In just three days, the world will watch as its best athletes compete against each other in the London Olympics. The Games of the XXX Olympiad promise not to disappoint with compelling matchups across the board in nearly every sport.
Before the Olympics can begin, the viewers will be getting a better glimpse of the host city itself. Having also hosted the games in 1908 and 1948, London is now the first city to officially host the modern Olympics three times.
The opening ceremonies are often the most memorable event on the Olympic calendar. Four years ago, the Beijing Olympics took the opening ceremony to another level, creating arguably the most jaw-dropping opening ceremony of all time. This leads to pressure for London as they will try to somehow come close to, or top, what Beijing did in 2008.
The attempt will be in good hands though. Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle and Oscar-nominated director Stephen Daldry are teaming up to direct the ceremonies. They will be directing the largest live show in London ever, with nearly a billion people watching when the TV audience is considered.
Quick Facts London 2012 Opening Ceremonies
Date: July 27, 2012
Time: 7:30 p.m. EST
TV Channel: NBC
Location: Olympic Stadium, 2012 Olympic Park and Village, London, England.
The Schedule as we Know It
The opening ceremonies main theme will be called "Isle of Wonder." Boyle has said that this theme was inspired by The Tempest and it's about a land recovering from its industrial legacy.
The ceremony itself will begin with the ringing of the world's largest harmonically tuned bell. At 27 tons, this bell was created at London's Whitechapel Bell Foundry, which was also where Big Ben was made.
With one of the ceremony's goals being national pride, one of the country's major celebrities is set to make a appearance. Agent 007, better known as James Bond will be present at the Olympic opening ceremonies.
Bond will appear first in a short film created by the BBC called "The Arrival." In this film, Daniel Craig will depict Bond being knighted at Buckingham Palace. The action will then move to Olympic Stadium when Craig, or a look-alike stuntman, will either parachute down or ride a rope ladder attached to a helicopter into the stadium, to bring in the Olympic torch.
With the torch lit, the attention will then shift to the opening scene. Called "Green and Pleasant," this scene will be set in a meadow that includes such famous landmarks as Glastonbury Tor. Animal lovers should make a point to watch this part of the ceremony as it will include real farm animals such as horses, sheep, ducks, geese and cows.
The scene will change as Britain's history is briefly relived in the stadium. There will be soldiers pouring into the stadium as well as the appearance of chimneys as a nod to the Industrial Revolution.
Sir Paul McCartney is rumored to close off the show with a three song performance. While he plays his songs, 50 dancers will perform in Sgt. Pepper style costumes.
Then the familiar parade of athletes will take place. Every country will come by in alphabetical order with the exception of Greece who goes first and the host country of Great Britain who will enter last.
Speeches will then be given by two important people. The first will be given by Sebastian Coe who is the head of the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The second will be given by Jacques Rogge who is the president of the International Olympic Committee.
Finally, the queen will declare that the Olympics are opened. The torch will be lit, signifying the beginning of the XXX Olympiad. The ceremonies will end with a spectacular fireworks show and the attention will then shift to the first day of competition on Saturday.