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Old 07-28-2012, 03:53 AM   #1
rozalinasi

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Default Opening ceremonies kind of tame---what think you all...who is watching the opening?
Choirs, Kenneth Brannagh, rural England, the first brittish Tour de France winner. I am admitting I was spoiled by Bejing and many other opening ceremonies. They showed a royal box with Harry, Wills and Kate looking less than impressed. Well, they have seen it all, Harry and Wills and not much impresses them I imagine.

Oh agrarian to industrial. Brits were the engine of it. Great drumming 10,000 volunteers they said? Today PBS had an awesome show about the Titanic. Awesome. Catch a rerun if you can. Great TV on PBS.
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Old 07-28-2012, 04:37 AM   #2
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I really liked the first part from rural to industrial and I love Brannagh, the 5 rings was spectacular.And thew whole tree effect looked awesome. Then the part with NHS I didnt get why it took so much time and then the trendy music facebook stuff I really didnt like it all, maybe in a closing ceremony that there is more party atmosphere it would fit better.And I think the fairy tales part with Peter Pan and Alice etc they could have used it better, it didnt have the big effect. I do not like Mr Bean anyway.
And I know I m biased but the flying man was sth I liked in greek ceremony and I dont like seeing it again in 2008 or now.
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Old 07-28-2012, 04:56 AM   #3
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I too liked the opening theatrical scene and the set very much, like a live movie so I was glad to watch it on my neighbor's big screen. I didn't get the hymn singing memorial of audiences' loved ones at all. I didn't see what it had to do with the Olympics or its opening though a memorial of the Munich Olympics would have been more appropriate. The rock music segment through the teenage romance digital age was a big bore, just a club production though bigger. I like the biking birds.

Essentially the highlights for me were the beginning and the end, the period movie and the spectacular design of the cauldron.

Oh, it was a real negligence to not have the Queen wear the same dress as in the helicopter.
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Old 07-28-2012, 05:47 AM   #4
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I missed the first bit! I had to work late. I saw the helicopter with Bond come in, and the Queen. Sporting of her to take part in a piece of optical illusion like that. My favorite part by far was the section with children's literature. This is a special love of mine, and to see J.K. Rowling read, even for a second, from Peter Pan was lovely. I wanted more, though I can understand that they wouldn't want to spend too much time on it. Britain has probably contributed more works of I loved the doctors and nurses, unlike you, Seniorita. But I agree with you that Rowan Atkinson practices a humor I don't appreciate. I happen to love Vangelis's music, so I would have liked it to be presented in a straightforward way.

My favorite part, though it's always very long, is the Parade of Nations. Seeing all the countries, large and small, athletic powerhouse or not, is very stirring. This year's parade apparently is moving very fast, so this is a speedier event than it's been at previous Games apparently.
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Old 07-28-2012, 08:27 AM   #5
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Very disappointing opening ceremony. Most parts were "messy". I was hoping the real history telling. I was hoping to see the knights, the medieval time. But I loved several highlights - the making of the Olympic rings, and the lighting the Olympic flame.

The British are proud of their healthcare system. It's a National healthcare system, by the way. They dedicated a big chunk of time to perform about that, like showing off their system.
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Old 07-28-2012, 11:30 AM   #6
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My favorite part, though it's always very long, is the Parade of Nations. Seeing all the countries, large and small, athletic powerhouse or not, is very stirring.
Me, too!
The Parade of Nations always makes me smile, looking at all faces of the world's top athletes lightened up with pride to represent their own countries and joy to be a part of the Olympic Games.
I missed seeing the opening ceremony live, because it started 4am in my time and just finished watching the digested/recorded one this morning, though.

btw, the camera showed the Queen (and the Royal box) a couple of time during the opening ceremomy, and I was surprised to see the Queen looked a bit bored.
It may be just me, but I just have to wonder how glorious and gorgeous Princess Diana would have looked at the Royal box and how people in Britain (and atheletes of course) would have been delighted by that, if only she is still alive...
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Old 07-28-2012, 11:44 AM   #7
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My favorite part, though it's always very long, is the Parade of Nations. Seeing all the countries, large and small, athletic powerhouse or not, is very stirring.
Everyone likes the Parade of Nations, and it's what the Olympics are actually about - all the more reason to make that the main entertainment. Did you know that a lot of athletes couldn't take part because the ceremony started too late and they have to compete today? Could the ceremony not have been scheduled a bit earlier, or made shorter? I would have gladly given up the tribute to NHS nurses and the music/TV/social media thing and cut the history of Britain segment in half in order to facilitate this.

I'll be honest: I found very little to like in this ceremony. The James Bond/ Queen Elizabeth sequence was fun - good for her! - and I enjoyed Mr. Bean with the orchestra, though that was a joke that went on too long. The floating rings were also good, and Becks in the boat looking handsome. Otherwise, it was just a mess. The hill looked like a reject from the set of The Hobbit, every segment went on too long and looked disorganized, and why were kids in pajamas singing God Save the Queen? Also, the lighting of the torch - specifically, the people who did it - was a huge disappointment. Where was Roger Bannister? Why not have Derek Redmond and his dad help run the torch in? How can you relegate all the great Olympians to a spectator role while giving this huge honor to people who have accomplished nowhere near as much?

I didn't get the hymn singing memorial of audiences' loved ones at all. I didn't see what it had to do with the Olympics or its opening though a memorial of the Munich Olympics would have been more appropriate. .
I don't often find myself in agreement with you, but this is spot on. The IOC won't pay tribute to actual Olympic athletes who were murdered at the Olympics, but a memorial to random people is fine?

Bottom line: I expect better from Sochi. Hopefully there will be a lot of skaters involved - actually, just have Ilia Averbukh produce the whole thing!
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Old 07-28-2012, 01:31 PM   #8
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I am very pleased with myself because (I'm not usually this astute in sports matters) I guessed that Steven Redgrave would be carrying the torch pretty close to the final group. My friends at work were impressed with me because my brain is usually such a sports-free zone that I can't remember who won the Super Bowl (American-style football) a week after it happens. (Except for skating, of course.) But I love Olympic history. By the way, was I dreaming, or did I see Christopher Dean in that final cluster at the lighting of the Olympic flame? It's interesting: one doesn't usually think of the U.K. as a sports power, but the relatively few legendary athletes they have are really impressive. I mean, Daley Thompson isn't just any old decathlon champ; he's one of the rare decathletes who's won twice. And Redgrave: five golds in five consecutive Olympics. Wow! It was great to see Sebastian Coe in the spotlight, too.

I don't know why the Queen looked so bored. She obviously thought it was important for her to be there (and to take part in that wonderful James Bond sequence), and she surely knew that the camera would find her throughout the proceedings. And when she smiles, it's such a lovely smile. I was glad to see William and Kate making up for it by looking as if they were enjoying themselves, though. And of course Beckham looked very fine bringing the torch up the Thames in the boat. By the way, wasn't it great that when Redgrave carried the torch toward the stadium, he was flanked by an honor guard of the construction workers who had helped put up the new buildings? By the way, I think one of the viewers in the Royal Box was the Archbishop of Canterbury, the highest-ranking prelate in the Church of England. (Though the actual head of the Church is the Queen.)

I was happy to see Paul McCartney at the end. He always makes me smile. Someone once called him the world's oldest cute guy, and to me he's all that. His voice sounded a bit worn, but even mileage looks endearing on him. For voice strength, I wish they had gotten Tom Jones to contribute a bit: he blew me away at the Queen's Jubilee, with the splendid condition of his voice at the age of 71 or whatever. He would have represented both Wales and the U.K. with distinction.
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Old 07-28-2012, 04:18 PM   #9
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I think Beijingís opening ceremony beat Londonís. It was more organized and made better use of LEDs, and while both spent much time telling history, the Chinese told it in a more attractive way.

The rock music segment through the teenage romance digital age was a big bore, just a club production though bigger.
Very disappointing opening ceremony. Most parts were "messy". I was hoping the real history telling. I was hoping to see the knights, the medieval time. But I loved several highlights - the making of the Olympic rings, and the lighting the Olympic flame.
I was hoping to see the medieval time, too. The rock music + social network part took like 30 minutes. They could have used that time to show us some knights.

I saw the helicopter with Bond come in, and the Queen. Sporting of her to take part in a piece of optical illusion like that.
Yes I like this part and the five rings.
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Old 07-28-2012, 05:30 PM   #10
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I absolutely adored the way the torch went together and the rings. And the queen as a Bond girl

The story of the torch
http://www.postcrescent.com/usatoday...APC-Sports%7Cp

Heatherwick said the design sought to project a world unified by sport.

Petal-shaped heat elements made from hammered copper were created for each country and then carried into the stadium by children during the parade of countries.

The "petals,'' each fitted with an igniter, were then whisked to the cauldron assembly area beneath the stadium floor where they were attached to stainless steel rods in preparation for lighting.

The packed stadium got its first look at the creation with the rods and petals arrayed on the ground in 10 rings, just as the torch arrived in a closely timed relay, starting on The River Thames.

From the time the torch was placed on the first petal, it took 45 seconds for each copper element to ignite, prompting the cauldron to rise from the ground, ultimately drawing each of the petals together at a height of about 28 feet. Best one ever, IMO.
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Old 07-28-2012, 06:03 PM   #11
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I absolutely adored the way the torch went together and the rings. And the queen as a Bond girl

The story of the torch
http://www.postcrescent.com/usatoday...APC-Sports%7Cp



Best one ever, IMO.
I will always remember the archer shooting the arrow flame through the rings to ignite the cauldron. Most spectacular ignition ever!
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Old 07-28-2012, 06:30 PM   #12
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I think what often works best in these ceremonies is something that reflects authentic people or an individual's creative vision. That's why I liked the children's books section, especially with the doctors and nurses involved. Inspired by the images from last nights ceremonies, I went back and hunted for my absolute favorite Vancouver moment, the flying boy who drifts over the prairies to the tune of "Both Sides Now."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjkXOYcNKUQ

In it, a trainee from the national circus school, Thomas Saulgrain, flies over light-image prairie grasses. His dance and aerial abilities, combined with technical knowhow (the flying cables he wore) created a perfect moment. You don't need glitz or casts of thousands when you can come up with something like this.
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Old 07-28-2012, 09:00 PM   #13
OvDojQXN

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the children lighting the cauldron was great. it took out some of the politics, money and big names and brought back the true Meaning of the Olympics.
The Spirit of trying your best. The children will remember this for a long time. i imagined they had the times of their lives.
it also speaks to the future about trying your best regardless of the outcome
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Old 07-28-2012, 09:13 PM   #14
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I loved that pieces of the cauldron were marched in one country at a time with the parade of nations. In fact we noticed the extra person with each country carrying something or other, and were surprised to find out at the end that it was parts of the cauldron.

It just symbolized the "many countries peacefully coming together" theme of the whole Olympic movement so beautifully.

I suspect people at the event were going, "Where's the torch?" To have it arise almost out of nothing must have been almost like magic in the arena.
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Old 07-29-2012, 12:09 AM   #15
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I agree that this was ingenious.

The whole torch relay was so beautifully done, with a leisurely progression throughout the realm. The combination of people, from sports heroes to just folks, was perfectly in the Olympic spirit. I know Michelle got into the mix because she works with one of the sponsors, but I love that she and the other participating skaters got to take a turn. She represented the U.S. very well.

At the end, I'm so glad Muhammad Ali was involved with the in-stadium ceremony. I wonder how they decided to give him that honor. I realize he has a gold medal (from Rome, I think), but he's not one of the giants of Olympic history in comparison to some others. What extra aspect of his achievements did the planners take into consideration?
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Old 07-29-2012, 01:41 AM   #16
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Ali is one of the most well-known people in the world. Who wouldn't remember a guy who said things like this (in rhyme yet):

I done wrestled with an alligator, I done tussled with a whale; handcuffed lightning, thrown thunder in jail; only last week, I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalized a brick; I'm so mean I make medicine sick." - Muhammad Ali, 1974. Not to mention his principaled stand against the Vietnam War, which cost him a ton of money, as he lost 4 years of his boxing career and had to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Whoever wrote his wikipedia article says of him:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad_Ali

Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr.; January 17, 1942) is an American former professional boxer,[1] philanthropist[2] and social activist.[2] Considered a cultural icon, Ali was both idolized and vilified.[3][4] and notes:

In 1999, Ali was crowned "Sportsman of the Century" by Sports Illustrated and "Sports Personality of the Century" by the BBC.[11][12] Ali would go on to become the first and only three-time lineal World Heavyweight Champion. In retirement, among other things:

On November 17, 2002, Muhammad Ali went to Afghanistan as "U.N. Messenger of Peace".[56] He was in Kabul for a three-day goodwill mission as a special guest of the UN.[57]

On January 8, 2005, Muhammad Ali was presented with the Presidential Citizens Medal by President George W. Bush.

He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom at a White House ceremony on November 9, 2005,[58][59] and the "Otto Hahn Peace Medal in Gold" of the UN Association of Germany (DGVN) in Berlin for his work with the US civil rights movement and the United Nations (December 17, 2005).





As Mrs. Lonnie Ali looks on, President George W. Bush embraces Muhammad Ali after presenting him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom on November 9, 2005, during ceremonies at the White House.
On November 19, 2005 (Ali's 19th wedding anniversary), the $60 million non-profit Muhammad Ali Center opened in downtown Louisville. In addition to displaying his boxing memorabilia, the center focuses on core themes of peace, social responsibility, respect, and personal growth.

According to the Ali Center website, "Since he retired from boxing, Ali has devoted himself to humanitarian endeavors around the globe. He is a devout Muslim, and travels the world over, lending his name and presence to hunger and poverty relief, supporting education efforts of all kinds, promoting adoption and encouraging people to respect and better understand one another. It is estimated that he has helped to provide more than 22 million meals to feed the hungry. Ali travels, on average, more than 200 days per year." Considering his physical condition, due to Parkinson's, that is even more amazing.
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Old 07-29-2012, 05:31 AM   #17
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Thanks, Doris. I was aware of some of that but not all of it. I knew it had to be something like that, but I haven't kept up with his travels. I'm glad he's so active in such worthy pursuits. This is a man who knows how to live a meaningful life.
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Old 07-29-2012, 06:28 PM   #18
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I too liked the creation of the torch. It was said that the nations will get the cauldron pieces to bring home. The torch is now in the middle of the track & field area. Another smart solution to come?

The highlight for me as always was the parade though many athletes skip it and focus on the sport. I don't think the late hour played a role. The ceremony is long and tiring, not good if you compete the next days. There was some track & field athletes who start later. Like Usain Bolt as a flag bearer. Not easy to recognize athletes in the crowd.The Czeck team was funny with rubber boots and umbrellas. No need though. Good for London
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Old 07-29-2012, 08:37 PM   #19
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I think the Opening Ceremonies are always held at night - after all, the lighting of the cauldron and the fireworks would not be spectacular earlier in the day and it doesn't get dark until well after 6pm. I believe many of the athletes who compete on the 1st day of competition would likely forgo the openning ceremonies. If I recall correctly, Meno and Sands skipped their opening ceremony since the pairs SP is typically on the 1st day of competition after the opening of the Olympics.

Even if the ceremony ended at 10pm, it would probably take hours for the athletes to be transported back to the Village and settle down.

It's definitely a bummer.
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Old 07-29-2012, 10:30 PM   #20
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Yeah, and in the Winter Games, they might be standing outside in the cold for hours. (I think Canada's was indoors--smart country!) You could really tighten up muscles and ligaments, plus get a chill and get sick.
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