Let the Games Begin

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Image credit to london2012.com
The Olympics are where the best athletes in the world compete to be viewed as the best in the world. So it's only natural that Opening Ceremony to such a prestigious event should be spectacular. An estimated five billion people watch the summer Olympics (hosted by London this year).

Directed by American filmmaker Danny Boyle, everyone watching expected an amazing performance. But could Boyle deliver under this kind of pressure?

The grand ceremony started with a video of James Bond (Daniel Craig) entering Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen. To get to the games in East London, Bonds takes the Queen in a helicopter, right as one hovers above the dome. The screen shows them both jumping out of the helicopter, and on cue, two stunt doubles jump out of the real one. All cameras are on Her Majesty the Queen as she walks into the stadium.

Slowly, the dome starts to light up. The stage tells a story about London life in the 1800s, a time where farming and agriculture was the main economy. Slowly, the grassy hills rolled back and manufacturing towers started to rise, signaling the beginning of the industrial era. As the scene shifts again, viewers finally realize that Boyle is showing the history of London and the UK. Some may remember the Beijing opening ceremony in 2008 as being a more culturally directed ceremony. 2012's is more history, with a little bit of culture at the end. The music changes, and now spectators see the change in music and technology over the years. There was a tribute to Queen and the Beatles, among others. 

Image credit to nbcolympics.com
The screen now plays a live video of David Beckham and Jade Baile (Arsenal, soccer) on a speedboat, cruising the River Thames to get to the stadium. Clever camera work has the audience believing that Beckham is controlling his speedboat, James Bond style, but there are crewmen there, behind Beckham at an angle the camera can't see. Jade Baille hands off the torch to five time Olympic champion Steve Redgave (England, rowing) to light the cauldron.

When he enters the stadium, there are "metal petals", which is what he will light the flame too, so people thought. But instead, he passed the flame to eight kids, meant to represent Britain's future athletes. They lit the petals, which slowly rose into a cauldron, where the flame will remain burning for the seventeen days of the Olympic Games.

Let the Games begin!

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