtue? Do the qualities that matter in the ring pass themselves on to spectators? What exactly are we getting out of this? Why do we like it so much
One of sport’s most articulate defenders was Pierce Egan, arguably the most important early sportswriter working in English. Egan’s writing in the Weekly Despatch — and later in his own journal, Boxiana — was for many years the semi-official voice of the Fancy. The excitement his columns generated, with their vivid slang and colorful depictions of life around the ring, helped to establish boxing as England’s national pastime. A.J. Liebling, the greatest writer about the ring who ever lived, called him “the greatest writer about the ring who ever lived.” Liebling also called him “a hack journalist, a song writer, a conductor of puff-sheets and, I am inclined to suspect, a shakedown man,” but he meant it as a compliment.