Olympic Opening Ceremony 2012: Celebrities, Royalty and Top Athletes to Look For

Zach Kruse@@zachkruse2Senior Analyst IJuly 25, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 24:  Members of the public walk past the John Lewis department store, where a giant Union Flag adorns it's facades, on Oxford Street on July 24, 2012 in London, England. London is gearing up with only 3 days remaining until the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic games.  (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Spoiler alert: What you are about to read my ruin your viewing experience of the 2012 Olympic opening ceremonies, especially if you're into the surprise of it all. 

The 2012 Olympic opening ceremonies are scheduled to begin on Friday, July 27 at 9:00 p.m. London time, and officials are doing their very best to keep the entire show under wraps. 

According to Jill Lawless of the Associated Press, director Danny Boyle and games chief Sebastian Coe have "pleaded for insiders to stop leaking the details of the extravaganza." 

But in 2012, nothing is secret, and leaks happen almost by default. That is especially true at something as big as the opening ceremonies, and especially when there's thousands of journalists on site looking for the information.

There is simply too many eyes seeing too many things for the secrets to stay secrets for long. 

Lawless couldn't help herself in releasing the info she knows about what is sure to be an electric open to the 2012 Olympic Games in London. She put together the most detailed preview of the event I've seen on the Internet thus far. 

According to Lawless, Friday night will open to the sound of a 27-ton bell made by the same manufacturer that created the bells for Big Ben in London and the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. A nice touch to subtlety honoring two iconic structures in both England and the United States.  

From there, a mixture of visual and musical appearances will pay homage to biggest names hailing from London and Great Britain. Of course, that was to be expected from a Olympic Games in London.

The Queen of England will officially declare the games open, but before that, names such as James Bond, Paul McCartney and Mary Poppins will dazzle the crowd. Again, a London opening wouldn't have it any other way, right?

The theme of the night is "Isle of Wonders," a name drop from English playwright William Shakespeare. There's nothing wrong with basing an entire opening ceremony off arguably the greatest writer in the history of the world. 

According to Lawless, the Queen and Daniel Craig, dressed as his 007 secret agent counterpart, will perform a pre-recorded sketch from Buckingham Place. From there, a parachuter (dressed also as 007) will drop down to help kick off the show.

There's no word if his Walther PPK will be included in the skit, but we doubt it. 

Lawless also mentions a report from the Sunday Times (subscription need, page blocked), and mentioned again by Yahoo! Sports, which states that a 40-foot representation of Voldemort—the villain from the popular Harry Potter books by English writer J.K. Rowling—will be done in by popular English nanny Mary Poppins. Presumably, other well-known characters from English literature, such as Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan, are to be included in the show. 

Music will also play a big role, and Lawless mentions that music from several different English groups could be heard coming from the grounds. 

Music heard coming from the stadium in recent days ranges from "Jerusalem" — of course — to songs by The Beatles, The Who, the Sex Pistols, and Vangelis' theme from "Chariots of Fire." There are also songs by newer acts, including Dizzee Rascal and Tinie Tempah, two homegrown stars forged in the gritty London environment that Boyle is celebrating.

The final musical act will close by none other than Paul McCartney, the former Beatle, who is expected to lead the crowd in a singing of "Hey Jude." If there's a better way to close an opening ceremony in London, feel free to let me know below. I'm not sure it can be done.

According to Lawless, political heads from around the world will also be apart of the 60,000-plus crowd. United States first lady Michelle Obama and her daughters, plus other European royalty, will be in attendance. Specific names were not included by Lawless, but you'd have to guess that leaders from countries such as France, Spain, Italy, Russia, China and Japan will be there. 

Of course, there will also be the traditional parade of athletes, with competitors from over 200 nations participating in the walk around the stadium. From the United States, faces like LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Missy Franklin, Abby Wambach and Jordyn Wieber will be the most recognizable during the march. Others from the United States include Tyson Gay, Kevin Durant, Allyson Felix, Gabby Douglas and Alex Morgan. 

For more on the Olympic opening ceremonies and the various leaks that are sure to come out between now and Friday night, follow Lawless on Twitter. Again, the link to her well-researched leaks piece can be found here