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London Olympics opening ceremony... I got the point

Thursday, August 02, 2012    

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LONDON, England — Much has been said and discussions are still raging about Friday's opening ceremony of the 30th Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium here in London.

Of course the first comparison is the stunning show put on by Beijing, China, four years ago, which undoubtedly raised the level of expectations for future ceremonies.

For full disclosure, let me say this is my first time covering an Olympic Games— a long time dream of mine. But even as a child I had never missed a chance to view it live on TV, or even delayed.

Watching it on television live on the best HD screen, however, cannot be compared with being there in person to feel the electricity in the venue and the literal vibrations from the instruments. At times during the ceremony I struggled to control my emotions as scene after scene unfolded in front of me with clock- work precision.

I can't speak for anyone else, especially those who say they are still waiting to be awed as they were in Beijing. But I must say that I got the message. Yes, I understood what was being said in the many stories and scenes we saw unfolded before our eyes last Friday.

This was England's story, told as only the English could or by people who understand and lived it.

China told their story four years ago and so to expect the English to tell their story the same way was like expecting a child born in England to English parents to start speaking Chinese.

Or it could be like the made in China USA outfits...? OK, that might have been a low blow but I am sure you get the point.

During the colourful ceremony I got the 15th century English village scenes because I read Wind In The Willows in Mrs Graham's English literature class in high school at Cornwall College in the mid to late 1970s, and I got Mary Poplins as well as the Shakespeare references.

I was rocking to the music and singing along with some of the songs especially Millie Small's My Boy Lollipop but again....you get the point.

The juxtaposition of England's spy hero James Bond with the Queen was brilliant, and including Mr Bean in the festivities made sense to me even if I was surprised. And who else but the quirky English could get away with the sound of flatulence in the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games?

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