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Olympics Opening Ceremony 2012: Flag Bearers, Performers, Spoilers and More

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 23:  A view of Big Ben along the water of the Thames River ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 23, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Sam R. QuinnSenior Analyst IIIJuly 26, 2012

The opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London is set to begin on Friday, July 27, and will be shown to United States viewers on taped delay at 7:30 p.m. EDT on NBC.

In less than 24 hours, the long wait for the Olympics will finally be over and the world's greatest international competition will commence.

We can't forget about the opening ceremony, though, as it is the starting point of the entire competition. Not only that, but it is one of the most miraculous displays that the Olympics have to offer.

The performance at the Olympic opening ceremony will be called the "Isles of Wonder" and will kick off more than two weeks of competition. 

Here you can find a rundown of flag bearers, performers, spoilers and more.

 

Notable Flag Bearers

Fencer Mariel Zagunis will be the flag bearer for the United States.

The two-time sabre gold medalist was chosen for the honor over 528 other Americans competing this summer. She won't only be hoping to make her country proud in the ceremony but will look to do so by winning her third-consecutive gold.

Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol was named Spain's flag bearer for the 2012 ceremony.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Gasol referred to the honor as "one of the happiest moments of his career." We always knew that Pau was a class act and consummate professional. Now the rest of the world gets to see it.

No. 2-ranked tennis star Novak Djokovic will wave the Serbian flag on Friday. He's one of the most high-profile athletes in all of Serbia, so it's no surprise that he was awarded the job.

Chinese basketball star Yi Jianlian will hold the flag for his nation. A celebrity in his home country, Yi had some trouble getting acclimated to the NBA, but this follows the Chinese trend of selecting basketball players as their flag-bearing representatives.

Chris Hoy will be the lucky athlete to carry the flag in front of the hometown crowd in the ceremony. The cyclist will be returning to the Olympics after his three-gold-medal performance in 2008 in Beijing.

 

Performers and Spoilers

The host country refuses to be outdone by the magnificent show that Beijing put on in 2008 at the opening ceremony, so renowned director Danny Boyle was signed on to help out.

In his quest for Olympic success, Boyle will be aided by 10,000 cast and crew members to "present a quirky, humorous and vibrant vision of quintessential Britain, its history and future," according to Newser.com

He won't just have people in his corner. There will be 70 sheep, 12 horses, 10 chickens and nine geese for reasons not yet known to the public. Whenever farm animals are involved, there's no doubt that it will be a good time.

The above report indicates that Daniel Craig and Paul McCartney will both play a special role in the performance.

Rumor has it (via Huffington Post) that a 40-foot Lord Voldemort statue will duke it out against 30 performers dressed as Mary Poppins. That is creativity and innovation if I have ever witnessed those two things.

 

Miscellaneous 

There are expected to be around 60,000 people in attendance for the performance, including Her Majesty the Queen, Michelle Obama and a wealth of other world-famous personalities.

Boyle directed Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire, so there is really no telling what he has in store for us on Friday.

It's nothing short of a miracle that more information on the ceremony has not been leaked, given the far-reaching tentacles of the social media universe.

According to Yahoo! Sports, some one billion people will tune in. Make sure you aren't one of the people who miss this historic performance.

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