The Olympics. Big topic. Where to start is pretty hard. Being able to start in a way that’s not boring is much harder. So I guess I’d better start big.
The opening ceremony. Even I was a bit dubious by all the “This will beat the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony” talk that was going around. I saw an annotated image of how the stadium would look during the ceremony. The biggest things it had to boast were sheep, a giant tree, mosh pits, ducks in a pond, artificial clouds and grass. It said it was supposed to represent England in its rural form.
That’s it? That’s all Danny Boyle set up in answer to China’s extravaganza? (Although it did heavily rely on CGI and lip syncing.) I was a bit shocked. I know people out there with heavily creative minds would dig deep into that picture and see oodles of creative genius from the Oscar-winning film director. I did a little, but I was still a little put off.
Then I saw it. And I loved it.
I love a bit of history, and the way it was conveyed at the start. And there’s nothing more I like than a bit of Jerusalem being sung. When Brunel came in, and the countryside was stripped, and the drumming music started, every thought of how the ceremony would be a load of tosh was eradicated. But it just kept getting better.
Happy and Glorious in particular. James Bond in Buckingham Palace? Bond escorting Queenie? QUEENIE PARACHUTING? You can’t get any more flabbergasting than that!
The arrival of Mr. Bean brought a smile to my face. Even though it has been confirmed that will never be another Mr Bean episode or film in the future, it was good that he came back for just five minutes. And since those five minutes were during the Olympic Ceremony, NICE! Mr Bean re-enacting the famous Chariots of Fire beach scene was particularly interesting!
Then came the monsters. And the Child Catcher. AND A GINORMOUS LORD VOLDEMORT! And Mike Oldfield — an excellent musician who I quite like. THEN CAME THE OLYMPIC CAULDRON. What are those copper kettles for? Where’s the cauldron? What’s that flower they’re just lighting? Why are the flames spreading? Why are the kettles bunching together? What is — OH! MY! GOD!
I haven’t seen much of the Olympics yet. I’ve only heard about it through news updates (such as the unfortunate event of Tom Daley and his partner coming 4th). I saw a bit of Gymnastics a few days ago, where I saw the Chinese and Russians and Americans somersault over a vault and do a triple drill roll through the air at 45 degrees before landing perfectly on their feet. I also saw gymnasts hanging from bars swing round it in circles, temporarily gripping the bar with one hand, or letting go of it to do a double spin in the air, or just swinging from it like a super monkey.
There’s so much more to come: Usain Bolt in the 100m sprint, the rowing (or have I missed it?), the closing ceremony and more. The only off-putting things about the Olympics are the choices of events to watch when you have other things to do, and the fact that the events go on for hours every day. Ignore all the insults and accusations and stories in the news about the inadequate planning.
The London 2012 Olympics is going strong.