Saturday, July 28, 2012

2012 Olympics

The summer Olympics have begun! Last night's opening ceremony was the vision of Artistic Director Danny Boyle with the theme "Isles of Wonder" and it was lovely. It included a bit of English history: from tranquil, pastoral English countryside to the Industrial Revolution to celebrating English literature to English music through the 20th century.

My favourite part was Emeli Sandésinging "Abide with me" to only a heartbeat-like beat. I'm an atheist but the hymn sung only to the drumbeat brought tears to my eyes. During the song, dancers performed a moving tribute to the 7/7 victims. Apparently NBC cut that particular segment in favour of an interview with Michael Phelps. Why they did that I don't know - one would think that broadcasting the entire opening ceremony would be preferable to cutting out a segment in favour of an interview. Interviews can be broadcast anytime; a live opening ceremony cannot.

The parade of nations, which was only supposed to take an hour, took about two hours - and this was a surprise to no one who'd seen one of these parades before. Our Canadian athletes were horsing around a bit with some women riding on men's shoulders. It looked like they were having a great time.

I also loved that instead of having a celebrity light the Olympic cauldron, six young athletes lit six sections of a multi-piece Olympic cauldron. That cauldron was beautiful: each nation carried a piece of it during the parade of nations so it was like each country was a part of it.

I'm looking forward to watching the Olympics. I don't normally follow any of these sports but I enjoy seeing the competition.

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