This is the third time that London has hosted the Olympic Games in a span of over a century. This is the most any country has ever had the honor of hosting.
The Olympics were previously held in Beijing in 2008 with an opening ceremony that astounded viewers across the globe and it has been said it will be a difficult act to follow. However, Artistic Director of the opening ceremony, Danny Boyle, was not afraid to take on this task.
The spectacular and breathtaking ceremony cost £27 million, which is equivalent to more than 33 million U.S. dollars. Over 10,000 performers, who ranged from children to nurses, all participated in the performance just for the experience of a lifetime. None of them were being paid.
Boyle had the opportunity of working with Queen Elizabeth II in a short film mixing fantasy and reality with James Bond, more popularly known as Agent 007. The short film included British actor, Daniel Craig, escorting the queen to a private helicopter.
Eventually they were brought to the stadium and were portrayed to be parachuting out of the helicopter for her royal grand entrance. This was however, performed by a stunt double but proved to be thoroughly entertaining to all watching.
The opening ceremony for the summer 2012 Olympic Games began with the growth of the United Kingdom throughout the centuries. This included their triumphs and tribulations throughout past eras in Great Britain such as the Victorian era, the industrial revolution and modern advances in technology.
One of the distinguished guests included Tim Berners-Lee, who is known for creating the World Wide Web.
Fifty-two years ago Muhammad Ali walked in the parade of nations of the Summer Olympic Games in Rome, but this year he was a welcomed guest, even though he is affected with Parkinson’s disease. In the Olympica Games in Atlanta 16 years ago, Ali himself lit the Olympic cauldron.
Various iconic characters from English culture were featured, such as Peter Pan and Mary Poppins. Hundreds of women portraying Mary Poppins entered in on an umbrella to rescue children from characters such as the Queen of Hearts from “Alice and Wonderland,” Captain Hook, Cruella De Vil from “101 Dalmations” and Lord Voldemort from the “Harry Potter” series.
J.K. Rowling made a special appearance and did a live reading of the plot, during the ceremony. Her contribution to the ceremony is significant based on her award winning Harry Potter series that have inspired children all over the world to read and watch the blockbuster movies based on the series.
Although there were many surprise appearances in the actual performance of the ceremony, there were also surprises of who was in attendance in the audience. Those of whom include: the first lady, Michelle Obama, Prince William and his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, Republican nominee Mitt Romney and his wife
In a year of record breaking statistics for the Summer 2012 Olympics, our home the USA has a record breaking statistic as well. Out of the 530 athletes that represent the United States, 269 are women and 261 are men, this is the first time there are more women than men representing the United States in the 2012 Olympic Games.
Sir Paul McCartney from The Beatles wrapped up the ceremony in true England style. He got the crowd involved when he sang, “Hey Jude.” McCartney, who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II on Monday December 30, 1996, is one of England’s most successful and well-known musicians.
At the end of the ceremony, Queen Elizabeth stated, “I declare open the games of London.” The 2012 London Olympic Games will last for 16 days with the concluding ceremony to be held on August 12.