I woke up at exactly 4 ‘o clock in the morning just to catch the Opening Ceremonies of the London Olympics. With 80,000 spectators around the humongous stadium, I am proud to say that I am a part of those billion others around the world who witnessed the ceremonies in the comfort of their homes.
Directed by Danny Boyle, the London Olympics Opening Ceremonies was an extravagant and somehow humorous display of London’s history. The stadium in the beginning was just a field with hundreds of actors. Suddenly engineering erupted from the roots (literally) of those fields, transforming the stadium into a completely different world – a world of Industrial Revolution, led by British actor Kenneth Branagh. The set was just breathtaking.
Huge chimneys emerged from the ground, and then people started to forge something from the ground – the Olympic Rings. The Age of Industry part ended as the Olympic Rings were assembled above the stadium and burst into flames. That was utterly AMAZING.
Then James Bond APPEARS, gets THE Queen Elizabeth and they both jumped off a chopper! Too cool to be true? Haha!
Then thousands of kids came into view, with what seems to be a hospital setting, with nurses, representing Britain’s National Health Services. And to my delight, J.K. Rowling was there and she read an excerpt of a story.
Different lights exploded to life, Voldemort was defeated by hundreds of flying Mary Poppins, the kids were dancing on their lighted beds, and that portion ended with a special production featuring everyone’s favourite Mr. Bean, playing Chariots Of Fire with the London Symphony Orchestra.
Rowan Atkinson a.k.a. Mr. Bean received the loudest cheers from the delighted crowd.
The next portion of the ceremony showed the evolution of technology courtesy of the inventor of the World Wide Web himself, Tim Lee. A huge production number took place with tunes ranging from Queen, Sugababes, Sex Pistols, New Order, Amy Winehouse, Prodigy, and David Bowie. The prod capped off with Arctic Monkeys performing live! Just before the entrance of colors, Emeli Sandi sang a poignant version of the hymn Abide With Me. She sang it beautifully.
But the most glorious part of the opening ceremony was the lighting of the Olympic Cauldron. This time around, 7 young athletes were assigned to do this endeavour. Thomas Heatherwick is the one responsible in creating that stunning and magnificent Olympic cauldron, and with a very inimitable and astounding concept. We have a total number of 209 countries participating in the Olympics. Every country is represented by a small metal cup, which stands at the center of the stadium. The cauldrons were actually on the floor when the torch bearers lighted a series of cups. Once the cups were lighted, another cup lights up. And then another. And then another! And another, until a circular motion of fire assembles.
When all the cups were lit, each one emerged from the ground, joining together to form a huge Olympic Cauldron. I WAS IN AWE. SPECTACULAR. This simply signifies that even in the face of competition, the spirit of sportsmanship reigns and every nation is united as one.
The Beijing Opening Ceremony of the Olympics may be one of the most extravagant events in the history of the Olympics, but Director Danny Boyle did not try to be like that. Four years ago we saw a huge display of national pride, but London portrayed a graceful boast, with entrenched value and significance.