Opening Ceremony 2012: Kickoff of London Olympics Lives Up to High Price Tag

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IJuly 28, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 27:  Performers in the role of Mary Poppins float inside the stadium next to a giant puppet during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

London waited seven years to have the opportunity to kick off the Olympics.

Hosting the 2012 Summer Games cost a mere $14 billion amid a troubled economy.

But, if the opening ceremonies on Friday were any indication, Great Britain already deserves a gold medal.

British director Danny Boyle's creation on Friday was exhilarating, fantastical, mind-blowing and unique, and it gave a profound tribute to Great Britain's history. There were surprises, theatrics and oddities, and it all added up to a stunning show.

It's always a good sign when a show isn't just a show, but an experience that leaves everyone with their jaws on the floor. The musical adventure, combined with the presentation on Friday, was mind-numbing. It brought up a range of heart-felt emotions, which is fittingly what a great film does.

There were the glorious scenes upon the "countryside" of Great Britain. There was James Bond (aka Daniel Craig) alongside Queen Elizabeth before their likenesses parachuted down from a helicopter.

There was the likable Mr. Bean playing keyboards to "Chariots of Fire." There was a plethora of Mary Poppinses cascading down from the sky to thwart the evil Lord Voldemort of Harry Potter.

There was David Beckham riding in on a speedboat with heptathlon athlete Jessica Ennis. And that's not even taking into account the spectacular music and dance party throughout, which may never be outdone.

It was imaginative and unpredictable, and it gave us the quirky British touch that we all secretly wanted.

Of course, the finish couldn't have been better. Who better than Paul McCartney to end the ceremonies with the classic "Hey Jude," a tribute to London's greatest band in history?

There were questions whether London could match up to the magnificent opening ceremonies in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but there weren't any questions by the end of this. Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, Trainspotting) did a tremendous job.

No matter how many medals Great Britain captures in the 2012 London Olympics, it has already captured the world's imagination.

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