The countdown to the 2012 Olympic games is underway, and the anticipation for the opening ceremony in London is growing. On Friday night, millions of viewers will tune into the event, which promises to be unforgettable.
Filmmaker Danny Boyle was put in charge of the ceremony, which is titled “Isles of Wonder." Boyle is famous for his Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire. He was also nominated for two Oscars for his writing and directing in 127 Hours. According to the Chicago Tribune, the opening ceremony Boyle put together for the London Olympics cost a whopping £27 million ($42 million). Needless to say, spectators are expecting something incredible.
But that’s the thing—no one knows exactly what to expect. Well, except for the 60-some-thousand that had the privilege to witness a dress rehearsal of the ceremony. According to The Independent, Boyle is asking for the ceremony to be kept one big secret. The Twitter hashtag #savethesurprise is being used to build suspense and anticipation (via Chicago Tribune).
That will be tough since nowadays everyone has the capability to take a photo or video on their cell phone, post it on the Internet and share it with millions of people worldwide in an instant. Still, Boyle hopes that those who saw the ceremony will resist the urge to spoil the surprise.
What we do know about the event is minimal. Apparently, Boyle altered the Olympic Stadium so that it resembles rural England—real sheep included (via The Independent). But whatever the ceremony has in store for viewers, it should be interesting.
One person who has the inside scoop on what the opening ceremony has in store is Canterbury University student Dikaia Chatziefstathiou, who will be dancing in the ceremony. Chatziefstathiou told Belinda Goldsmith of Reuters, “The ceremony is very emotional, very British, with quirky humor. And it will have surprises, even for critics.”
Chatziefstathiou is one of 10,000 volunteers that will perform in the ceremony, and while her comments do not give much away, they do generate a bit of excitement.
Henry Porter of The Observer wrote an interesting column about the upcoming ceremony. Porter believes that the “Isles of Wonder” sounds like it could be dangerously cliché, but instead, Boyle will use humor to his advantage and poke fun at the vast cultures of England.
There are certainly quite a few directions Boyle can go with this mega-event. While he and the rest of the opening ceremony coordinators can do their best to keep the “Isles of Wonder” a secret, millions upon millions of people will tune in, whether they know what to expect or not.
In the end, I think Porter’s comments are important. While the Olympics is always a very serious and competitive worldwide event, it's important to remember that the opening ceremony is meant to be fun. So even if Boyle fails to blow us all away with his opening ceremony, let’s try to accept the event for its purpose: a celebration for the upcoming Olympic games.