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 Sandé; singing "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.