Olympics Opening Ceremonies: Boom or Bust?

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So, what did you think about the Olympics opening ceremony?

The New York Times had an interesting article examining the ceremonies, as I am sure did every paper, but I find the coffee-shop conversations to be more interesting. It seems that the overall perception of the ceremonies was that the event was quirky. And a bit chaotic.

And of course, from the American perspective, you couldn’t miss the lengthy celebration of national health care. In our house, we thought that segment was pretty hilarious.

Personally, I preferred this ceremony to the Beijing ceremonies. I found the Beijing ceremony to be a little creepy.

Copyright JC Politi Photography

I did have trouble following some of the events last night in London, like the text messages with a backdrop of 60’s music, but overall I thought it was fun and visually engaging, with just a sprinkle of humor.

I seem to prefer a little chaos over a robotic show of submission and control.

What do you think? What was your favorite part of the opening ceremony? What did you think of the event overall?  What do you think Danny Boyle could have done differently? And why do you think they had a cover band do a Beatles song when Paul McCartney was there? Finally, what are you most excited for in this year’s Summer Olympics?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading.

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Filed under Culture, Fitness, Health, Health Reform, International, Peace, Role of Government, Sports

71 responses to “Olympics Opening Ceremonies: Boom or Bust?

  1. although I did not see it – I like chaos over robotic submission too

  2. I think it was nice…Overall Danny Boyle did a good job. I loved the Me Bean bit

  3. I believe the fiery symbol of the Olympics was the best part. I like Paul McCartney, but he didn’t sound like himself singing.

  4. I missed the first bit with Queen that commentators seem to think was great. Having a petal for each nation making up the cauldron was very creative and fabulous. The rest of it struck me as English humor tends to, some good some confusing.
    The health care bit was ironic and funny to me. “Nothing good nor bad less thinking makes it so.”.

    • I love it! I didn’t catch that the cauldron was a petal for each nation. Now I like that part even better!!! Thanks so much for the comment! I hope you’re enjoying your weekend!

  5. I’ve been wondering what people thought of this myself. I didn’t see the whole ceremony, just bits and pieces, but it did seem a little chaotic and confusing. What an enoromous undertaking though. I wouldn’t dare Monday morning quarterback that event. Glad to see I’m not alone in thinking Beijing was a little creepy too.

    • Glad to know I am not alone in thinking Beijing was a little creepy. 🙂 You are so right about not Monday morning quarterbacking. But I can’t help myself!! I just thought the whole thing was fun!! Thanks so much for the comment!

  6. Maybe I’m the only one, but I just never watch the Olympics on TV…I mean it’s sunny out, I want to be outside…sometimes I catch the highlights on the news…but yeah, I really don’t watch it….

    • I didn’t watch much before I met my husband. He loves it and I have caught the bug! But I know where you are coming from. I am just so in awe of the athletes and their life long dedication and perseverance that leads them there. And the stories!!! I just love it! Thanks so much for the comment!

  7. I thought the ceremony was quite good. I liked that it was completely different in feel and look than Bejing. I loved seeing he contributions England has made to the world. The healthcare made me laugh.The musical timeline eminded me how much English music is a part of my life.
    The entrance the Queen was great and it did show her sense of humor. I really liked that the U S received a warm welcome when they entered the stadium.

  8. Thank you for the read and follow. As you know, I had a different take. The text message was from the creator of the world wide web and creator of the internet basically, who has given us this great gift of information and bringing people from around the world closer together, at no charge. He said “this is for everyone”. That gets me choked up.

    • I liked that part, but was confused about the part where the woman lost her iPhone and the text messages were flying with 60’s, 70’s and 80’s music. It seemed like they didn’t fit together. But I agree – the this is for everyone was very powerful! Thanks so much for reading and taking time to comment!

  9. I didn’t watch it in the moment, but I did catch the recap. Favorite moment was not so much Paul McCartney singing Hey Jude, but the audience singing it in unison.

    • Great moment. I am always amazed by musicians who are so popular they can pull that off. 80,000 people from around the world and they all know and love the words to that song. Amazing! Thanks for reading!!!

  10. Some good bits, some bad, some bonkers and some to make us really proud. Very British in other words!

  11. I like to watch the Olympics with my daughter. She gets home tomorrow and we’ll be off to the games!

  12. I thought it was messy and didn’t really enjoy it … although i did like the section with the NHS (even though I’m Irish) and I loved the idea of the petals forming the one bowl for the flame … and the fireworks where brilliant … overall elements of fun (the queen etc) but other wise you Brits usually do Pomp and Circumstance better

  13. I love the post – and missed the whole thing!! We were out with friends, and didn’t get home in time to see anything. So, all these comments are really, really helpful!

  14. Sorry, Jennifer. I was visiting my son and his family this weekend and missed the ceremonies. But I loved your post, as usual.

  15. Favorite part: Rowen Atkinson. Overall: A little strange and disjointed. Loved the healthcare part. And Bond looked great!

  16. Loved Mr Bean’s musical aptitude. And HM of course- good on her! When the parade of athletes started, I went in the bath and fell asleep, just surfacing in time for the lighting of the beacon.
    And, we’re off….

  17. I haven’t watched the Olympics in a zillion years since I we no longer watch TV; however, I caught the opening bit with the Queen and James Bond on YouTube. What a hoot! Good evening, Mr. Bond. Good evening, Your Majesty. I loved the royal corgis express ion as Mum went up in the helicopter. This is why I love Brit humor–that dry wit is priceless.

  18. My favorite parts were the corgis and the flame lighting. I was thinking about how odd our LA opening ceremonies must have looked to a non American – conestoga wagons racing west across the stadium. Looking forward to swimming and track & field. I’ll probably tear up the first time I hear the national anthem (maybe every other time too).

  19. The opening ceremony did have some dull spots but over-all it was great. The lighting of the caldron was the b est part. It signified the beginning of the gamse and is the flame that will spur the athletes on.

    • That was beautiful, wasn’t it? And I Didn’t realize that each petal was meant to represent a different country. I love that! Thanks so much for reading and for your comment!

  20. I only watched the first hour, as it was too late at night for me. Being English myself, I loved the British humour in those skits. Mr Bean had me laughing my socks off, and loved Daniel Craig and the Queen. I definitely preferred this fun opening ceremony to the Beijing one, which I found rather robotic and humourless.

  21. lisamarielawler

    I saw bits of the opening ceremony and the best bit for me was the lighting of the flame. Awesome visual. I also liked the inclusion of Mr. Bean, what would the Olympics in London be without him?

    • Absolutely. I thought the lighting of the torch was really powerful as it rose up to create the cauldron. Spectacular! And who doesn’t love Mr. Bean? Love Actually is one of my favorite movies and he is so funny in his role as he is wrapping the present. If you haven’t seen it, you should check it out! It is our favorite holiday movie. Thanks so much for reading and for the comment!

  22. I was disappnted to find out that NBC had cut part of the ceremonies to instead air an interview with Michael Phelps. I would have preferred to see the whole thing. At first, I thought it was a little boring, but it all came together in the end and I really liked it.

    • Especially Mr. Bean. I mean, the man doesn’t have to say a word and seconds into his performance I’m laughing hysterically. He’s fantastically talented.

    • I totally agree. Some of the points where they cut out to commercial or interview were completely annoying! They couldn’t find another time for that? I thought it was disrespectful. Thanks for the comment!

  23. I didn’t watch the whole thing. I get bored of seeing endless people coming out and waving, so I missed the beginning as well. I think I should have watched the whole (living in Britain 😉 ) But I’ll probably catch it on our iPlayer. I watched the cauldron being lit which I thought was an ingenious design, and then Paul McCartney started singing. That was it, my channel was changed. If he was on Britain’s (or America’s) Got Talent, X-Factor, American Idol or something like that, he would never have made it to the judges. He is living on past glory, and they would have been far better having someone else singing. I don’t like Cliff Richard much, but he would have been a better choice. Maybe Enya or someone from the 90’s. Well, that’s my own personal view anyway. 🙂 And thanks for stopping by my blog, it’s greatly appreciated.

  24. I must confess I missed it as well. It sounds like it was my loss. I would have loved to see Paul sing “Hey Jude,” even if it does not sound as good as before. We won’t get many more opportunities.

    • I am sure you can find clips on the internet. It was fun, but I think watching highlights is the way to go. I loved McCartney, but I am a sucker for the whole thing! 🙂 Thanks for the comment!

  25. Some bits odd, some bits dragged, didn’t get some stuff until it was explained. But I came away with the overall impression that it had been good fun to watch. Loved the ring going up in the beginning section about the industrial revolution and loved the flame at the end.

    • Thank you for the comment! I think you are right on – my impression was similar. Some things needed a little more explanation for me, but overall it was entertaining and inspiring. I loved the petals rising up to form the cauldron at the end! Thanks so much for reading and sharing your thoughts!

  26. I watched it and thought it was great. I didn’t mind the chaos at all and thought it was a great example of British self depracating humour. Like you, I thought it had a sense of fun and celebration and prefer that over rigidity and control. To me the highlight was Hey Jude for obvious reasons ;).

    • OK. I am dense, what is the obvious reason? Glad you liked it. I thought it was fun too. I do agree with Emily J that the coverage was pretty lame when they interrupted to go do interviews and commercials. That was pretty disrespectful. But I thought it was really fun! Thanks so much for reading!

  27. amb

    I LOVED HRH with 007. So unexpected, and so so fun!

  28. Could two men be more different and yet I loved them both: the hilarious Mr. Bean and dreamy Mr. Bond. Most moving part was when the glames all rose up and created a single cauldron and then the fireworks went off. Stunning and beautiful. Yes, English humor is quirky, but that makes it even funnier IMHO.

  29. I wasn’t sure what to expect and really didn’t think it would be that great but the English impressed me. They did a great job with the ceremony and I look forward to seeing what they do for the closing.

  30. I love the opening ceremony. I especially liked the lighting of the touch. Thank you for visiting my blog.


  31. Pingback: Olympics Closing Ceremony: Boom or Bust? | newsofthetimes

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