I have gone to the Olympic track & field trails a couple of evenings and it was fun to experience the atmosphere there.
It also brought up a couple of (mildly attached to) stories for inquiry.
One is how the big money interests seems to trump anything else, such as free speech. Visitors are not allowed to bring in banners and signs, and no citizen groups are allowed to have a booth, so that leaves only corporate signs, banners and booths with the exception of the military promo and recruiting area. The organizers have set up a few small “free speech zones” away from the event, at locations very few will happen upon. This makes the event itself seem somewhat sterile and corporate, and less interesting.
The other is the usual security game they are playing, with a long list of things that are illegal to bring into the event, searches of any bags visitors have, and body scans with wands and patting down. It may seem impressive at first. But noticing how low the fence around the area is, and how easy it would be for anyone to pass something over or under it to someone on the inside, it becomes a little comical.
So in both cases, there is a game of doing it – at least partly – for appearances. There are a few free speech zones few ever sees. And a thorough security check that has no impact if someone really wanted to bring in something illegal.