Olympics 2012 Opening Features All Things British
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, the country's most famous spy "James Bond," music from Pink Floyd and the Beatles and "Mr. Bean" were all part of Friday night's opening ceremony of the London Olympics masterminded by filmmaker Danny Boyle, and attended by Mitt Romney.
Daniel Craig, or James Bond, was seen parachuting into the Olympic stadium with the 86-year-old Queen in a short film made by the Oscar-winning director as part of the $42 million show, involving 10,000 adult volunteers and 900 children.
"Good evening, Mr. Bond," the film shows the real queen, clad in a gown, as saying when she meets Bond, who is wearing a black tuxedo and reaches Buckingham Palace in a black London cab. A helicopter then flies the two over the capital city to the stadium, and both jump out.
Their leap into the night sky in the film was synchronized with the real time skydivers over the stadium filled with about 72,000 people. The queen showed up at the stadium with her husband Prince Philip just then.
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Romney, who ran the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah, and has attended all the games since then, also attended the opening ceremony in London.
Romney had earlier suggested that London didn't seem ready for the games. In response, British Prime Minister David Cameron said that "of course it's easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere," alluding to Salt Lake City. Romney later said in interviews that he was "very delighted with the prospect of a highly successful Olympic games."
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Also present at the ceremony was the Duke of Edinburgh. After the queen and members of the royal family took their seats, the Kaos choir of deaf and signing children sang two verses from the national anthem.
The ceremony also showcased Britain's health care system, featuring hundreds of staff of the National Health Service.
To ignite the Olympic cauldron, seven teenage athletes had to just touch flaming torches to tubes, which promptly spread into a ring of fire and rose up to form the cauldron. Fireworks then begin as music from Pink Floyd was played.
The crowd also got a chance to sing "Hey Jude" with Beatle Paul McCartney. And when Rowan Atkinson, or Mr. Bean, was shown dreaming that he was in "Chariots of Fire," taken from a story of the 1924 Paris Games, the crowd laughed in unison.
More than 200 nations are taking part in the 17-day sports event involving about 10,500 athletes, most of whom took part in the parade of nations. The last team to march was from Britain, and that's when a helicopter dropped 7 billion tiny pieces of paper, corresponding with the world's population, over the athletes and the stadium.
"The Ceremony is an attempt to capture a picture of ourselves as a nation, where we have come from and where we want to be," Boyle said in a statement earlier. The director of "Slumdog Millionaire" and "Trainspotting" said he wanted to tell the country's story through numerous volunteers who "are the purest embodiment of the Olympic spirit and represent the best of who we are as a nation."