Saturday, 28 July 2012

Olympic Fever

Did you watch the Opening Ceremony last night? We watched it from the start at 9pm to the finish at 1am.  What did you think?  Didn't Danny Boyle do us proud?  I thought it was brilliant!  Absolutely brilliant!  Nothing twee or cringe-making.  The segment when the LSO played Chariots Of Fire and Rowan Atkinson did Mr Bean had me in stitches.  (And I don't like Mr Bean.)  I also loved the sketch where "James Bond" turned up to escort the Queen to the Opening Ceremony.  It proves HMQ has a sense of fun.

When you think that most of the performers were volunteers, they should be really, really proud of themselves.  Professionals could not have done better.  The team of staff and patients(!) from Great Ormond Street Hospital were just amazing. Most of those children have chronic, long-term illnesses and here they were, centre stage at the biggest show on earth.  Their faces lit up the television screen.

Danny Boyle didn't shy away, either, from being subtly political.  The message "Hands off!  Leave our NHS alone!" came through loud and clear.  As did the statement about honouring our armed forces and our war dead.  And the tribute to the victims of 7/7.  What other opening ceremony has had the Secretary General of the United Nations as an active participant?    Messages received loud and clear, Mr Boyle.  Well done!  And thank you for making them.

My first Olympic event was actually on Tuesday, when I sang in the Torch Ceremony in Ealing.  The choir had to be there from 2pm for the sound check.  It was stiflingly hot. We were lucky, though - they gave us a spot under the trees, right beside the path for the torch.


 About two minutes later the cauldron was lit and we sang the closing number, appropriately called "Olympic Torch".  It was a medley of pop songs that finished, naturally, with "We are the Champions!".

 Sadly, the cauldron was extinguished within a couple of minutes of the end of the show, so I couldn't get a close up of it aflame.  Within 15 minutes, the crew had started to dismantle the stage, in order to move it to the venue for Wednesday night's show.  This is the best I could do:

My next Olympic event is tomorrow.  We have tickets to the men's football at Wembley.  As luck would have it, we get to see Team GB play.  Hope they do better than their opening match.  Tuesday, we will be at Lords for the archery and next Saturday (4th), we're back at Wembley for the men's football semi-final.  Sadly, we don't get to the Olympic Park proper until the para-Olympics, for which we have tickets to the athletics, cycling, equestrian events and the rowing.

- Pam


Mother of Chaos said...

It was one of the most brilliant opening ceremonies EVER. I don't like Mr. Bean (Black Adder on the other hand...) (the words "I have a CUNNING PLAN..." are uttered far more often than we like to admit around here) either...but that segment had me snickering so hard I could hardly hear the music.

And HMQ received straight 10.0 from all judges around here for the Bond segment. We were already laughing so hard we nearly cried over the statue waving, and then the parachuting - priceless!!

PipneyJane said...

I forgot to mention how touched I was that they invited the construction team to form an honour guard for the torch as it entered the stadium. It wasn't one of my projects but I used to work for one of the companies involved. Knew a few people who worked on the Olympic Park. Made me feel very proud.

- Pam