London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony: Queen ‘Parachuted’ down to the Stadium from Bond Helicopter
The British are renowned for their sense of humour, often the envy of the continent. It did not go into passive mode even during the most significant sporting event in the world - the Olympics.
It all started as a sequence of normal events, a celebrity meeting the head of the state following the usual protocol: Daniel Craig, the James Bond star, walks into the Buckingham Palace, to be guided by an aide to meet the Her Majesty; eye-contact was made, the Queen greeted the Bond star and the pair walked towards a waiting helicopter escorte by two Corgis of the Queen up to the exit of the Palace; with the Bond star at the controls, the helicopter took her over famous landmarks of London towards the Olympic stadium in Stratford, East London.
Then, the most breathtaking event of the whole ceremony that people all over the world are going to talk about, even after last night, came out of the blue. The Queen, along with Daniel Craig, parachuted down to the stadium, which left the crowd inside the stadium and millions who watched in the TV worldwide stunned beyond belief.
The once-in-life-time simulation involving a female octogenarian head of state was so well-timed that Her Majesty emerged simultaneously through the crowd with ruffled hair to underpin the belief that she did jump off a moving helicopter. It was extremely funny and brilliantly executed – and had all the ingredients to be the most-talk-about event of the whole event. I have no doubt that the clip is going to be one of the most-watched ones on YouTube.
The ceremony started with the fly-past by a fleet of Red Arrows, emitting multi-coloured smoke trails. The show became even more spectacular as the cloud formation and eventing sunlight formed a golden background during the air show.
The ceremony was unique in more than one way; inside the stadium, there was a significant meadow with rolling green pastures that we normally see in the picturesque British countryside. There were farm scenes which were reminiscent of the past agricultural heritage, to be followed by the industrial past of the nation. Men and women in periodic costumes really took the crowds centuries back into the history. The giant water wheel, flocks of geese, herds of grazing sheep and cows did make the whole event truly spectacular.
The whole episode, including the ‘stunt’ of the Queen, was the brainchild of Danny Boyle, the director of the award-winning movie, the ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, who is also the director of the opening ceremony.
Mr Boyle proved that he was capable of choosing the men and women who made an immense contribution to the progress of the United Kingdom as well. The appearance of Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, from a floating home was one such instance.
At the time of writing this piece, I could see the small team representing Sri Lanka marching inside the stadium, beaming with a mixture of confidence and excitement.
The successful conduct of the opening ceremony clearly shows the event has been properly planned – and executed to perfection while reflecting the changing cultural landscape of the United Kingdom. The 4-hour event, that cost nearly $42 million, is certainly something money well-spent on.
- Asian Tribune -