The world was dazzled by a spectacular opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics
LONDON, United Kingdom -- A blockbusting opening ceremony marked the beginning of the London 2012 Olympic Games on Friday night.
Reflecting key themes and priorities of the London 2012 Games based on sport, inspiration, youth and urban transformation, the opening ceremony included globally known British stars of song, stage, screen and sport such as Sir Paul McCartney who closed the Ceremony, David Beckham and Daniel Craig – who in his most recognised role as James Bond accompanied her Majesty the Queen in a mission to get to the Olympic Stadium.
Orchestrated by Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle, the opening ceremony covered history from the industrial to the digital revolution, and celebrated how Britain has contributed to the world.
The Queen stole the show with her movie acting debut as she joined James Bond. In a scene filmed in advance and screened for the first time, Bond actor Daniel Craig arrives at Buckingham Palace in a dinner jacket, striding past the corgis towards the royal study. "Good evening Mr Bond," says the Queen, before they leave together, apparently heading towards the Olympic Stadium in a helicopter.
Back in real time, to laughter and delight from the crowd, "the Queen" followed by "Bond", parachuted from a helicopter towards the arena. Seconds later the real Queen and Prince Philip received a standing ovation as they arrived.
Around the globe, reactions to the opening ceremony were filled with excitement.
In India, the Times of India called it "a spectacular start to the Olympic Games", whilst in China, which hosted the last Summer Olympics in 2008, The China Daily called the ceremony "kaleidoscopic".
In the United States, The New York Times called the opening ceremony "hilariously quirky", "[..] a wild jumble of the celebratory and the fanciful; the conventional and the eccentric; and the frankly off-the-wall, Britain presented itself to the world Friday night as something it has often struggled to express even to itself: a nation secure in its own post-empire identity, whatever that actually is."
In Canada, Thane Burnett from The Sun Times wrote: "I think I have seen the most chaotic but possibly the greatest entertainment event in my generation."
The three-hour show was rehearsed more than 200 times, with each of the 7,500 volunteers spending on average 150 hours practising during the build-up.
The event used 12,956 props and boasted a million-watt PA system using more than 500 speakers.
It was viewed by more than one billion people around the world.
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