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London 2012 Olympics


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#1
Danqazmlp
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I shouldn't need to explain much here, if you don't know about it, where have you been?

As we don't have a thread for Olympics discussions, hopefully this one will suffice for everything Olympics related (not sport-specific)



To kick off: The opening ceremony so far has been great. I wasn't expecting much at all after Beijing, but it's actually been better imo. While Beijing had a lot of people doing impressive things, this one has had so much energy and people looking like they were having fun. Has been really entertaining to watch and listen to (and funny). Anybody else thinking the same?

Also, to anybody watching right now. Who do you think will light the final flame? Beckham? Also, what do you think will be with the brass 'petals'? Will they come together to form the cauldron for the flame?


P.s. Hopefully as this is not sport-centric, and is Olympics-wide with such a large spectacle and event, it can stay in OT if mods and admins are ok with it.
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Absolutely loved Rowan Adkinsons preformance during this opening, it really made me laugh. :)

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The sterotypes are killing me. :/
Also, I felt sorry for the Corgis

And Atkinson's a [Bleep]ing god.

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#4
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Ugh Sir Paul Mccartney. I don't dislike him, but he only has one or two half decent solo songs, and they don't really seem overly international. Should have had somebody else to end the ceremony with a bang.
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#5
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Not a fan of the ceremony. The polympics are supposed to be the place where countries, race and gender hold no importance and we stand totghether as humanity. The beggining where they were basicly shoving britain down our throats was particulary awefull to me (the guys in the top hats dancing didn't help either). Rowan Aktinson was hilarious and for me the best part. The hospital section was also prety danr boring, and it felt it had nothing to do with the ceremony. And the constant skits, oh god. I also prefer the classic bowl torch rather than this new contraption.

Not necessarily a bad ceremony, not by any stretch, but coming from beijing, It just felt underwhelming in every way.

Also, Paul Mac Cartney. Holy hell, what happenned to him?

Edit: And no Monty Python, screw you Boyle

#6
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I dislike Mcartney profoundly. Like Gary Barlow, vain and self-promoting. As for the opening ceremony:

I found the first 20 mins or so with the towers rising out of the ground a fitting and grandiose tribute to the greatness of Britain's contribution to the world. After that, it slowly got worse, though never awful (that dance of the 60s-90s or whatever it was did bore me), resurged for the lighting of the cauldron, and hit a real low with Mccartney. All in all, a lot more genuine than Beijing, which was just a matter of 'look how many people we can fit in one place doing the same thing' and much of which was fake.

To the guy that mentioned the whole Olympic spirit: though I agree, if anyone adhered to this we'd get lots of generic opening ceremonies - I am glad Britain to chose to celebrate itself rather than some vague pseudo-philosophy about sports/humanity/peace. Just my preference.


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#7
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I think there'll always be the question 'Made no reference to slavery', which whether we like to accept it or not formed a large part of the Kingdom's success over the course of around 300 years, but it was never going to be included, since the opening ceremony of an Olympic Games is never the time to present yourself 'warts and all'. Apart from that it mentioned all that Britain has exported to the world; industrial revolution (until the US and Germany took over that role in the 1880s), socialised healthcare, modern sport itself. The cauldron was very touching; it put substance of the modern Olympic movement over the grandiose, almost obnoxious style of Beijing. I can think of a million and one people I'd rather listen to than Paul McCartney, but I cannot deny the cultural significance The Beatles have in British history, on the global stage.

I'm working in Manchester for a few of the days, so I'm really proud to be a part of it, since it probably won't happen again in my lifetime, especially not my working life anyway. I'll keep my Olympic validation pass as a memento for life, I think.

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Did not see it, not planning on it [American and idiotic NBC tape delay cabbage] but I was pleasantly surprised with the tribute to Harry Potter (in the form of Voldemort, of course). Thought that making NHS look so great and wonderful was a poor idea on their fault, enjoyed the general silliness and clever stuff throughout though. No TARDIS was an absolute fail.

Final torchbearer [close enough] was a type 1 diabetic and Olympian, Sir Steve Redgrave, so my day has been fulfilled.

#9
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I really liked the torch/bowl. I thought that was really neat, and I also like having the young Olympians light it.

I did not realize that Britian and the States teams were so much larger than everyone elses, and I also feel like Germany and France were not in the parade (though the americans did an excellent job of looking french, while the Canadians were quite possibly the most boring looking team there).

They also made some mention about someones team refusing to practice next to someone elses team? Why did we not kick them out of the games and send them home for that? The whole point is international cooperation and putting your differences aside (and to that affect I would consider the games to be one of the monumental achievements of our species, because of what they represent). Also have to wonder why the host country didn't haul them home. I do hope that if anyone from Canada does anything like that, we haul them home ourselves out of shame (I think that anyone from here who did something like that would find out they are now a pariah upon their return. Not sure about the rest of the country, but most of the locals here are pretty big on sportsmanlike behavior).

On a side note, those are the first opening ceremonies I have ever watched, though I only started just a big after the parade of nations started. Not the most riveting event I have ever watched, but I do enjoy seeing the countries who are obviously really happy to be there, which you really see in the smaller teams (though Britian was pretty into it as well). Didn't dislike anything, except for the speeches that came right after the parade (got a little high and mighty there), and I can't say I really liked the band, though I have to say they are very British looking. No complaints with Paul, though I was kind of hoping Queen would make an appearance, because you really can't get a better song that We are the Champions.

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#10
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I thought it was brilliant, but that may be because I am bias by being British. It was quirky and fun but a bit of a mess too. I enjoyed Rowan Atkinson's part the most though.

Also to address the above, they won't kick out teams unless they've done something illegal I bet. They're trying not to cause any upset. I think GB had to accommodate to an Arab country's term in some event or the other. Probably something about their women.

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#11
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Something about the dress code I expect. I know at least one of the sports has very clear rules about what you can wear, and I think the other does too. I don't understand why debate is even being entertained on this issue.

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#12
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Randox, you should have seen it from earlier. the whole affair became very tame after the team procession. The Torch was very good imo. It would be nice if it created a new tradition of having younger athletes lighting the final flame instead of an older one.
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#13
Demoli
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I disagree with that. I'd much rather see a proen, recognizeable athlete lighting the symbol of unity rather than a bunch of younger atheletes, it just feelike it has more power. Seeing Athens 04 and Barcelona's torch lighting, they ahd so much more power and feeling than seeing 6~ young people lighting a million small torches. Just not the same thing in my opinion.

#14
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I enjoyed the opening ceremony more than I thought I would, some parts were strange but overall it was nicely done. I really like this picture:

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#15
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Enjoyed what I saw of it in a 20 minute highlights. I couldn't sit all the way through Hey Jude though, ugh. Loved the little British thing they were acting out


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@ Hawks: I really don't see why romanticising the NHS is a bad thing. People here complain about it, but let me tell you it's far better than the Italian health service.


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#17
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I don't mind there being negative opinions about the NHS thing. It isn't for everyone, we've established that over numerous OT threads over a number of years. That's what I liked about the ceremony though; it was as confident a statement about British identity (whatever that is) as you'll ever hope to see, without reverting to extremist far-right ideology. The NHS is fundamentally a British institution, it enjoys massive popularity amongst British people, even if other countries like the US have major political movements which despise even the idea of public-funded healthcare or welfare reform. I thought it was very bold, and very right, to say, "Well, we don't really care if you don't like the ideas behind the NHS--we do, and it embodies one of the most fundamental principles of our society."

Watched the road race. From a non-biased point of view, I'm glad neither Cavendish or Griepels won. I think cycling fans love to see aggressive, ambitious tactics winning, and that's what happened today with the breakaway group ultimately coming out on top of the peloton. It might have been effective, but Team Sky's tactics in the TdF were tedious to watch outside of the time trials, which obviously wasn't a factor today. Shame for Cancellara though.

#18
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I imagine I would have enjoying the Opening Ceremony more if I was there in person and didn't have to deal with all the bad camera angles. The most memerable part for me though, was the Queens facial expression.

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Edit: I should also mention, NBC really dropped the ball on not broadcasting events live. I love checking my online new sources and finding out who's won which races, etc 6hrs before NBC will let me watch the events on my TV.
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Found it a rather disappointing event, to be honest. Found this earlier today, although it might be a bit harsh, it kind of sums up some of the thoughts i had:

It's hard to imagine that the Brits would outdo the Canadians for "worst opening ceremony in memory," but they found a way to do it. Slow, boring, disjointed, everyone at my viewing party was left yawning and we eventually were forced into a game of Wits and Wagers to keep from falling asleep.
The Opening Ceremony began with 10 minutes of a lovely pastoral scene from How Green Was My Valley. If only Water Pidgeon had shown up. Shots of the quiet, boring scene were spliced inexplicably with random shots of rugby.

Then we got to watch the clean-up crew remove the pastoral scene for the next 10 minutes. They tried to distract us with weird dance moves by Abraham Lincoln. I was marginally entertained counting all of the black people in the ceremony, when there were probably about six Africans in all of England during the time being depicted.

When the "Industrial Revolution" set was finally revealed, one person in the room asked honestly, "Is it supposed to be a joke?” At a price tag of over $40 million, maybe.

Next up was a dream sequence with 10 minutes of spinning beds and a giant blow-up sex doll we were told was the "Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland." Okay.

It's funny that so much of the ceremony featured beds, because it was putting me to sleep.

When we were told in the next set piece that we were watching a love story for the digital age, it felt like a parade that was going nowhere. Instead of a thousand dancers moving in unison, we saw little vignettes here and there across the stage. There was no greatness, no power to the pieces. And if they were going with some quaint charm, it was certainly lost on me.

By the way, if we were watching a love story for the digital age, complete with cell phones and text messages, why was most of it set in the 1960s? Bi-zarre.

The grand finale, the moment I was waiting for most, was the revealing of the lighter of the flame. So many great options were floated out there...and they chose one more boring and more forced than any other I'd heard: Seven no-name young athletes. I'm sorry, you've got to earn that honor. You've got to achieve greatness before you get to light the Olympic flame. You've got to inspire a nation. Instead, the event producers decided to hand the honor to a bunch of kids. Snooooooooooooooooze.

There were some good moments, to be sure. I dug the bit with the Queen and "James Bond" (though Daniel Craig really should do these things shirtless). And the raising of the Olympic rings was a very nice moment. But by and large...maybe we should just have the Chinese produce all of the Opening Ceremonies going forward.

Maybe Paul McCartney got laryngitis the day before the ceremony. Maybe he stuffed a half-dozen marbles in his mouth before he performed. I don't know. But it was a fitting end to a deeply disappointing four hours of my life that I'll never get back. By the way, is it me or does McCartney look like his "Girl Is Mine" cohort Michael Jackson with all that plastic surgery?

Near the end, Bob Costas said, "Wow might be an understatement." I agree that "Wow" doesn't sum it up, but "understatement" might be the biggest overstatement of the night.

As my friends left (actually, they left before McCartney performed; They just couldn't take it anymore), one of them turned to me and said, "Wow, that was terribly boring."

Thank heavens the competitions start Saturday.


#20
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What would you have preferred? Strippers? Fireworks? Just about anything except something that was relevant to the host country?

The Chinese ceremony was spectacular, though some of it was faked, and there was no possible way in the middle of a double-dip recession which has been hanging over our heads since before the last Summer Games, with public sector cuts left, right and centre, that any country in the world would have matched their budget.




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