After reading Michael Farber’s, Sports Illustrated piece, “Higher, Faster, Stronger Kitsch” about the opening ceremonies for the London Olympics, well, my expectations were pretty low for Friday night’s extravaganza. I knew it would be long, at times boring, but still entertaining.
Yes, the show was too long but it was a good one. It reminded me of the Oscars but as a fan of Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle, I thought he put on a great show that captured the personality of the U.K.
Really, farm animals and Peter Pan?
Between including the four personalities of each U.K. country, Mr. Bean and the Chariots of Fire, British music over four decades, the amazing piece with Queen Elizabeth and James Bond (aka Daniel Craig), and finally concluding the evening with Sir Paul McCartney singing Hey Jude, I thought he hit the nail on the head.
Other highlights from the ceremony included a fast parade of nations into the stadium and a unique approach to lighting the Olympic torch with its blend of past British Olympians coupled with young athletes who may be future ones.
Again, it was well done.
The ceremony supposedly ended late in the evening and for the athletes with early event times (swimmers, gymnasts and the U.S. women’s soccer team), they were absent from the event. Aside from the pre-taped interview with Michael Phelps and the constant promoting of his quest to become the most-decorated Olympian while facing Ryan Lochte, there were no additional visuals of him on Friday evening.
There was plenty of love for the U.S. basketball players (LeBron and Kobe) and shots of unidentified attractive female athletes.
But with the opening ceremony behind us, it’s time to get ready for the games that will be broadcast through August 12. Clean out your DVR and start taping.
To find out the daily schedule of events and where to view them whether it’s online streaming or one of six NBC TV stations, start here on the NBC site.
On Saturday, the games began with a bang. Michael Phelps has event No. 1 on tap with the 400 Individual Medley against Ryan Lochte at 2:30 PM ET. Phelps holds the world record in the event but got off to a very bad start in the preliminary heats on Saturday morning.
Cycling is currently on with the world’s cycling champion, Brit Mark Cavendish, looking to bring home the gold for the host country on Day 1.
And for tennis fans, Bravo has coverage of round one for tennis. Serena Williams is currently on the court and John Isner just grabbed his first win in a much shorter match than his epic one in London a few years ago.
Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a busy weekend.