Britain could lay claim as part of the originators of the three major things in entertainment. And with a classic touch of history they told the world so in an Olympic opening ceremony that will live long in the memories of all especially those who appreciate their contributions to humanity.
Music, movie and sports stand out in entertainment. Britain has had them from ages till date. They played these out prominently in their fabulous opening ceremony. And they did it with style, showing how industrious and humurous they could be.
A village setting had farms, houses and play grounds. In that community, everybody lived in peace. The animals grew well, the youth played games like Rugby, badminton and soccer and the rich moved in chariots and the people did well in their farms.
The opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics captured this setting from the beginning and moved on to touch every generation from those ancient times to now. And in doing this they featured some scenes and the people who have been part of their history in a showpiece of creativity culminating in a great display of art and entertainment. In a way, it was a powerful message that Nigerian leaders should must note. About five governors from Nigeria were here to watch the opening ceremony.
Paul McCartney at the event. Photo:AFP
And it is hoped that they got the message when, in lighting the cauldrom, seven great Olympians nominated seven youths to do that. The message is about prepararing the youth and handing over to a new generation. The youth, they say, are the leaders of tomorrow. And if you don’t build legacies, prepare the youth to take over and continue building legacies, you are destroying your future.
It was the biggest message of the opening ceremony and it appeared pertinent to Nigeria. Yes, Britain did it their own way. From the way the Olympic Torch travelled to many communities, Britain brought the Olympics to every home in Britain. It had, in the UK alone, travelled eight thousand miles and carried by eight thousand bearers and 14 million were part of this in these communities aside millions who saw the journeys of the torch on television.
Yes, Britain did it their own way. They introduced movie scenes into their show and the Queen even played an interesting role from the palace where James Bond went to pick her for the games to their “flight in the helicopter” to her arrival at the stadium where Jack Rougge, the IOC President received her.
They started the movie scenes that were to manifest more in the fullness of the show when Bean showed the comedian in him as he tried to play a leading role in a symphony performance but dozed off and dreamt about himself cheating to win a country race and waking up to the end of the music show. It was funny.
The night illustrated Britons as industrialists and played out aspects of the Industrial Revolution. It also paid tribute to health sector as one of the greatest achievments of Great Britain. Nurses rolled beds with patients into the arena. It was an act that also showed the power of rock n roll music. When music blarred even the kids who were on the beds probably as patients stood to dance and when the music died down they lay “sick” on the beds again. Awesome. Tributes were also paid to British TV and cinema, icons like Harry Porter and muuuusiiic(reporter’s coinage) was at the center of it all. It made everybody in the stadium feel great and worm.
Billions watching all over the world also had a share of the music that rocked the world. Pop songs were it. Push the Botton by Sugarbabes, Going Underground by the Jam and Wonderful. Then there was Generation by the WHO, Satisfaction by the Rolling Stones, She Loves You by the Beatles, My Boy Lollipop by Millie. These songs got people rocking on the stands but the blast was to come when Paul McCartney of the Beatles fame took to the floor to play Hey Jude. Athletes danced, fans did and the VIPs couldn’t help been carried on.
This reporter, a fan of pop and rock and roll music, joined thousands who jived on. McCarteny jammed everybody up with Hey Jude, compelled all to join the chorus and be part of the show. Great. It was sensational. It was past midnight but the stadium wished it continued. Poor spectators. There’s and end to every time. And the time of 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony was to end with McCartney.
“When McCarteny took on us and played Hey Jude, I knew it was the blast that would end it all. It was a thriller,” said Mitchell Obi, our ace sports commentator.
“It was sensational, it has made people proud to feel British,” said Ade Animasaun, a columnist with Vanguard Newspaper.
McCarteny thawed souls as they left the Olympic Stadium hoping to see him again in the closing ceremony on August 12. Britain has done the opening of the Olympic Games their own way. It was a combination of history, culture, art and entertainment. It was a unique way that they should all be proud of. And now the Olympics are on.