Breakdown of the London Olympics Opening Ceremony
2012 London Summer Olympics
2012 Summer Olympics: Opening Ceremony (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC)
Breakdown of of the London Olympics Opening Ceremony
We travel down the River Thames to the Olympic Stadium... The end of the countdown is marked by the ringing of the Olympic Bell, the largest harmonically-tuned bell in the world which was specially made for the Olympic Park.
Green and Pleasant Land
The scene opens on the countryside we all believe once existed -- the Britain of The Wind in the Willows and Winnie-the-Pooh. The four nations that make up the United Kingdom are represented in song.
Kenneth Branagh reads a quote from The Tempest, starting a segment celebrating Britain’s role as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. Political upheavals are represented in a parade around the Stadium.
Happy & Glorious
In a film shot in Buckingham Palace, Daniel Craig as James Bond and Her Majesty the Queen journey to the Olympic Stadium in a helicopter. They swoop over the capital to scenes of great rejoicing.
Second to the right, and straight on till morning
This segment honours two of Britain’s greatest achievements: it’s amazing body of children’s literature, which has captured our imaginations with heroes and villains, and the National Health Service (NHS).
Sir Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra pay tribute to the film most associated with the Olympics: Chariots of Fire.
frankie & june say… Thanks Tim
A typical Saturday night scene bursts forth from an ordinary house, sound tracked to British pop music from different decades.
Abide With Me
Emeli Sandé sings the beautiful hymn ‘Abide With Me’, accompanied by a dance sequence choreographed and led by Akram Khan.
The Athletes’ Parade sits at the heart of Olympic Opening Ceremony. It is led by Greece to honour the birthplace of the Olympics, followed by teams from the rest of the world in alphabetical order, with the exception of the Host Nation -- Team GB -- who conclude the Parade.
A celebration of the bicycle -- and the traditional doves which, from ancient times, were released at the Games to signal peace.
2012 Summer Olympics: Opening Ceremony - Dove bikes (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC)
Let the Games Begin
The official opening of the Games includes traditional elements common to all opening Ceremonies: speeches by the Chair of the Organising Committee and President of the IOC; raising the Olympic Flag; singing the Olympic Anthem, and Oath taking. Her Majesty The Queen then officially declares the Games open.
There is a Light That Never Goes Out
The lighting of the Olympic Cauldron is another traditional part of the Ceremony. Sir Steve Redgrave carries the Olympic Flame into the Stadium which is passed to seven young athletes - Great Britain’s hopefuls for the next Olympic Games, who in turn run with flame along the track. They are joined by seven British Olympic heroes -- Lynn Davies, Duncan Goodhew, Dame Kelly Holmes, Dame Mary Peters, Shirley Robertson and Daley Thompson along with Sir Steve Redgrave. The Olympians hand each young athlete a torch and together they head towards 206 of Britain’s greatest Olympians who have gathered on the field of play to share the cauldron lighting moment.
Each competing delegation when arriving in London received a copper petal -- inscribed with the country’s name and the words ‘XXX Olympiad London 2012’. Each petal was laid down during the Athletes’ Parade. The seven young torchbearers ignite a single flame within one petal which triggers the ignition of more than 200 petals. The cauldron’s stems rise towards each other and converge to form one flame.
2012 Summer Olympics: Opening Ceremony - Young athletes carry the Olympic flame (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC)
"And in the end ..."
A musical legend plays the evening out: Sir Paul McCartney.
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