What a moment for England – and for Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz and Harper!
The London 2012 Olympic games got off to a spectacular start with an opening ceremony that was rich in pageantry, symbolism, music and a bit of the unexpected (animals, a group of flying Mary Poppins and even rain).
Highlights of the evening included Daniel Craig and a stunt Queen Elizabeth parachuting into Olympic Stadium, children bouncing and dancing on hospital beds representing Great Ormond Street Hospital, Rowan Atkinson doing his classic Mr. Bean comedy routine, Sir Kenneth Branagh reciting Shakespeare and, of course, Sir Paul McCartney leading the crowd in a sing-along of “Hey Jude.”
But once athletes from all over the world had paraded into the stadium, all eyes turned to the TV screens that showed the Olympic torch heading toward its final destination. Organizers had kept the details of this moment a secret.
A speedboat driven by none other than David Beckham came zipping down the Thames and under Tower Bridge as fireworks exploded on the surrounding banks. With him, holding the torch, was fellow soccer star Jade Bailey.
David stopped the boat just outside the stadium and helped Jade pass the Olympic flame to Steve Redgrave, who carried it into the stadium.
The soccer superstar didn’t qualify for the UK Olympic team this year, but he was thrilled just to be part of the historic day.
“I am going to be just proud just to be there as a fan more than anything,” David said in an interview quoted by Us Weekly. “In a part of London where I grew up playing soccer over the fields that have been changed now. As a fan and an Englishman I am going to be very proud.”
His four children will be, too. How many kids can brag that their dad is a sports superstar, husband of a former Spice Girl and now a part of Olympic history?
The London Games paid tribute to youth in a very special way. Instead of choosing an established star like Beckham or Redgrave to light the torch, they selected seven young athletes, sponsored by former Olympians, to carry the torch around the stadium track and light the cauldron together. The cauldron is made up of dozens of metal petals representing each nation, and it stands at the center of the arena rather than outside it.
What a grand way to start the Games!
What did you think of the ceremony? Did you cheer when David Beckham made his entrance?
[Photo: via PacificCoastNews.com]
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