To compensate for my absence the entire last week, I decided to write another post today on the 2012 Summer Olympics. On a side note, I don’t think the Winter Olympics get as much recognition or even media coverage as the Summer Olympics. Last night, I watched the entire opening ceremony for four and a half hours (including those sentimental yet annoying commercials by American companies advocating consumerism) on NBC.
The 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony was worth spending four and a half hours watching! I loved every minute of it (including the hours when the athletes walked in). Last summer, I visited London for a few days, and I hope to visit it again soon. One thing for sure, it’ll be a revived city.
From the snapshots of English industrialization to the cheerful dances of doctors, nurses, and children; from the amazing collaboration of James Bond and Her Majesty to the great, recalling acts of Rowan Atkinson; from teenage athletes lighting the Olympic cauldron to Paul McCartney singing one of my favorite songs, Hey Jude, the ceremony was nothing short of spectacular.
I really appreciated how they got real doctors and nurses to perform in the dancing acts. Oh, I almost forgot the ever-so-handsome David Beckham’s appearance. I thought the opening ceremony sent an inspiring message from the Great Britain to the world. Under the direction of Danny Boyle, the ceremony was beyond dynamic. Now, I really have the urge to watch the opening ceremony of the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, and see how my city fared in wooing the world.
This was actually my second time watching an Olympics opening ceremony, with the first one being the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. I missed out on both the Athens and Beijing ceremonies, but I lucidly remember the one in Sydney even though I had barely turned six when I watched it.
Contrary to how excellent the ceremony was, there were several distasteful things that struck me; though those things should be blamed on the obnoxious American commentators on NBC and not the ceremony itself. There were several occasions where the American commentators pronounced the countries’ names as they wanted without any regards to how the names are actually pronounced.
Either they weren’t professionals or they were too overwhelmed being at the Olympics to act like professionals. One of the guys actually said the athletes were coming too fast (suggesting he was having a hard time keeping up). No shit Sherlock — these are Olympians.
Also, two specific incidents really bothered me. One of the athletes (not sure from which team..there were 200 teams) had dyed his hair bright pink, and the NBC guys just had to comment on his hair. One of the commentators abrasively disparaged his hair by saying, “Memorable? Yes. Beautiful? No.” Beauty is nothing but our own perceptions, so he had no justification to sit there and make fun of a well-deserved Olympic athlete’s appearance. Honestly, we don’t give a crap about what you think is beautiful. Sorry but that comment really irked me.
The second incident was just personally embarrassing for me, and it’s perhaps not anything worth ranting about. When the Bangladeshi athletes walked in, the commentators announced Bangladesh as being the nation with the largest population that had not won a single Olympic medal yet. Bangladesh was basically referenced to as the “largest” loser. Speaking from an objective view, however, I guess it wasn’t that bad. If it were any other country, I wouldn’t think twice about it, plus it was a true statement. It’s rather pitiful to see a nation of over 16 million people (8th largest in the world) only sending 6 athletes. If there were to be a ratio of a nation’s population to the number of athletes it sent to the Olympics, I believe Bangladesh’s ratio would be the very lowest.
Yes, the commentators did take away from the evening, but overall, I think it was an iconic event! I loved Danny Boyle’s creativity and direction. I also loved how the ceremony highlighted Britain’s diversity (in terms of the performers being of different ethnicities). The ceremony expressed the unique identity of the British.
I look forward to watching the events! On a relevant note, so much respect for the Muslim athletes who will continue to fast as they compete in their respective events.
One more thing added to my bucket list: to attend an Olympics opening ceremony!
Also, have a good laugh…