The 2012 Olympics - Opening Ceremony & Days 1-5

Published August 1, 2012

With the Olympics taking over everything, I thought I’d spare five minutes to note down some thoughts on what I’ve seen so far. These are just scrabbled notes, not arranged in much of an order,

Opening Ceremony Highlights

  • Rowan Atkinson’s moment of glory was fabulous. The ability of one man to captivate what turned out to be an audience made up of 26 million is so good. I’m sure there are people that don’t and didn’t like him, but I thought it was perfect.
  • Likewise, giving Tim Berners-Lee centre stage was one of the top moments for me. We watched and commented the opening ceremony over on Sidepodcast which increased the experience ten-fold, and it wasn’t lost on us that without TBL, we wouldn’t have been able to do that. “This is for everyone!”
  • The chimneys! There were plenty of moments where we scratched our heads wondering how it had been done, but the chimneys came out of the ground so smoothly, it was genius to watch.
  • Kenneth Branagh’s slightly smug and proudly happy smile as he watched those Olympic rings being forged - something tells me there wasn’t much acting going on there, and it gave a bit of a warm glow inside.
  • The Queen! HRH gained herself a lot of respect with the James Bond sketch.
  • Lighting the flame. I wasn’t particularly bothered who got to do it, I hadn’t actually realised that was such a big deal. So I wasn’t moved or disappointed when it was the seven youngsters. It was still captivating to watch, and the moment all the individual flames came together to become one giant roaring fire was glorious.

Opening Ceremony Lowlights

  • It was quite long! I had to go bed late for the second day in a row, and I am too old for such things!
  • Dizzee Rascal. I know not all of it was going to be to everyone’s tastes, and I’m fine with the vast array of stuff that was on display. I’m even fine with Dizzee getting some air-time, but did it have to be Bonkers? I hate that song so much.
  • The gold armpits on the Team GB suits. Really, really bad. No wonder Stella McCartney distanced herself from them. Although I have my own issues with the team kits that she designed anyway.
  • No Brian May. Or Brian Blessed. Actually, there was a distinct lack of Brians throughout.

Days 1-5 Highlights

  • Falling in love with athletes all over again. I tend to forget from one event to the next, but already I’ve become attached to Hannah Miley and Jennifer Pinches. I’m also desperate for Beth Tweddle to win that bars final but part of me is dreading the day actually arriving.
  • That moment you finally win gold. I commented this on Sidepodcast at the time - whilst it must be nice to be like China and the US, racking up medals all the time, there’s something to be said for less is more. That buzz in the office when we found out about our first 2012 gold in the rowing… priceless.
  • The overflowing Twitter feeds. I was just starting to put into place a system where I could catch up with my timeline and not miss anything, but I’ve had to throw that out the window. It’s great though, lots of updates and fab people to follow.
  • So much choice! There is always something to watch, never a dull moment. I spent the entire weekend in front of the TV and could have kept that up all week too. Curses at having to go to work.
  • Princes in the audience. I spotted Princes Wills and Harry in the audience when we got silver in the gymnastics (quickly demoted to bronze) and then silver in the horsey stuff. They are silver lucky for us!
  • Learning about all different kinds of sports and enjoying them with the live comments. If you have any spare time over the next week or so, you should join in. It makes things heaps more interesting and plenty more fun!

Days 1-5 Lowlights

  • Finding out hockey is quite such a brutal sport. People keep getting carried off in stretchers and the Team GB women’s captain had to have surgery on her jaw. Now I feel like we got off lightly at school.
  • Not managing to make it through the catch-up stream of the women’s gymnastics team final before they put up a lengthy highlights package on the TV anyway. Not so much from a spoilers point of view, but just because by then it was like… argh, give it up. Watch the highlights. Move on!
  • Not comprehending the road cycling race with it’s peleton that I kept on referring to as a pelican. Still frustrated by it.
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