The Greatest Show On Earth

I’m sat on the bus and it is the day after the world looked over to the UK as we open the 2012 Olympics in London. I’ve been overhearing people’s conversations about the opening ceremony and just thought I’d write about this momentous occasion.

I’m not big into sports but I like tracking the Olympics and remember vividly watching in 1984 and 1988 Daley Thompson in the decathlon. The Olympics, to me, is a coming together of athletes that are the top of their trade. Not only that, but it is a time when the world nations come together and we remind ourselves of our global community.

Last night, I watched the opening ceremony, directed by Danny Boyle, whom I have new respect for since watching his theatrical adaption of Frankenstein. I was impressed, very much so. It is hard to pull the history of a country together and nod to all the famous icons, but I believe he pulled it off and it was a spectacle. In one way it would have been amazing to be there but somehow the BBC managed to cover the whole thing and capture the excitement and energy of the proceedings.

Actually another point there is that due to work, I had to watch the show online about 45mins later and I have to say that not only was the quality of the stream very high but to think of the capacity to send that stream to literally millions, maybe billions of people, that is some feat and the BBC should be congratulated.

Some might say it was too expensive, that it was a waste or maybe even too clever but I think they are missing the point. The queen being escorted by Bond, a mini being driven around the stadium, music and a heart felt acknowledgement of the NHS and our literary contribution are all to be proud about. People don’t realise the NHS is a marvel that so many other countries wish they had. We hear in the papers everyday about some failure or cut but looking at the bigger picture…?

It also made me think halfway through, this is biggest show on earth and then I thought, hang on, we’ve done this before. Think Live Aid and Live8 – huge events that the UK hosted.

No, the ceremony made me feel proud of being British, the multicultural diversity of our community and our contribution to the world. If anything, the ceremony should bring a much needed civic pride of our lands.

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