From the outset let me say I am no real fan of the opening ceremony genre. I can stomach the lighting of the cauldron by an athletic legend of yesteryear via harebrained method but the rest of the nationalistic frippery leaves me well… a little cold.
I once attended the opening ceremony of a major global event as a member of the media corps and whilst I was ecstatic at the free seat, desk and media pack chock full of goodies, it was a harrowing experience. I knew we were in for trouble when a spiral bound tome thicker than a telephone directory thumped onto the table in front of me. It described in intricate and unnecessary detail every aspect of what was to follow. Surely this shouldn’t be required if the fare were intelligible to us mere mortals? Unable to leave or even get up for a refreshing cuppa there were times during the evening when I simply lost the will to live.
I fear this year’s event, well meaning and culturally significant though it may be will prove no different. It is always the point where sport and culture meet and London 2012 organisers skewed it further when they utilised the not inconsiderable talents of Oscar winning director Danny Boyle to produce the 27 million pound extravaganza. The inevitable creative tension produced has seen clashes between Boyle’s team and the Olympic Broadcasting Authority over camera positions that were apparently far better than the CGI fireworks of Beijing!
Promising a rural idyll of the English countryside and inspired by Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ London’s version will allegedly see cricketer’s, James Bond, oak trees, David Beckham and even live animals! Let’s hope the same fate doesn’t befall them as it did the hapless ‘peace doves’ that were flame grilled as the cauldron was set alight in Seoul.
And then it’s headlong into the fare we really want to see. Sport at its heart wrenching, life affirming, absolute pinnacle.
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