Opening Ceremony - an unforgettable experience

Monday, July 30, 2012

By Holly Tregenza The Reportersí Academy

It started with the drums.

With the vibration on our backs the London 2012 Olympics turned as one towards the sound that created movement among the stands.

Along the rows of faces, hundreds of people from all over globe roared together in the countdown to the 2012 Olympic Games.

The arena had been transformed into a virtual English countryside; the breath of millions was taken away by the fragility of the detail in the thatched houses and water mills. Farmers and young maids roamed the hills and cows ate from the grassy pastures.

As we watched spellbound, the English countryside was enveloped by the busyness of the Industrial Revolution. The beating of the drums replaced farmers with coal miners. Cottages disappeared in the place of black smoking towers which emerged from the stomach of the set and created looming reminiscent shadows that were spread throughout the stadium.

Hundreds of different accents joined in their screams of excitement. The world was cheering, cheering for the best show on earth.

From the edges of the arena, five golden circles began to float through the top of the roof, stealing the breath of everyone in their seats as we watched in absolute awe. The golden orbs moved together to form the symbol of peace, hope and unity that we all recognise so well; the Olympic Rings.

Completely unchecked of any inhibitions, the world roared as the Olympic rings burst forth in an amazing spray of fire that pulsated down from the heights of the Rings and immersed itself upon the crowd.

Through the shock off this magnificent display, the dancers once again began to move their feet and the tempo picked up as again the scene changed; a group of fluorescent tights upon the legs of dancers sprung up as a new generation joined the stage. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr were displayed upon a two-storey house that was pulled into position by unseen hands and swept the crowd away in light and noise. The age of the World Wide Web had begun.

Out swung the new age and out came the old again. From the belly of the stage emerged what seemed like hundreds of beds; white luminescent beds that housed small children. Nurses accompanied the youngsters and gently nestled the children in to their sleep. However, the kids had other plans; the music picked up, and we were off again. Jumping, laughing, playing, the children had a field day as they were given free range whilst their elders tried desperately to help them in to bed.

Then came a celebration of the best type of literature; childrenís. J.K Rowling read to the world an unforgettable bedtime story to ensure the safe keeping of the little ones and to protect them from the night.

The Queen then made her first appearance; diving out of a helicopter. This coupled with Mr. Beanís hilarious skit created an unforgettable atmosphere where everyone was laughing along with one another on a global level.

The darkness set in then; everyone was quiet. There were no dancers on stage; the mood in the room was full of anticipation. We were softly introduced to a huge orange light, and within itís limelight were 50 incredible dancers. The dance, apart from the strange beat of the drum and soft rise and fall of the lyrics, was soundless. The earlier chaos of the show became perfectly balanced under the calm nature of this spellbinding piece as a tribute to the people who lost their lives in the 7/7 London terroist attacks.

This piece was a prelude to the athletes that are the 2012 Olympic Games. Welcoming them as they came in was inspiring; it was amazing to see them marching proudly for their countries in such a surreal environment. 

Pacific athletes like Fiji's of Leslie Copeland emerged from underneath the arena and our Oceania group went crazy; waving, laughing, almost in tears. To see them finally get to the place that they have been working so hard to achieve was an absolute privilege.

The enormity of what was being done then hit me. The Olympics capture so much more than sport; they capture the raw essence of what the world should look like; united and collaborated as one. At peace with one another. In harmony.

After addresses from all the appropriate parties, the stadium readied itself for the lighting of the Olympic torch. No one knew when, what or how. We only knew it was going to be amazing.

All the lights went out. Thousands of iPhones went into the air as the people felt the anticipation; they wanted to capture history. The light of the flame started small but grew bigger and bigger until it emerged from underneath the stadium. It was incredibly inspiring and empowering; the crowd literally shook. Everyone stood to their feet to stomp and cheer for the most important flame of all time.

In the centre of this massive arena, the first torch was lit. Magically, 204 orbs of light sprung from that single flame. One flame for every country represented at the 2012 Summer Olympic games; an analogy within itself.

The pockets of light moved together. We began to see an image. As the orbs moved, the crowd grew higher and higher in their seats. Cheering turned into an absolute uproar, for we could now see the orbs of light and what they had created. The torch, with all flames united at the top, collaborated to create something beautiful. A flame that will never go out.

And so ended the 2012 Olympic opening ceremony. Inconceivable, unbelievable, incredible and absolutely unforgettable. The Games had begun.