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  #1  
Old July 28th, 2012, 9:28 pm
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2012 Summer Olympics in London

Anyone watching the 2012 games?

Loved the opening ceremony, particularly when JKR did her reading. And how great that a giant Voldemort was included in the great villains to come out of British children's literature.

Some questions just for fun:
1. Which sports are your favorite? Which will you make an effort to watch?

2. How many medals did your country win in the last Olympics? Which sport is your country good at?

3. What do you like/dislike about the Olympic games?

4. If you live in/near London, how are the Games affecting you? Have you been able to attend any events?


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Old July 29th, 2012, 6:01 am
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Re: 2012 Summer Olympics in London

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Originally Posted by HMN View Post
Anyone watching the 2012 games?

Loved the opening ceremony, particularly when JKR did her reading. And how great that a giant Voldemort was included in the great villains to come out of British children's literature.
I was actually disappointed with the opening ceremony overall. The only part I really liked was the part with the children in the beds and the children's literature section - and the bit with Bond and the Queen.. And the bit with Rowan Atkinson.


1. Which sports are your favorite? Which will you make an effort to watch?


Swimming, diving, beach volleyball, soccer, and gymnastics, but really I like it all when it's the olympics. If they play the highlights in the primetime recap I'll be able to watch them, otherwise I have to work and won't be able to watch everything I want to watch.

2. How many medals did your country win in the last Olympics? Which sport is your country good at?

Team USA: 110 total medals
Gold: 36
Silver: 38
Bronze: 36

I'm excited to see how the US does in swimming and gymnastics (though I just heard the big news about Michael Phelps in the Men's IM... )


3. What do you like/dislike about the Olympic games?


Likes: it's a celebration of sport and it's really the only time a lot of these sports are televised - fencing isn't something that's easy to find in broadcast television. Decathalons are hard to find. Marathon coverage is hard to find.

Dislikes: when athletes get injured, it's so sad to see someone's hopes wither in the face of an injury.

4. If you live in/near London, how are the Games affecting you? Have you been able to attend any events?

N/A


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Old July 29th, 2012, 12:57 pm
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Re: 2012 Summer Olympics in London

Quote:
Originally Posted by HMN View Post
Anyone watching the 2012 games?

Loved the opening ceremony, particularly when JKR did her reading. And how great that a giant Voldemort was included in the great villains to come out of British children's literature.
Overall, I loved the opening ceremony. I particularly liked the fact that Danny Boyle went for the bold, original option, which people would either love or hate, when he could have gone for something much more safe and uncontroversial. But I especially liked the way it was based around ordinary people and went for inclusiveness, not perfection.

Quote:
1. Which sports are your favorite? Which will you make an effort to watch?
My favourite is the athletics (track and field) - Usain Bolt is my hero. I'm also trying to make an effort to watch the gymnastics and rowing. But the great thing about the Olympics is that you get sucked into so many minority sports that you wouldn't normally watch. In 2008, I got seriously into the women's weightlifting.

Quote:
2. How many medals did your country win in the last Olympics? Which sport is your country good at?
At Beijing, we (Great Britain) won 47 (19 gold, 13 silver, 15 bronze). That was our best performance in a century and we came 4th, but I'm worried that we'll fail to live up to that this time, especially as we're the host nation, so it will be hugely embarrassing if we do badly. (I say "we" - I'm the worst person at sport in the entire world, so I've not actually made any active contribution!)

We were supposed to be good at rowing, cycling and women's swimming, but sadly there has been a conspicuous lack of evidence of that so far! Still, we're doing much better than expected so far in the women's football and men's gymnastics

Quote:
3. What do you like/dislike about the Olympic games?
I like the fact that the whole world comes together for a big party, that you get the chance to see what the human body is capable of and the incredible talent and hard work of the participants is rewarded, the excitement of records being broken, the fact that minority sports that don't usually get much TV coverage briefly get their moment in the sun.

I dislike the fact that it's become so much about big prize money, big money corporate sponsors and the amateur ethos on which it was built has largely been lost.

I dislike it when our press and media embarrass themselves by acting as if our nation is the only one anyone is interested in and as if we have a God-given right to win medals. I apologise on their behalf.

I also wish the Paralympics got as much attention and coverage.

Quote:
4. If you live in/near London, how are the Games affecting you? Have you been able to attend any events?
I don't live in London any more, so it's not affecting me. Really wish I still lived there, as the atmosphere must be amazing.


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Old July 29th, 2012, 1:45 pm
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Re: 2012 Summer Olympics in London

Quote:
Originally Posted by HMN View Post
Anyone watching the 2012 games?

Loved the opening ceremony, particularly when JKR did her reading. And how great that a giant Voldemort was included in the great villains to come out of British children's literature.
I liked it on the whole, some funny bits, some pretty bits, some evocative bits. I was expecting it to be a bit more outward looking though, do opening ceremonies usually focus so much on the host country? I thought that seemed a little... smug?

Quote:
Some questions just for fun:
1. Which sports are your favorite? Which will you make an effort to watch?
Athletics and cycling.

Quote:
4. If you live in/near London, how are the Games affecting you? Have you been able to attend any events?
I live in Surrey so we're not particularly affected compared to the chaos of London but most people seem really excited. The cycling road race came here yesterday so we climbed Box Hill and watched some of the best road race cyclists in the world go past nine times. It was truly amazing! The atmosphere was just awesome and I was so proud of my county looking all gorgeous on the telly.


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Old July 29th, 2012, 5:15 pm
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Re: 2012 Summer Olympics in London

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Originally Posted by FlashMemory View Post
I liked it on the whole, some funny bits, some pretty bits, some evocative bits. I was expecting it to be a bit more outward looking though, do opening ceremonies usually focus so much on the host country?
Always.


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Old July 29th, 2012, 5:24 pm
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Re: 2012 Summer Olympics in London

I particularly liked this quote from the NYT review Given the heart searching that went on before the event I don't think they're right but it's a good message to get out

"Britain offered a display of humor and humbleness that can only stem from a deep-rooted sense of superiority. "


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Old July 30th, 2012, 2:03 am
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Re: 2012 Summer Olympics in London

Opening ceremony was wonderful.


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Old July 30th, 2012, 2:53 am
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Re: 2012 Summer Olympics in London

Oh I really loved the opening ceremony! I didn't have the chance to watch all of it, but I did see the J.K.R. part. I loved the big Voldemort inflatable thing. Also the cycling part after all the countries were presented was beautiful.

I've seen some of the games, but I never keep up with it. The opening ceremony has always been the one thing I want to watch for the Olympics. Any of the events I might just catch on TV, or re-caps work.


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Old July 30th, 2012, 3:44 am
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Re: 2012 Summer Olympics in London

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mundungus Fletc View Post
I particularly liked this quote from the NYT review Given the heart searching that went on before the event I don't think they're right but it's a good message to get out

"Britain offered a display of humor and humbleness that can only stem from a deep-rooted sense of superiority. "
Danny Boyle succeeded in injecting a sense of humour into the opening ceremony; something that is usually missing in Olympics.


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Old July 30th, 2012, 6:04 am
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Re: 2012 Summer Olympics in London

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Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
I also wish the Paralympics got as much attention and coverage.
I know! In the US I've been seeing a lot of Paralympics commercials (commercials featuring footage of paralympics competitors while selling something unrelated to you) and it makes me sad that they don't broadcast the Paralympics like they do the regular olympics. I think it would be really great if they folded the paralympic events into the regular olympics so they could get more coverage - they are still athletes after all. I'd totally be okay stretching the olympics out another week and including paralympics into regular olympics.


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Old July 30th, 2012, 8:30 am
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Re: 2012 Summer Olympics in London

There are a number of problems with this not the least being that the Olympics and Paralympics are different entities with separate governing bodies.

As a result the two games have not always been in the same cities. In 1980 the summer PGs were held in Arnhem, not Moscow; 1984 Stoke Mandeville & NYC, not LA; 1972 Heidelberg, not Munich; and 1968 Tel Aviv, not Mexico City. Similar disparities occurred with the winter games. Since 2008 both games have to be included in an Olympic bid.

Although they often share facilities, that's not always the case (Paralympic tennis will be at Eton Manor not Wimbledon). And they have different sponsorship, licensing and media deals.

There is also the problem of logistics including accommodation and scheduling. Plus, the Paralympics would be even more overshadowed than they already are if they ran in conjunction with the Olympics.


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Old July 30th, 2012, 8:33 am
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Re: 2012 Summer Olympics in London

1. Which sports are your favorite? Which will you make an effort to watch?

Athletics - yes, I will definitely watch, I'll be home on leave next week so I'll have the opportunity.

2. How many medals did your country win in the last Olympics? Which sport is your country good at?

Only one gold medal, in rowing, I don't know how many silver and bronze ones. As far as I know, Bulgarians are traditionally good at weight lifting, wrestling, some athletic disciplines (high jump for example), rhythmic gymnastics, gymnastics, boxing. In the past 10 years however sports have been disintegrating here. It's really sad because there are some great schools with traditions going back generations.

3. What do you like/dislike about the Olympic games?

I love the spirit of excitement and togetherness. I love it when records are broken. I can't think of anything I dislike.

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Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
But I especially liked the way it was based around ordinary people and went for inclusiveness, not perfection.
That's what I liked most about it, too. The commentators at our national TV were constantly mentioning how the dancers and a fair bit of the actors aren't hired professionals but volunteers. I think that was a great way to incorporate regular people in the ceremony and the excitement and sense of celebration surrounding it.


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Old July 30th, 2012, 10:28 am
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Re: 2012 Summer Olympics in London

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Originally Posted by Wab View Post
There are a number of problems with this not the least being that the Olympics and Paralympics are different entities with separate governing bodies.

As a result the two games have not always been in the same cities. In 1980 the summer PGs were held in Arnhem, not Moscow; 1984 Stoke Mandeville & NYC, not LA; 1972 Heidelberg, not Munich; and 1968 Tel Aviv, not Mexico City. Similar disparities occurred with the winter games. Since 2008 both games have to be included in an Olympic bid.

Although they often share facilities, that's not always the case (Paralympic tennis will be at Eton Manor not Wimbledon). And they have different sponsorship, licensing and media deals.
Yes, in the UK they are being covered by different TV channels (The BBC got the Olympics, Channel 4 got the Paralympics)

Quote:
There is also the problem of logistics including accommodation and scheduling.
Especially for the handful of competitors (e.g. Oscar Pistorius) who compete in both.

Quote:
Plus, the Paralympics would be even more overshadowed than they already are if they ran in conjunction with the Olympics.
Yes. I gather that the greatest resistance to combining the events comes from the Paralympians themselves, who fear that that would reduce them to second-class Olympians.

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Originally Posted by Yoana View Post
In the past 10 years however sports have been disintegrating here. It's really sad because there are some great schools with traditions going back generations.
That is really sad. I hope that trend reverses before that fabulous heritage is entirely lost (although in the current economic climate, it must be difficult)

Quote:
That's what I liked most about it, too. The commentators at our national TV were constantly mentioning how the dancers and a fair bit of the actors aren't hired professionals but volunteers. I think that was a great way to incorporate regular people in the ceremony and the excitement and sense of celebration surrounding it.
This article in the Telegraph yesterday about the background of some of the children who took part in the hospital/children's literature sequence reduced me to tears. IMO Danny Boyle (the director of the opening ceremony) deserves a knighthood for giving those children the night of their lives.

I also thought it was a brilliant move to include the construction workers who actually built the stadium (especially poignant given that Boyle's own father was a construction worker, he died 18 months ago, but the night of the opening ceremony would have been his birthday).


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Old July 30th, 2012, 1:12 pm
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Re: 2012 Summer Olympics in London

The Opening Ceremony absolutely blew me away. Beautiful, powerful, imaginative, funny and very moving in places. The Industrial Revolution sequence was fantastic. Also, best parade of atheletes ever. So much else I could enthuse about but I've done so elsewhere.

Danny Boyle is a national hero. I know Bejing was astounding but this had more humanity. I felt very proud of my country.

I usually don't follow sport that much but I always take an interest in the Olympics. I particularly like swimming, diving, athletics, gymnastics, and the equestrian stuff. I'll take an interest in the sailing at Weymouth (lovely venue!)

Thrilling women's road cycle race yesterday, when our Lizzie Armitstead won silver. Nice to watch the ladies racing through Jane Austen country (Box Hill!)

Becky Adlington, our swimming golden girl, pluckily won bronze in a very tough 400m last night ... she was up against very stiff competition and that was a courageous race.

Like Mel, I dislike how the corporate sponsorship (needed, I know) has become such a juggernaut.

Other than that, and the Committee needing to sharpen up its act over some of those empty seats -- -- the Games have a great feel to them. I work in London, and the happy buzz around the city is palpable. Fortunately, my journey to work is OK. I can avoid the Tube, thank heavens!

I am seeing football next Saturday and then basketball on the Sunday.


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Old July 30th, 2012, 4:19 pm
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Re: 2012 Summer Olympics in London

I've been watching a lot of swimming (I was on a team in middle school so I have a fondness for it) and I have to say, that I'm a bit annoyed over the Phelps/Lochte coverage. It's overshadowing a lot of the other American swimmers who are doing just as well. I do like Phelps, he seems like a genuine guy. But Lochte - that the officials had to tell him to take out his stupid diamond grille - he seems to show such a lack of sportsmanship.


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Originally Posted by FlashMemory View Post
I liked it on the whole, some funny bits, some pretty bits, some evocative bits. I was expecting it to be a bit more outward looking though, do opening ceremonies usually focus so much on the host country? I thought that seemed a little... smug?
I was watching with my husband and I had to keep reminding him that the theme was supposed to be about the host city/country.
Quote:
I live in Surrey so we're not particularly affected compared to the chaos of London but most people seem really excited. The cycling road race came here yesterday so we climbed Box Hill and watched some of the best road race cyclists in the world go past nine times. It was truly amazing! The atmosphere was just awesome and I was so proud of my county looking all gorgeous on the telly.
It looked like such a great crowd watching. The TV commentators kept reiterating that the size of the crowd was unusually large, and I thought it was just great.

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Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
Overall, I loved the opening ceremony. I particularly liked the fact that Danny Boyle went for the bold, original option, which people would either love or hate, when he could have gone for something much more safe and uncontroversial. But I especially liked the way it was based around ordinary people and went for inclusiveness, not perfection.
I've heard a lot of differing opinions. I think London had a tough act to follow from Beijing, but I think the artistry was there and it had a lot of heart, which Beijing didn't have.

There were a couple of key moments of artistry that I truly loved. I thought the opening set was beautiful but then when it started getting ripped apart to make way for the industrial revolution portion it was almost like a cautionary tale. Nature disappears for technological progress. But that made it all the more moving. And then when the ring was being forged, and the 5 rings met up in the sky - that was genius.

I thought the Healthcare portion was great, with the kids and the beds, but being American I couldn't help but think it was London's way of telling us what idiots we are for not following that path with our own Healthcare progress. I know that wasn't the intended message, but it gave me a chuckle none the less.

And the cauldron. How amazing was that. I couldn't figure out why the commentators didn't mention why each country marched in with the brass funnel, but when I saw them all on the spikes, I thought it was another stroke of genius. Especially when the commentators kept wondering who was going to be the final torch bearer. In the US it is always someone of note, so to have it as 'the next generation' I thought that was just great. And when the funnels all rose to form the cauldron, it actually brought tears to my eyes.

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I like the fact that the whole world comes together for a big party, that you get the chance to see what the human body is capable of and the incredible talent and hard work of the participants is rewarded, the excitement of records being broken, the fact that minority sports that don't usually get much TV coverage briefly get their moment in the sun.
Totally agree. This is what I love too. I will watch almost any sport and cheer on almost any country just because you appreciate the talent.


Quote:
I dislike the fact that it's become so much about big prize money, big money corporate sponsors and the amateur ethos on which it was built has largely been lost.
I dislike that some of the countries offer giant prizes if their athletes win gold. Sure, the prizes are nice to get after so much hard work, but it puts a different pressure on the athletes to win. I like to imagine it's all about the glory of just being the best at that particular moment in time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
I also thought it was a brilliant move to include the construction workers who actually built the stadium (especially poignant given that Boyle's own father was a construction worker, he died 18 months ago, but the night of the opening ceremony would have been his birthday).
I loved this too. It took years to build that stadium and aside from a ribbon cutting, the people who actually built the building are almost never recognized. I loved that they all had hardhats on too. Made me smile.

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Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
Danny Boyle is a national hero. I know Bejing was astounding but this had more humanity. I felt very proud of my country.
Exactly.

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Other than that, and the Committee needing to sharpen up its act over some of those empty seats -- -- the Games have a great feel to them. :
I had the same thought. That there has to be a system if you can't make it to the event you have tickets for, a way to pass them on to someone else. I know a lot of this is at qualifying matches, but still.

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I am seeing football next Saturday and then basketball on the Sunday.
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Last edited by HMN; July 30th, 2012 at 4:27 pm.
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Old July 30th, 2012, 4:53 pm
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Re: 2012 Summer Olympics in London

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Originally Posted by HMN View Post
I dislike that some of the countries offer giant prizes if their athletes win gold. Sure, the prizes are nice to get after so much hard work, but it puts a different pressure on the athletes to win. I like to imagine it's all about the glory of just being the best at that particular moment in time.
In a way, the olympics (in the US) is just another way of starting someone's media career - and tends to be a more respected way to do it than getting oneself onto a reality TV show. Olympians who garner a lot of notoriety from how well they do end up getting major sponsoship deals (Gatorade, Subway, Covergirl and Bounty paper towels are just the ones I saw this morning before coming to work) and also get big paydays from doing reality TV right after the olympics as Apollo Ohno, Shawn Johnson, Hope Solo and Misty May Treanor all did by going on Dancing with the Stars the season immediately following their olympics (although I think Hope Solo might have waited a year).

I'm not saying it's a bad thing that they're doing this; in large part their athletic careers couldn't happen on an international/olympic scale without such sponsorship. I've just never personally heard about countries offering prize money for medals, I've only ever seen an increase in sponsorship.


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Old July 30th, 2012, 6:24 pm
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Re: 2012 Summer Olympics in London

It has happened in Australia. And at times the Order of Australia has been debased by the awarding of the Medal of the Order of Australia to gold medallists.


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Old July 30th, 2012, 6:43 pm
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Re: 2012 Summer Olympics in London

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Originally Posted by HMN View Post
I thought the Healthcare portion was great, with the kids and the beds, but being American I couldn't help but think it was London's way of telling us what idiots we are for not following that path with our own Healthcare progress. I know that wasn't the intended message, but it gave me a chuckle none the less.
It was widely seen here as a dig at our present government who would love to dismantle the NHS (but know they dare not) But the Prime Minister could hardly complain since he had a disabled son who was treated at Great Ormond Street.

I am not an admirer of Milord Coe (the head honcho organiser)but I loved his response to the supposed security breach when one of the volunteers attached herself to the Indian athletes - "very serious and we will consider it carefully when we next organise an opening ceremony"

Originally posted by Wab
Quote:
at times the Order of Australia has been debased by the awarding of the Medal of the Order of Australia to gold medallists.
Our gold winners will know doubt get KBEs or DBEs but given the sort of people who have received that in the past I don't think it's possible to debase it further.


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Old July 31st, 2012, 7:49 am
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Re: 2012 Summer Olympics in London

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Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
This article in the Telegraph yesterday about the background of some of the children who took part in the hospital/children's literature sequence reduced me to tears. IMO Danny Boyle (the director of the opening ceremony) deserves a knighthood for giving those children the night of their lives.
Yes, I saw this article yesterday. That choir was an inspired decision, and the hospital segment was fantastic! Except Mary Poppins, even 30 of her, couldn't beat Lord Voldemort

Quote:
I also thought it was a brilliant move to include the construction workers who actually built the stadium (especially poignant given that Boyle's own father was a construction worker, he died 18 months ago, but the night of the opening ceremony would have been his birthday).
I didn't know that - it seems Danny Boyle really put an effort into making the whole thing as inclusive and wide-reaching as possible. I find it truly admirable.


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Old July 31st, 2012, 9:00 pm
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Re: 2012 Summer Olympics in London

I missed the opening ceremony, except when they lit the torch. Is it possible to see it again?


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