On the CTV broadcast of the Opening Ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympics they begin with a run-up about athletes and England. It really makes me so incredibly excited for everything Olympics. I always love the Olympics so much! Summer or winter, it really doesn’t matter for me.
The Olympics start…now.
Danny Boyle, the director of Slumdog Millionaire, is the creator of this years
The first chapter of Danny Boyle’s Opening Ceremonies start with a cute clip of the River Thames. With ducks and umbrellas and frogs and then suddenly we get flashes of Olympic moments mixed in. Of course some cricket is necessary to make it British. It’s kind of weird, but interesting. Britain’s first winner of the Tour De France from this year comes on stage first to ring the bell for the ceremony to commence.
I like that they try to incorporate all portions of the UK, giving each their own moment at the beginning of the ceremony until Irish Kenneth Branagh shows up in a top hat and with a big book. All it makes me think of is Abraham Lincoln. Until he starts reciting lines from Shakespeare’s The Tempest. He looks so majestic and happy.
Next there are many drums as a tree rises from the ground. With an influx of people this signifies the transition from agriculture to industry. This section is called Pandemonium, with a massive transition getting rid of all the green and changing instead to metal and steam. They aren’t kidding, calling it pandemonium. So many things are happening as they clear the stage as though that was just their jobs during the revolution. Kenneth Branagh is still here, now standing in the middle of mirrors? I don’t understand that bit. There’s a women’s rights movement, trade unionists and more metal and steam. A bunch of men in top hats look up at the largest of the steam things. We see a mass of poppies with an interruption for the remembrance of all the people who lost their lives during the world wars and other conflicts in between. Danny Boyle’s goal was to create a live movie and I have to say, he’s doing a good job with that, it’s definitely telling a story of Britain.
With a river of molten steel to create the Olympic rings, I have to say this is really cool. And Kenneth Branagh just looks all with a cigar in his mouth. Is he the creater of all this? The top hatted men are doing a dance! Of course the main top hatted man (Branagh) doesn’t have to dance. All such a big process to make these rings and it’s so cool! Ooh, they’re merging together to form the five Olympic rings.
Suddenly, we see a video clip of Daniel Craig’s James Bond showing up at Buckingham Palace to wait on the Queen. As the Corgi’s follow him around the Palace until he finds the Queen and escorts her into the helicopter. THIS IS SO INCREDIBLE. Oh my god, it’s actually happening! Classic James Bond music as Queen and Bond parachute from the helicopter into the stadium (of course it was stunt doubles as they parachuted down). When I heard that James Bond would be in a video clip and then get in a helicopter I predicted he would parachute onstage. I doubted it would actually be him parachuting from a helicopter, but I was right either way.
It was so cute having a choir of little kids in pajamas singing and signing the national anthem. Immediately after that, they throw in more cute by showing GOSH, the most well-known hospital internationally that gets all it’s money from Peter Pan royalties (which is so COOL). I love that they’re featuring all of this random but incredibly awesome stuff. It’s also really cool how they have brought out the beds and some are lit up and some aren’t, and they have made it into a smiley face and then a half moon. The stuff they’re doing on this. JK Rowling is up next, reading an excerpt from Peter Pan. They are honoring so much stuff in such a short amount of time. They’re pulling out monsters from so many classic children’s stories. With massive Snape and Voldemort puppets on display for the Harry Potter recognition, it’s so well done. I’m just so amazed. Suddenly, Mary Poppins shows up. All 32 of her, which vanquishes all of the evil from the stage.
Sir Simon Rattle conducts the orchestra in a performance of ‘Chariots of Fire.’ With Mr. Bean (Rowan Atkinson) on the keyboard. It’s so wonderful. I’m glad they get to incorporate some funny and ridiculous things that they get to do during the opening ceremonies.
Next, we see a Mini Cooper (segment titled the family) pull up with ‘typical’ family showing up at a ‘typical house’ on a ‘typical Saturday night’ through the years. They show clips of lots of classic TV shows like Fawlty Towers. Although this would probably be more fun when in the building, it really isn’t that exciting from here. It’s kind of really cute, and it sums up the teen life in England with some old, classic music going through the decades but it kind of drags on. I didn’t really pay attention to what was happening, and just listened to the music instead. The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bowie, Queen, Doctor Who time travel sounds, and much more. It’s all so awesome. Next, we meet the inventor of the world wide web, who apparently is British. They’re really incorporating so many aspects of our world into these opening ceremonies.
And now the gorgeous David Beckham is at the controls of a motorboat with the Olympic Flame on board. We get another moment of reflection, this time for loved ones of those in attendance that have passed. I think that is such a beautiful moment to have, and one that is so unique. Next, we see an incredibly majestic and powerful dance sequence that is backlit with colored dust thrown in the air to make it look even cooler. This is so well danced, and with the really solemn music it because so moving.
With that portion done, we now welcome the athletes of all the nations. Greece is always first because of their importance in creating the original games. It’s unfortunate that they have a smaller than normal athlete pool because of their economic crisis. I like the Algerian outfits. I love getting to learn about the countries. Finding out where they are or random tidbits about them. American Samoa has some cool, cultural outfits. Antigua’s flag bearer looked so happy. Argentina’s president needs to suck it up and not boycott the games. At least that didn’t inhibit the athletes from participating. Awe, first Olympic games for the 18 year old Florida high schooler and he’s carrying the flag.
My main team, Australia, shows up as the first big team. I’m so happy and proud of them already.They have such cute outfits! On the lining of their green jackets are the names of each Australian gold medalist. The thought that went into that jacket!
Why does it matter if they’re in contention for the medal? They are there. They are happy – possibly happier than those with all the insane pressure – and they are there for their team. Just cheer them on! I have never heard of Benin before, but their blue berets are SO cute.
Brazil is the next major country to show up with 256 athletes. They will be hosting the 2016 Summer Games, and that’s really exciting! Hmmm, I may have to try and attend that one! I feel like the less athletes a country has the more I want to cheer them on here, at the opening ceremonies. Bulgaria’s outfits are so cute.
My home country, Canada shows up next. Big cheer from the audience just like for Australia We’re in such blah outfits though. I like them because it’s all for the relaxed team spirit section, but we’re probably the least formal ever. They’re not bad though. Mixed feelings all up in here. Of course, as we’re on CTV we keep watching the Canadians and learning about the Canadians instead of switching to the other countries like before. I’m sorry, but I REALLY want to watch all the countries. But then we do get to see the Canadians goofing around with three girls sitting on three guys shoulders.
Germany comes up with lots of athletes. It’s cute that they’re wearing pink and blue. I didn’t realize that London didn’t invite Germany or Japan to the 1948 Olympics because of their role as aggressors in the Second World War. That’s the first important piece of information I’ve taken from this program. There are three athletes that do not have a country, they are simply Olympians. How old do you have to be to compete? I thought it was 18, but is it 16? Someone had to brave sniper fire and bombs to train to get into the Olympics? Guess who deserves ALL the medals! I don’t understand why they don’t have a moment of silence for the Israeli Olympians if they had two moments of silence during this Opening Ceremony. I’m not saying that is specifically Danny Boyle’s fault, as it was an IOC decision wrought with politics, but still.
Ah, the Italians look so stylish — what a surprise! They’ve got nice ties and everything, of course it’s Armania so that’s not surprising. Jamaica is next up, with Usain Bolt as the flag bearer. Hopefully he does well in the athletics! The commentator keeps describing places as halfway between Australia and Hawaii. So…in the middle of nowhere? That helps me place where it is :/ I love that South Korea worried about noise for their archers, so they had them compete before baseball games. What preparation! Mexico has such incredibly colorful and unique outfits.
Honestly, why do you have 529 athletes? That’s ridiculous I love that Michelle Obama is there. Comments on the USA outfits *warning, swearing*: why the fuck do you have French-style berets? Why did you get China to make your uniforms? You’re fucking ridiculous. Do you not understand team spirit and supporting your country? Go fucking die, I hope none of you win anything. *I’m done* but not actually, because that would be mean, it’s not you’re fault you’re wearing awful outfits. I love Michelle Obama’s support though. Why isn’t Obama there? I understand he’s busy, but honestly Romney is there. Romney sucks, he should be here for nothing but his horse that’s competing.
Oh, I guess that Great Britain has 542 athletes or something… The excitement they got from their entrance (a standing ovation), I’m so happy with all of this. It’s all so exciting with everything right now. Honestly what are they wearing though? It’s kind of awful…but also I like the gold because it signifies they’ll have a lot more gold? But oh well.
We get a quick performance by the Arctic Monkeys as the symbolic swans circle the entire stage (athletes and all). I don’t understand why the Arctic Monkeys perform their second song though? They aren’t the Beatles. Or Paul McCartney who’s performing later…
And now for the lighting of the cauldron. Who will light it? There have been many rumors of David Beckham. Dumbledore has also been suggested as it’s a cauldron. David Beckham is still driving the boat, but suddenly there are many more people in the boat as well. They pull up to the dock and John Bailey (a young footballer) starts running with the torch into the stadium. As he runs, Sarah Stevenson takes the Olympic oath for all athletes and Mik Basi takes the oath for all officials and judges and Eric Farrell takes the oath for all coaches.
As the Olympic flame comes into the stadium, where it passes to young athletes that represent the future and GB’s hopes for the next Olympics. I think it’s awesome, and they create a relay where they pass it to each person as they run around the entire stadium. Apparently each of the young people were nominated by older Olympians. These six young athletes light the cauldron, and I think it’s so amazing that they didn’t have some big name light it, because it makes it that much more lovely.
The petals that each country brought in with them now alight as the six athletes add their flames until it travels up to the centre. After they all light, these petals rise into a flaming circle in the middle of the stadium. It was such a beautiful idea, and I congratulate everybody who assisted in coming up with that. Now with the cauldron lit, we get a wondrous fireworks show with a montage of sport moments.
With everything finished, we now get a performance by the spectacular Sir Paul McCartney. Amazing as ever, I don’t really know what to say about him other then he’s as awesome as always.
If there is a team that refuses to train, compete, or do anything else with athletes of any other team then they do not deserve to compete in the games. The Olympics are supposed to be about camaraderie and friendship, joining together… Not about your disdain for other countries.
I’m very concerned about these Olympics. I want to watch SO MUCH of the coverage, but I work 40 hours a week and I’ll never be able to see everything I want to see.
I don’t know what to say about this show. I probably had a lot more good things to say about the ceremony in this then I really feel. It was long, tiresome, and mostly it was dull. I’m excited for the games, but I don’t know about this.