The Games of the XXX Olympiad officially begin at the Opening Ceremony, Friday, July 27, 2012 in London, Great Britain. The opening ceremony is designed by the host city to represent the history and culture of the host country. London’s Opening Ceremony is called “The Isle of Wonders,” and is based on a play by one of Great Britain’s most famous residents — William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. The Ceremony is expected to last three hours and they are expecting crowds of 60,000+ people.
All of the traditional elements of the Opening Ceremonies will be present, a lot of them presented with a local twist. There is a cast of 15,000 performers and the Ceremonies will be watched by approximately 4 billion people worldwide. The games will open with the ringing of a 27-ton bell, the largest harmonically tuned bell in the world, and was made by the same company as the Liberty Bell and the bell inside Big Ben. As usual, the parade of Athletes will process in alphabetically, with Greece, the originators of the Olympic Games processing first and Great Britain finishing last. The lighting of the Olympic Flame will officially begin the Games. The Final Torchbearer, whose identity is one of the closest guarded secrets of the Opening Ceremonies, is responsible for lighting the Cauldron, where the Flame will stay lit throughout the entirety of the Games.
Most of the Ceremonies attempt to remain secret but in the digital age many pieces have been revealed by the press. Queen Elizabeth II and Daniel Craig as James Bond have filmed a video clip at Buckingham Palace. There are also rumors of a flying James Bond character to parachute down into the Ceremonies. Also said to be present are characters from British-based literature, including Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, as well as a fight between Harry Potter‘s Voldemort and an army of flying nannies modeled after Mary Poppins.
Music will be a large part of the Ceremonies because of its lasting impression throughout British culture. Press representatives have heard songs from The Who and The Sex Pistols being played during rehearsals. Sir Paul McCartney will close the evening with the final performance. He is expected to lead the crowd in the Beatles’ hit song “Hey Jude.”
For more information on the Olympics, visit the NBC Olympics Website, and be sure to tune in starting at 6:30pm CST for the NBC broadcast of the Opening Ceremonies.
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