Opening Ceremony to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London with special guests including those of British Royalty and Loyalty and special acts including Her Majesty jumping out of a helicopter ... See full summary »
The games of the 28th summer olympiad returned to the birthplace of the Olympics - Athens, Greece. The games ran from August 13 to 29th 2004. Athens hosted 11,099 athletes, the largest ... See full summary »
The thousands of volunteers included in the ceremony were chosen in an audition process. A vast majority of these had no previous dancing, singing, acting or drumming experience, including the stars of the 'Thanks Tim' sequence, 'June' and 'Frankie'. See more »
Simply put, not only was this ceremony a total surprise that worked to the highest possible effect but it was I think the best Olympic opening ceremony. It was certainly the best live event show/ceremony I have ever seen. Firstly, it was informative, totally original and had a huge amount of texture, depth and personality to it. Whilst I thought that Beijing's opening ceremony was amazing and lively and colourful,the first section of Danny Boyle's opening ceremony was I think quite literally like being inside the action of a motion picture. The portrayal of the 'green and pleasant land' into the state of Industrial Revolution was on a purely epic scale. To think that so many performers, volunteers and actors such as Kenneth Branagh in a very true portrayal of Isambard Kingdom Brunel contributed to such an effective telling of the story and history of Great Britains Industrial change was itself a truly impressive spectacle. Even watching it from a television perspective was still the same as feeling the atmosphere, vibe, tension that rose to an epic crescendo with the arrival of the drummers. From that point on the music that accompanied the pandamonium act was epic in parallel play against the very realistic performances and whole act. There was a huge amount of character personality conveyed. You could identify with each character especially Branagh as Brunel and the many workers, women of the revolution, the arrival of the Chelsea Pensioners and the army of 'Brunel' characters. With a strong personality trait there was also the use of some stunning effects,lighting and set design. Everything looked very realistic; from the chimneys and smoke to the fire and spark effects of the forging of the Olympic Rings to the forged rings themselves which is the most stunning use of lighting, design and special effects I have ever seen in live event shows. To actually smell the forged rings and see their formation against the backdrop of the Industrial Workshop was stunning. The whole Industrial Revolution Act alone was simply epic and true. A 10 out of 10 section. The arrival of the Queen via escort by her top agent was utterly suiting both realistically and in a comedic sense. The sequence's short film entitled 'Happy and Glorious' was fun, lively and very royal benefited by a stunning arrival of Her Majesty to the stadium via parachuting, even though this was done by stuntmen. It was very interesting and surprising to see Mr Bean make an appearance in the stadium playing a single repetitive note of Chariots of Fire on a keyboard, looking board, sneeze, play the keyboard with an umbrella then dream of himself running on the beach in the famous Chariots of Fire opening scene from which actual footage from the film was used in conjunction with specifically shot sequences by the BBC. It was even more interesting because after Mr Beans Holiday, Rowan Atkinson mentioned that he nay never play Mr Bean again so it was great fun to see him return for maybe one last time. The ceremonies other acts including hundreds of nurses, beds, children and a portrayal of the NHS, a 60ft or so inflatable Lord Voldemort, 70's culture and Paul McCartney, accompanied by a fascinating arrival and lighting of the torch after its journey down the river to the stadium by David Beckham on boat were well deserved and waited for. The whole ceremony had an incredible poingnacy and vibe about it. It was fresh, dramatic and was on a scale outside of many peoples expectations. It certainly surpassed my own. A fantastic experience. Britains best show ever. Danny Boyle's hard work birthed London 2012 and by so doing birthed a very memorable legacy of the London 2012 Olympic Games. The BBC's Opening ident featuring a virtual timlapse of the outskirts and central London with reference and homage made to Wind in the Willows and a clever incorporation of the all famous Eastenders opening logo seemed rather an unexpected yet suspense building countdown before the actual ceremony commenced. We as a nation haver seemed to be able to offer what is probably a very remarkable contribution to sport. Whereas other host countries have shown a very spectacular and conscious based games, I believe that we have shown a definition of what Britain is and in turn what is means to be British. If there is one thing the opening ceremony of the Olympics achieved it was a very included sense; in other words,it brought everyone as a nation together to tell the story . Although every host country has successfully done this, I think that we, hosting the games in our own nation have brought an all home type of games to the world. We cannot of course dspute an other host countries efforts and achievements in hosting the games but with London, there did seem to be a very strong special presence that absorbed in many of us. In saying this, it is probably thus fair to say that when your own country is chosen to host and be part of something so legengardy, special and backed by many many years of remarkable legacy's then there is always something that feels even more specifically special and a lot of us would have felt this effect.
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