London Olympics 2012 starts with a Spectacular and innovative opening ceremony
The 2012 London Olympic Games was officially opened on Friday night with a grand and spectacular opening ceremony that continued for four hours making the crowed crazy with the blend of the lifestyle, history and culture of the British Isles during the opening ceremony.
The opening ceremony of London Olympics took the spectators to the Thames river with Ratty and Mole from the children's book "The Wind in the Willows" before they reached the venue of the opening ceremony, the Olympic Stadium, where the countdown began
The opening ceremony started with the ringing of giant Olympic bell by cyclist Bradley Wiggins. The magnificent and historic show began in a 'Green and Pleasant Land? that represented the English landscape: the land of sunshine, soft grass and white clouds.
The show was mesmerized by 'Pandemonium' , which represented the arrival of the Industrial Revolution to the islands. The arrival of industrial revolution was represented by iconic engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the man who built railways, bridges and steamships.
The green field filled with smokes within minutes when the 'dark Satanic Mills' of Blake's Jerusalem rose and the Giant smoking chimneys erupted out of the ground.
Danny Boyle's magnificent showpiece did not just focus on the benefits of industry, in fact it also looked at the impact of industry on ordinary lives and the industrialization of war that led the young men to be mown down by their millions in the battlefields of Europe.
'Accrington Pals', which represents the fallen from all wars, who lost 500 of their 700 members in the battle of the Somme in the First World War were also included during the show.
That war resulted in social change including votes for women, a rise of the unions, which were included in the parade during the opening ceremony of London Olympics. The parade included traditional Cockney Pearly Kings and Queens, newspaper boys, Chelsea Pensioners and a Colliery Band from Grimethorpe coalmine among others to add an extra effect to the show.
Arrival of Queen Elizabeth II's in the stadium gained much attraction in the ceremony as the monarch showed her sense of humour in a spoof sketch with James Bond actor Daniel Craig, that appeared as she had parachuted out of a helicopter to reach her destination.
The second part of the event honoured two great British achievements, the creation of children's literature, that included so may famous characters that are loved even today such as Peter Pan, Mary Poppins, the Queen of Hearts and more recently Harry Potter.
It seemed correct therefore when Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling read the opening lines of the story of the boy who never grows up, while following a spectacular chase, the most famous nanny of them all saved the day when the villains from our childhood invaded a young girl's imagination.
The other great achievement for Boyle is the creation of the National Health Service (NHS) which assures free healthcare for all. That was celebrated with a spectacular bed dance carried out by volunteers from the NHS.
It would not be the Olympics without the film "Chariots of Fire", and that British Oscar winning film was celebrated along with other greatly loved British movies, including Gregory's Girl. Mr Bean also put in an appearance.
The final segment moved people to the present, to a typical British Saturday night, with mum and dad watching the TV, while the kids go out dancing and having fun. Boyle celebrated Britain's rich pop heritage, the internet and the triumph of true love.
David Beckham was seen driving a speedboat down the Thames with the torch on board, before it was time to remember those who were unable to be at the Games because they had passed away.
They were honoured by a heartfelt "Abide with me", before the athletes' parade, which as usual was led by Greece and ended by the spectacular arrival of Team GB to the applause of fans.
Rock group Arctic Monkeys injected some extra energy into the ceremony.
All that was left then was for the official welcome with speeches from Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London
Olympic Games Organizing Committee (LOCOG) and IOC president Jacques Rogge, before the Olympic flag was raised and the Olympic oaths were taken.
Then the final question was answered: who would light the Olympic cauldron.
Fittingly it was no single person, but a combination of seven young athletes who had the honour after legendar Olympian Steve Redgrave brought the flame into the Stadium.
Together they lit a cauldron formed of petals which came together to make a single flame.
The ceremony ended with an emotional Paul McCartney singing "Hey Jude" with just a little bit of help from the 80,000 people in the stands.
It was a perfect ending to an exhilarating show with the audience becoming part of the show, and Saturday morning, the action begins in earnest.
-With inputs from IANS
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