Jul 28, 2012

The Olympic Games and the Opening Ceremony

I always get excited because of the Olympic Games- I love the atmosphere, the tension, the joy and passion I have when I support my country (Romania) or the resounding triumphs of some athletes that shock the world with their strength, talent and dedication. I usually don't and can't watch all the competitions, but I do have a soft spot and always try to see on TV the Gymnastics, Swimming and Athletics events. This year will be no different, since I am cheering for Michael Phelps, Romanian Gymnastic team and Horia Tecau at tennis.

But this edition is a little bit different for me, since the Games just happened to take place in the town I currently reside in: London 2012- Summer Olympics- an important event that the city and the world has been waiting for a long time, and it's finally here!

Yesterday, the Opening Ceremony introduced people to a crazy, exciting and diverse sports world that will have people talking for months. I saw it last night, in my room, with some Doritos and a Coca Cola, and I loved almost everything about it- I was very impressed, so much that I felt the need to talk about it. Here are some of my thoughts on it and a brief recap of what happened:

Danny Boyle, the master and director of it, began with an unsatisfying montage of kids and the road of the river to London. Then, the magic started:

First, a reenactment of British History, from farms to the industrial movement (led by Kenneth Branagh) until the second world war.

What better way to move into present times than a fantastic skit of James Bond picking up and dropping off (by helicopter!!) the Queen of England (the actual queen). This was probably one of the best and most memorable moments of the night. I can't seem to embed it, so here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xW5abat5NEU

Then, we move to children's literature, as giant beds, a scary Voldemort and tens or hundreds of Mary Poppins invade the stadium, with even a special appearance by JK Rowling; special mention for the glowing bed duvets, I want one, too.

Next comes, quite possibly, the funniest and adorable part of the night- Rowan Atkinson portraying the loveable Mister Bean- again, here's the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBDTCuJF7g8It's genius and funny and showcases the great British culture and talent.

Things get moving when the music starts, and Danny Boyle transports the audience in an energetic world of dance, music and texting, which gets things moving and makes you sing the lyrics of some of the best acts that the country has ever given: Rolling Stones, Beatles, David Bowie, Queen, Prodigy.....oh, and Dizzie Rascal (?).

They slowed it down for the only part I dreaded, or better say, got bored at, the boy and the mystical dance. But it was ok, because after that, the real ceremony started: THE ATHLETES

Some observations about the walk in the stadium of the delegations:
- 204 nations
- learned about new countries I had no idea existed: Djibouti, Kiribati, Nauru and my favorite team, The Independent Athletes (they seemed to have the most fun)
- happy and proud of the Romanian delegation- the flag bearer was Horia Tecau, a famous tennis player who is competing for doubles (he was actually in the Wimbledon final this year, but lost); oh, and he is pretty hot, too :)
- Best Costumes award goes to Mexico, with New Zeeland close second for their very cool tshirts

After the Great Britain delegation marches in with a smug look on their faces (as they should, I guess, it's their party), we have a great Arctic Monkeys performance of I bet you look good on the dance floor and a cover of Come together (I always thought Alex Turner is kind of a douche bag, so I try not to like them, but that was a great show, got to admit it).

Boring speeches, then an absolutely hilarious official opening moment of the Olympics provided by the Queen (you know when you do something wrong and your mom makes you say you are sorry, and you do it, but with an obvious displeasure? that is exactly what she looked like). In the end, it was worth the wait, because we move on to the most anticipated moment of the night, the arrival of the Olympic flame (hello mister Beckham), and the beautiful process, as 6 legends literally passed the torch to 6 promising talents, who then lit the actual torch, offering us a breathtaking and symbolic moment to officially open the Summer Olympic Games.

The night ended with some fireworks and Paul McCartney singing Hey Jude.

What can I say? Danny Boyle, you genius, I loved the Opening Ceremony. You did a wonderful job in transforming it into a cinematic event, showcasing not only the British history and culture, but also inspiring people to accept and embrace diversity, equality and passion. The production was fantastic, from the sets and costumes, to the powerful score and direction. I would literally buy a DVD of it right now!

There's no other place I'd rather be than London right now...I have to get out on the streets and into the Olympic Stadium so I can feel the vibe of the Games.

I want to hear from you and I have a lot of questions: did you see the Ceremony last night? how was it? do you usually watch the Olympic Games? what's your favorite sport? which team are you rooting for? Let me know in the comments!


  1. I loved it. I really enjoyed the ceremony. The Mr. Bean segment was my favorite. I love the mixtape Boyle did inter-splicing great pieces of the history of British popular music with some of Britain's great films to tell a story. The stuff with Mary Poppins vs. Voldemort I also enjoyed. My only complaint was the commentary by the U.S. broadcasters. They needed to shut up. Plus, I hate Ryan Seacrest. He is a douche!

    1. I totally understand the hate for commentators- the UK weren't any brighter, especially Trevor Nelsen, who usually does music

  2. I actually only saw Mr Bean's skit which I liked and some people dancing doing musical number which I loathed so I stopped watching, but i will try to catch it just to see Voldemort :)

    1. The whole ceremony was very good, like I said, I would buy the DVD with it! Try seeing the children/Voldemort thing, that's nice, too! Oh, and James Bond!

  3. It was such a fun Opening Ceremony - one of the most memorable for years. The Queen meme is one of the funniest things to come of it though, hahaha!
    The way they lit the flame was just spectacular. I loved it!

    1. I love the way they lit the flame- symbolic, yet very simple and sweet! The Queen stuff on Tumblr right now are just hilarious!

  4. LOVE the segment of Bond escorting the Queen! That's the main highlight for me, the corgis are adorable!! I also love the Mr. Bean segment. Overall I think Danny Boyle did a great job!

  5. Great round up and synopsizing of the events on Friday. As you know we in the State received a slightly modified version of events. Shame :(

    1. Thanks! I knew they cut some parts, but which ones?