I am unabashedly an enthusiast for the Olympics. The idea of the modern Games should inspire anyone even considering all the hoopla that surrounds them.
The opening ceremonies in London choreographed by filmmaker, Danny Boyle, depicted scenes from UK history, industrial technology, art, music, dance, and precision engineering. Queen Elizabeth made a surprise entrance along with James Bond to open the 2012 Olympics.
The symbolic Olympic Rings were “forged” in a 19th Century UK industrial factory that rose from beneath the bowels of the Olympic stadium constructed in a dilapidated second on London. Even JRR Tolkien would have been impressed. The secret Olympic torch was designed, constructed, and lit using 204 individual copper “petals”---one for each country competing---and then attached to stems that lifted together to form a flaming cauldron-like pedicle. The engineering and technological feats was impressive not like the competing global athletes themselves. Paul McCartney ended the grand show with a rousing version of his famous song, Hey Jude, involving the entire 11,000 athletes assembled in the stadium from over 200 countries.
The ceremony was at times quirky, noisy, funny, and a brilliant spectacle in the best tradition of the British to put on a show.
Industrial Age Forging the Rings Towers with Olympic Rings Lighting the 2012 Olympic Torch
(credit: UK Mail Online) (credit: file photo) (credit: Reuters)
People always complain about the glitz, glamour, and commercialization of the Olympics. However, in his fantastic book about the ancient games, Tony Perrottet, shows that we have nothing on the ancient Greeks when it comes to self promotion, commercials, and athletic endorsements.The original Olympics ran continuously every four years from the 6th Century BCE to the 3rd Century AD and were huge spectacles in their own right. Ancient athletes would bring their own headless and idealized bronze statues pre-cast to have their head molded, cast, and added to the statue if they won a prized golden wreath.
The Naked Olympics Ancient Olympics Freeze Ancient Winners Gold Wreath
(credit: Amazon.com) (file photo) (National Archaeological Museum of Athens)
Perrottet’s book makes for a great read: The Naked Olympics: The True Story of the Ancient Games
Let the Games continue!