Olympic Opening Ceremony 2012: Best Moments from Last Night's Event
The 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony officially signaled the start of this year's Games. The ceremony told the customary tale of Great Britain's history as London is the host city.
The ceremony took us from an old English village on the countryside, through the industrial revolution, into a social media-inspired dance party and ended with the lighting of the Olympic torch to symbolize the formal beginning to this year's competition.
There was a lot of pageantry, special effects, lighting, celebrity sightings, musical selections and other moments that made the event special. Here are 10 of the best moments from last night's opening ceremony.
Sick Children Jumping on Beds
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Sick children and how a country provides health care to its citizens is not normally what you would think of prior to a sporting event on the magnitude of the Olympics. The London opening ceremony chose to dedicate a segment to the national health care system.
The site of actual doctors and nurses dancing during the choreographed segment was well put together but not the memorable moment from the segment.
That honor goes to the "sick" children that were wither dancing on hospital beds or jumping on trampoline beds in front of the crowd. It's been so long that perhaps I don't remember how I used to act as a child when I got sick. Somehow, jumping on the bed is not how I remember it.
It is one of the memorable moments from the opening ceremony.
Olympic Rings Arrival and Formation
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During the telling of the Industrial Revolution portion of the ceremony, smokestacks were elevated from the ground and transformed the countryside setting to a factory style scene. Workers were also shown forging metal into what would eventually become a ring.
Then, four Olympic rings moved into the stadium from the rooftop meeting in the center of the field. The ring that was forged by the workers was elevated from the floor and joined the other four to complete the Olympic rings. The five rings were illuminated and suspended above the floor.
Once connected, the rings were in full glow and created a waterfall to form the Olympic rings.
James Bond and Queen Elizabeth II
Two of London's largest personalities, albeit one is fictional, teamed up for the most dramatic entrance to the 2012 Olympic opening ceremony.
James Bond (Daniel Craig) escorted Queen Elizabeth II to the ceremony in a video skit. First 007 met with the queen and walked with her and her two Corgis to a helicopter that flew over the stadium. The video ended with a live helicopter hovering over the ceremony and two people meant to portray the queen and Bond parachuting into the stadium before Her Majesty was introduced to the crowd and world.
Mary Poppins vs. Voldemort
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If one fictional character weren't enough, there were more added during the tribute to British authors. The most notable was the battle between the army of descending Mary Poppins versus Voldemort from the Harry Potter story.
In the end although the 100-foot-tall Voldemort was equipped with a wand that shot sparks, Poppins' army was victorious.
It really makes you wonder why, if a spoonful of sugar could take Voldemort down, why did it take Potter so many spells, books and movies?
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Another fictional character Mr. Bean (Rowan Atkinson) was on hand for the 2012 London Games opening ceremony to assist the London Symphony Orchestra by playing the keyboard during "Chariots of Fire."
Bean was seen bored playing the same note repeatedly as he looked off to the side, played with his cell phone and was featured in a recorded comedy scene where he outlasts a group of young men running on the beach by jumping in a car and getting out before the finish line.
Parade of Nations
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The Parade of Nations had athletes from all 204 countries represented in the Olympics. In the parade you saw your larger countries with the more famous athletes like Usain Bolt, Kobe Bryant and others make their way around the stadium.
The smaller countries like Guyana, Togo and Kuwait's athletes also got to share their moment in the spotlight as a part of the opening ceremony.
Equally as exciting as watching all of the athletes and countries represented was seeing the contrast of styles and fashion in the uniforms everyone was wearing.
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David Beckham wearing a suit was driving a speedboat through London's Thames River to deliver the Olympic torch to the ceremony. He was very instrumental in helping London secure the Games, but was not selected to be on Great Britain's roster. This year is the first year Great Britain will supply a football team for the Olympics since 1960.
Although he is not participating in the Games, his appearance also was a pleasant sight for a lot of women that love them some David Beckham.
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One of the most important moments in any Olympic Games opening ceremony is the lighting of the Olympic torch. The London games rather than using a iconic figure that would be instantly recognizable, chose to have seven young British athletes light the torches that joined together to form a giant cauldron.
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Beijing set a new standard for a fireworks display during an Olympics opening ceremony and London followed suit quite well. With a barrage of fireworks fired in a circle around the stadium and throughout the sky in the city, it was a spectacular display and an exciting follow-up to the torch lighting.
Sir Paul McCartney
Sir Paul McCartney, the legendary Beatle, capped off an absolutely amazing night of music during the opening ceremony. He was full of excitement and tried to work the crowd and get everyone to be a part of the moment.
When he sang the Beatles classic "Hey Jude," it was a virtual sing-a-long karaoke bar with athletes on the field, fans in the stands and I'm sure fans at home joining in.