Everyone – including 2012 London Olympic opening ceremony director Danny Boyle – agrees that you can’t top the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games opening ceremony. It’s one of the few times the word spectacular is used appropriately. You kinda just have to try to take a new artistic direction and hope viewers and sports fans appreciate it. Watching the opening ceremony last night, I have to say that overall, it was dramatic and slow but educational and historical. I didn’t always catch the relevance to sports or Great Britain’s history (like the whole sequence on children sleeping and their nightmares coming alive) but I was grateful for the moments of comedy relief with sexy Daniel Craig (aka 007) and Queen Elizabeth seeming to have jumped out of a helicopter to arrive at the stadium, and goofy but classically British, Mr. Bean. I was also really impressed by the ‘young Olympians’ being passed the torch and lighting the individual torches that grouped together and rose to form the Olympic cauldron.
There came a part of the show however that seemed extremely misplaced and disruptive to the show (I was watching the US broadcast on NBC). It was yet ANOTHER interview with Michael Phelps being asked about the his rivalry with cutie pie Ryan Loechte. Even Phelps looked annoyed about having to find a new way to answer the question again. Then they went back to the ceremonies.
What I later realized – thanks to Deadspin – is that NBC deliberately chose not to show the tribute to honor those people who died, in particular the terrorist attack on 7/7, the day after the city of London was awarded the 2012 Summer Olympic games. I truly don’t understand the politics of omitting this tribute. All sports and Olympic fans should have been given the right to watch that portion of the ceremony. One of the most poignant. You can see the video here.
Do you agree? What did you think of the #OpeningCeremony? What did you think of NBC’s coverage?