And the moment the world has been waiting for is finally here - THE LONDON 2012 OLYMPICS.
The 30th Olympiad Games.
The 3rd to be hosted by London.
The most expensive games ever. And it could not have begun in a better way.
Planned by Oscar award-winning movie director Danny Boyle, famous for films such as Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire, the Olympics opening ceremony was the perfect tribute to Britain: Its culture, its people, and its entertainment.
The ceremony started by the popping of numbered balloons by children from ten to one, balloon one popped by Tour de France champion, Bradley Wiggins.
Projected to have cost about 42million dollars, Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony was one of firsts, as it was said it was the first time the Queen would act on film. He made it seem like the 86-year old monarch parachuted inside the stadium alongside the nation’s greatest hero, James Bond.
Actor Rowan Atkinson, playing the part of his famous TV character, the mute Mr. Bean, provided laughs, shown dreaming that he was appearing in “Chariots of Fire”, the inspiring story of a Scotsman and an Englishman at the 1924 Paris Games.
Boyle used his movie-directing knowledge to a major advantage. Headlong rushes of movie images took spectators on wondrous, heart-racing voyages through everything British: a cricket match, the London Tube and the roaring, abundant seas that buffet and protect this island nation.
Majority of the about 10,500 athletes from 204 countries participated in the parade, some preferring to stay away to preserve their strength. Greece, as the the traditional home of the Olympiad, was first, while Team Great Britian, as hosts, marched out last. A helicopter showered the athletes and stadium with 7 billion tiny pieces of paper – one for each person on Earth.
Seven promising young British athletes lit the Olympic cauldron. The torch, which minutes earlier had been on a boat driven by football star David Beckham down the River Thames, had been carried into the stadium by five-time Olympic gold medalist Steve Redgrave.
The show’s lighter moments included puppets drawn from British children’s literature – Captain Hook from “Peter Pan,” Cruella de Vil from “101 Dalmations” and Lord Voldemort from J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series, as well as Mary Poppins.
Their appearance had a serious message, too – the importance of literacy.
“If you can read and write, you’re free, or you can fight for your freedom,” Boyle said.
The Opening Ceremony was every shade of successful, and has perfectly set the stage for 17 days of competitions between the world’s greatest athletes.
Below are some of the pictures and a video clip from the spectacular opening ceremony. Team Nigeria in their traditional attires in the nation’s colours. GO TEAM NIGERIA!
LONDON 2012 OLYMPICS – LET THE GAMES BEGIN.
All pictures: Yahoosports.com