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The night of July 27 will be a night to remember with the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics kicking off several weeks of incredible competitions. With the economic crisis and uncertainty, the Olympic games are a refreshing distraction for all people of the world.
Originally the tone in London leading up to the games was one of gloom and dislike, but now that the games are actually here they seem to be just as excited as the rest of the world. One London street sweeper, Augustine Adejoh said, “I’m not really into the Olympics and all that. But I’ve got to say, it’s good for London. People are quite thrilled about it.”
Not everything has been perfect in the lead up to this Olympics. London cab drivers have protested not being allowed into lanes reserved for Olympic athletes and coaches. Additionally, a security debacle by the company hired for the Olympics, G4, meant that not enough guards had been hired; now police and armed forces will be involved in the security measures. The Olympics will be the largest security operation in peacetime for England ever.
Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney commented on the security mix up saying, “It’s hard to know just how well it will turn out.” London Mayor Boris Johnson quickly responded via a speech to a crowd of 60,000 in Hyde Park stating, “There’s a guy called Mitt Romney who wants to know if we are ready. We are ready… We’re going to win more gold, silver, and bronze medals than you’d need to bail out Greece.”
The Olympic torch made its way through London on July 26 passing Parliament and Buckingham Palace. So far the torch has traveled 8,000 miles in the last seventy days. The torch will sail down the Thames on its way to the stadium in East London on the royal barge called the Gloriana.
The Olympics have not been seen in London since 1948 when the entire country was devastated after the destruction wrought by World War II. That Olympics was called the “Austerity Olympics” because of the understandable financial trouble England had.
This Olympics has already cost the United Kingdom 9 billion pounds ($14 billion), triple the original estimate. Most of the officials are justifying the use of the money because much of it was used to renovate a run-down area of London.
The former polluted industrial park is now a beautiful stadium that will be the location for the Opening Ceremonies at 9 PM tonight. The Opening Ceremonies at the Olympics always include a performance arranged by the host nation that demonstrates the best aspects of the nation. The United Kingdom’s Opening Ceremonies will be called the ‘Isles of Wonder’ and have been designed by Danny Boyle, director of ‘Slumdog Millionaire.’
The ceremony will begin with the tolling of the largest harmonically tuned bell that was created at Whitechapel Foundry. The Queen will be met at the entrance to the stadium by the President of the IOC, Jacques Rogge. The parade of nations will then begin with the countries entering in alphabetical order according to the language of the host nation. The only exceptions will be that the Greek team will lead and the team from Great Britain will be last.
The Queen will then declare that the games have begun and the Olympic flag, anthem, and oath will occur. Finally the torch will enter and light the cauldron and the performance, the “Isles of Wonder,” will begin.
It is already known that the stadium will be set up to look like a rural English countryside with real farm animals for the opening sequence called “Green and Pleasant.” The rest of the ceremony will include references to William Shakespeare, pop culture like Mary Poppins, Paul McCartney and James Bond, and darker parts of English history like the industrial revolution.
Danny Boyle stated, “our ‘Isles of Wonder’ salutes and celebrates the exuberant creativity of the British genius in an Opening Ceremony that we hope will be as unpredictable and inventive as the British people.”
Tonight will be a night to remember.
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