Why I Loved the Opening Ceremony

On Friday night, the blogosphere, twittersphere, and the general world 0-sphere went crazy for the events unfolding during the Olympic opening ceremony, it was a rare moment during which a broad and diverse selection of people can come together to enjoy something that we will never experience again. I was tuned in throughout the entire thing, but was one of very few people watching who already knew what was going to happen…

Rights; Nick J Webb, Via Wikicommons

The previous Wednesday, I felt like one of the luckiest 70,000 people in the world as I sat in one of the premium seats of the Olympic stadium and watched an exclusive preview of the Olympic Opening Ceremony of London 2012. It was a night I won’t be forgetting in a hurry. In my humble opinion, it was one hell of a show. Danny Boyle was given the impossible task of putting together something that; 1) Celebrates the greatness of Britain 2) Makes sense to the millions of non-British people who will be watching 3) Appeals to people of all ages and backgrounds (ie. THE ENTIRE WORLD) and 4) Is physically possible and actually achievable, given the practical limitations and implications of translating what is essentially a stage show to the television and still having the desired impact. I feel that the few critics who are out there have not considered the magnitude of the challenge involved in creating such a show. It was smart, sharp, entertaining, inclusive, and – to quote Mr Boyle himself – was for everyone. I enjoyed the seamless transitions from playful and current music medley to poignant moments of reflection and playful and symbolic jibes at the government (Voldemort swooping in and ruining the NHS sound familiar to anyone?).

I also really enjoy the Athletes’ Parade and every four years I patiently watch the parade of every single country’s athletes and drink in the fun facts and quirks that are reeled off by the commentators. I love how all is fair in love and Olympics; rich or poor, young or old, world famous or completely unknown, if you’re good enough at what you do, you could have your moment.

Overall, I think that Danny Boyle is an utter genius of a man to produce something that had such scope, creativity and impact. China may have produced ninety minutes of perfectly timed military-style choreography, but London showed flair, colour, vibrance and childlike surrealism; which in my opinion, is a far more impressive achievement.