After 12,800 miles the Olympic Torch entered the Stadium, witnessed by 500 men & women who built the Olympic Park. Sir Steve Redgrave carried it in and then passed it on to younger athletes — Passing the torch to the next generation. A nice touch. Each of the youngsters was nominated by an Olympic legend and then they in turn, lit the Cauldron. Simple but nice. The cauldron is made of copper petals, each given to one of the competing nations. When Games are over, they will take their petal home too. Their piece of the games. So even if you don’t win medals, you still won’t go home empty-handed.
This is our time
Seb Coe: “This is our time and one day we will tell our children and our grandchildren that when our time came we did it right.” They sure did. And we’ve gone past midnight in Great Britain too… so the Olympics were officially declared open on July 28? Jacques Rogge in his speech emphasises gender equality and then the Queen promptly delcares the Games open. Now, for the mystery.
The Flag of Great Britain is being carried by Sir Chris Hoy, who is the most successful Olympic male cyclist of all time with four gold medals. This nickname is The Real McHoy. David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ accompanied them and one couldn’t help but stare at their golden
Wrestler Saori Yoshida carried the Flag for Japan. She won gold in the women’s Freestyle 55kg category in the last two Olympic Games. She has been World Champion nine times and is unbeaten since 2002.
Hockey player Natascha Keller carried the Flag for Germany. She made her debut in Atlanta 1996 and won a gold medal in Athens 2004. Her grandfather Erwin Keller won a silver medal in hockey at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. Her father Carsten Keller won a gold medal in hockey at the 1972 Olympic Games.
Sushil Kumar walks out with the Indian flag
They didn’t show the Indian contingent for too long but then this is a live show. Yellow turbans and smiles to match. Sushil Kumar looked rather dapper and happy — he should be. The first ever Parade of Athletes was in London at the 1908 Games. Back then there were 2,000 athletes from 22 countries. Today there are 10,490 athletes from more than 200 National Olympic Committees. This is the moment when the years of training are behind them and the excitement of 302 medal events lies ahead.
WOW! Such a large cheer for India! Great going!!! #London2012
— Ajay Maken (@ajaymaken) जुलाई 27, 2012
Almost time for India to walk out
We’ve reached ‘G’ so far. This is slow yes. But a great honour, or so they say. Good fun though. Some nice music in the background… somehow they managed to make BeeGees coincide with Fiji. Great direction.
The parade begins
Greece are first out — as they always are. Will they win many medals? Hmm… that doesn’t matter… only participation does. Right?
Abide with me
“Abide with Me” — the people at the stadium are told – was Mahatma Gandhi’s favorite hymn & was played by band on Titanic as it sank. It certainly is soothing. After all the madness, this is rather sobering. It was spectacularly sung by Emili Sande — what a voice. In the background, the pictures on the “memorial wall” were loved ones of members of the audience who were asked to send in photos.
This should not end
It’s already been an hour. It’s been a superb show so far. How time flies… we don’t want this to end. David Beckham makes an appearance — driving a motor boat on the Thames… he’s is bringing the flame home… to the stadium. And while all this is happening, Mahesh Bhupathi finds the time to tweet!
Jamaica few countries behind us.. Fleeting glance of Usain Bolt.. Crowd is going bananas!!Still a good 30 min away from entry. Stay tuned..
— Mahesh Bhupathi (@Maheshbhupathi) जुलाई 27, 2012
British scientist & Londoner Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web – good news for Frankie and June (and us!). A revolution of a different kind. He gets quite the ovation too.
British bands that rocked the world
Frankie chases June through night clubs playing music from the 60s, 70s, 90s & today. Superb stuff. Good music — we could actually understand it. Heh. But that got the feet tapping. Some people weren’t very happy though.
Worst part of Opening Ceremony so far: They only played about 10 seconds of Bohemian Rhapsody
— Christopher Clarey (@christophclarey) जुलाई 27, 2012
Some good old British wit
Hahaha… Mr Bean and the Chariots of Fire tune… Epic. Rowan Atkinson is funny. He is. In his own weird way, he brings the house down. The beer helps of course
Rowan Atkinson just upstaged the Queen, James Bond, Harry Potter and Mary Poppins at #Olympics opening ceremony. Awesome!
— Rick Maese (@RickMaese) जुलाई 27, 2012
It’s Peter Pan time
JK Rowling, creator of Harry Potter, reads from the opening paragraph of JM Barrie’s classic ‘Peter Pan.’ Why? What happened to Harry? Still at GOSH though. A little girl reads between her bedsheets. Her imagination is running wild with villains from British children’s literature — Puppets of Captain Hook, Cruella de Vil, Voldemort and the childcatcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang all make an appearance!
Let’s all dance
And now nurses, doctors and patients are dancing. The Brits are crazy. They really are. Nice play of lights — The dancers are spelling out ‘GOSH’ – Great Ormond Street Hospital, London’s most-loved children’s hospital…
Queen and James Bond parachute into the stadium
’007′ & the ‘Queen’ parachute into the Stadium. Amazing they managed to get the Queen to play along with this. A short movie showed James Bond (Daniel Craig) make the trip to Buckingham palace and escort the Queen (Not Helen Mirren) to the Olympic stadium. The crowd are absolutely lapping it up.
Absolutely spectacular visuals
The history of Great Britain and all that jazz is fine but this was stunning. Lots of drumming and men looking like Abraham Lincoln with great sideburns and hats. The colours and the pageantry were mind-blowing. Boyle has managed to take us on an incredible journey thus far. From the early settlers to the industrial age — it was fun. It ended with Olympic rings forged from the furnaces, hanging above the stadium. Wow.
And who will light the torch?
Gary Linekar may have a clue.
Sir Steve remains very secretive still but he’s just left us. For where I wonder?
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) जुलाई 27, 2012
And so the Bell tolled
The Olympic Bell – the largest harmonically tuned bell in the world! – is rung by Tour De France winner Bradley Wiggins. And some Shakespeare is thrown in as well for good measure… ‘Be not afeard: the Isle is full of noises’ – Branagh (as British engineer Brunel) quotes Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’
Cricket crazy? Well there was some for you too
Some 18th century cricket takes the lead at the ceremony. Bit of dissent to the umpire by the looks of it. Authentic?
— Andy Zaltzman (@ZaltzCricket) जुलाई 27, 2012
All systems go
Danny Boyle’s 27 million pound Isles of Wonder production is ready to entrall. Buckle up and don’t move. This promises to be a show to remember and just in time, the rain has stopped too. On video, we’re travelling miles along London’s River Thames from it’s source in Gloucestershire and into London itself
Doyle’s play has begun already
— Christopher Clarey (@christophclarey) जुलाई 27, 2012
For the last three days, it’s been bright and sunny and very warm in London. But today, on D-day for the opening ceremony, it’s raining. The organisers have already said that if it rains during the ceremony, they will curtail it. But here’s a question: if Wimbledon can have a roof, why not the Olympic stadium? But inside the stadium, it’s beautiful. It look a bit like a model village but it just the animals and actors getting ready for the British meadow scene. Seems like it’s straight out of the Lord of the Rings — remember the Shire.
India’s Day 2 schedule
Want to know which events India are competing in tomorrow? Check out this report on Firstpost.
Sania Mirza, Abhinav Bindra, Vijender Singh are all in action and who knows India might make a golden start to the Olympics. Bindra and Gagan Narang sure have a good chance. And that’s it for now. Catch you tomorrow.
We’re almost there, says Boyle
Indeed we are. Danny Boyle will tonight lay his singular personal vision of Britain, titled The Isles of Wonder. But, in the Telegraph, the Oscar-winning director feels the pressure will be on the volunteers.
“Directors really just sit at the back, but this is a live performance and they are the ones who have to go out there and do it. Any nervousness I feel is for them, and the excitement I feel I hope they share,” said Boyle.
Go US? Of course!
U.S.A.! U.S.A.! twitter.com/BarackObama/st…
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) जुलाई 27, 2012
All hail the Queen
The Queen has become a surprise late bet to light the Olympic cauldron, with one bookmaker slashing odds on the monarch doing the honours from 25–1 to 5–1 overnight. Several bookmakers suspended betting on the market after a flurry of bets backing Sir Roger Bannister, the man who ran the first sub-four minute mile. Read the entire story on the Guardian website.
Even James Bond is in the running to light the cauldron. The Brits are crazy we tell you. Read the report on Firstpost.
India’s boxing hopes don’t ride on just Vijender
Beijing bronze medalist Vijender Singh is not the only hope in boxing at London, says veteran sports writer Ayaz Memon on Firstpost. If the chief coach and technical director of the squad are to be believed, this discipline could throw up some unexpected medals.
“These boys have come through many assessments and trials and I have no hesitation in saying that the country’s best boxers are here,” said chief coach G S Sandhu after the weigh-in on Friday morning. “They are supremely fit and in form. There can be no excuses after this.”
Women’s archery ranking rounds
Deepika Kumari finishes 8th in the ranking round with a score of 662 points, Laishram 22nd with 651 and Swuro 50th with 625 points. BB Ki and Sung Jin Lee of South Korea and Ya Ting Tan of Taipei finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd with 671 points.
In the team performance, India finish 9th out of 12 teams with a total of 1938 points.
Federer and Serena in action on opening day
Swiss Roger Federer will take on Colombia’s Alejandro Falla and American Serena Williams will face Serbia’s Jelena Jankovic on the opening day of tennis action at the Olympics. Read the full story here.
The all-important rules
The Archery individual ranking round is used to rank the athletes from one to 64. The athletes then shoot in a head-to-head elimination format, shooting in pairs: the number one athlete against the athlete ranked 64th, second against 63rd and so on. The competition is the best of five sets, with each athlete shooting three arrows per set.
Athletes score two points for winning the set and one point for a draw. The first athlete to six points wins the match.
If a match is tied, a single-arrow shoot-off is held – the nearest to the centre of the target wins.
At the end of the knockout stage the winners of the semi-final matches compete in the gold-medal match and the remaining two athletes compete in the bronze-medal match.
Some Americans just shouldn’t leave the country
Olympic legend Carl Lewis has spoken about Mitt Romney’s Olympic gaffe — who implied that London isn’t ready for the games. “Seriously, some Americans just shouldn’t leave the country,” he said. “Of course London is ready.” Read the full story here.
5 Olympic Things to Know
1. OPENING CEREMONY: A celebration of British culture, with a touch of Shakespeare, pop music, James Bond — and even some farm animals. A huge worldwide audience will tune in for the extravaganza, which starts at 2000GMT (4 p.m. ET).
2. WHO WILL LIGHT THE TORCH? Bookmakers are now convinced it will be Sir Roger Bannister, the first man to break the four-minute mile. But is there another mystery contender?
3. WEATHER: Will the famous English rain blight the opening ceremony? It’s been hot and sunny all week in the British capital — but a little wet this morning.
4. REFEREE DIES: A Turkish boxing referee has been found dead in his London hotel room. It appears he suffered a heart attack. Autopsy results expected later Friday.
5. ROMNEY FALLOUT: What will Londoners make of Mitt Romney’s implication that the city isn’t ready for the games? Will it draw them together? AP
It’s the greatest sporting event on earth and it comes around only once ever four years. So that deserves a drink right there. But in the spirit of sportsmanship and participation, the purveyor of all things viral and LOL cats, the Daily Cheezburger, has come up with a great drinking lotto of sorts. Read here.
Public turned away from Olympic archery qualifying
Spectators were angry and confused after being turned away from Olympic archery qualifying Friday in the first major spectator glitch in the Olympic host city. Preliminary rounds were listed as unticketed and several thousand spectators showed up at the venue — the famous Lord’s cricket ground — expecting to get in for free. A spokeswoman for the London Games organizing committee said tickets were not advertised or sold for the qualifying events and “we have always made it clear” that the early competitions were not open for spectators. She said liveolympictickets.com, which sold fake tickets to the event, had been shut down. South Korea’s team set a world record to lead qualifying and Im Dong-hyun broke his own individual world mark. AP
SKorean sailing coach sent home for drunk driving
outh Korea officials say a coach for the country’s Olympic sailing team has been sent home from the London Games after being fined for drunk driving. Team officials told South Korean news agency Yonhap that the coach, who was only identified by his last name, Lee, was pulled over by police early Wednesday morning in Weymouth, where the Olympic sailing events will be held. The team said Lee was fined 400 pounds ($620) and that delegation head Lee Kee-heung decided at an emergency meeting to send the coach home. They said Lee had consumed wine during dinner the previous evening and then slept for a few hours at a friend’s house before driving home. AP
Opticians make witty ad out of N Korean flag mix up
A British chain of opticians saw publicity gold on Friday after Olympic officials blundered by showing the South Korean flag instead of North Korea’s at a women’s soccer match. Guess what they did… or read about it here.
Here comes Deepika Kumari
The men’s team didn’t do too well but the women’s team led by world number one Deepika Kumari are genuine contenders. Chekrovolu Swuro, 46th in the world, and Bombayla Devi Laishram, 48th, will be looking to put their best step forward too. The pressure is on them but this is a team that has shown that it thrives when the going gets tough. The event will start in a few minutes.
On the India Today website, former archery star Dola Banerjee writes:
On the women’s side, Deepika compensates for her lack of Olympic experience with confidence. Bombayla has competed at this level and while Chekrovolu Swuro has not been to the Olympics before, her recent scores have been very good.
Marching in the rain?
After a few days of glorious and, well, summer weather for the summer games, rain is back in London’s forecast starting on Friday. U.S. fencer Mariel Zagunis may have to deal with it for a change. Her sport is an indoor sport, so rain, sun, whatever, it’s irrelevant to her in competition. But she’s also the U.S. flag bearer for the opening ceremony on Friday night, so she might have to do her job amid raindrops.
“There’s so many things that you can’t control,” Zagunis says. “And the weather is obviously one of them. If it rains, it rains. We’re still going to have a great time and it’s not going to affect anything.”
Zagunis said she has a more simple concern: “I’m just going to focus on not tripping.”
Do you know your Olympics?
Check out the Firstpost Olympics quiz to find out…
Official London 2012 Results app crashing on Android
Meanwhile, if you have downloaded the official Results app of the London Olympics, you might be a tad disappointed. It just keep crashing. Read the full story here.
A fake ‘Nike’ kit at the Olympics?
A report on the BBC website says that Egypt Olympic team got ‘fake’ Nike kits.
Members of Egypt’s Olympic team have been given fake Nike gear, a synchronised swimmer has alleged. Yomna Khallaf said her workout bags had a big Nike logo in the front but the zippers had an Adidas branding on them.
Bad start for India’s men’s archery team
India don’t have a very good start to the Olympics. In men’s archery ranking round, Tarundeep Rai was 31st best with 664. Rahul Banerjee was 46th best with 655 points and Jayanta Talukdar was 53rd best with 650 pts out of 64 competitors. In the team competion, India were 12th out of 12 teams with 1969 points.
South Korea were first with 2087 points, a world record. France were second with 2021 while China and US were tied at 2019.
The top four teams — South Korea, France, China, United States — get a bye to the last eight, so India next take on Japan, who finished fifth in the team competition for a place in the quarter-finals.
Meanwhile, South Korea claimed the first two world records of London 2012 in the men’s archery ranking round.
The top three rankings in the individual event were all grabbed by the South Koreans, who were in superb form. Im Dong-hyun broke his own individual record for 72 arrows and joined Kim Bubmin and Oh Jin-hyek to set a new team mark for 216 arrows.
India’s journey is just beginning
Rajdeep Sardesai believes Olympics 2012 marks start of India’s journey to the top. Do you agree?
While the world soaks in the Olympic spirit, India’s role has been that of the enthusiastic spectator on the margins. Eight Olympic gold medals in hockey reflect a sepia-tinted nostalgia for another era. Four bronze, one silver and one gold in individual sport represent a pitiful tally for a billion-plus country. Why even tiny Jamaica, with a population equal to a Mumbai suburb, has claimed 55 Olympic medals since its independence in 1962.
The Big Ben ushers in the Games
Bells rang out across Britain on Friday to signal the final countdown to the Olympic Games, which open with an exuberant and eccentric ceremony celebrating the nation in an explosion of dance, music and fireworks inspired by Shakespeare’s “Tempest”.
Bhupathi-Bopanna have a good chance, says Federer
If Federer says something, you trust him blindly. If, he says, Bhupathi and Bopanna have a good chance — they do.
“I don’t know why they (Bhupathi and Paes) didn’t play together, but Bopanna is a very good player himself and I’m sure on grass they will have a chance to do very well,” said the Swiss star, who won a record-equalling seventh Wimbledon title last month.
Should India host the Olympics?
Firstpost’s Tristan Stewart-Robertson feels India ‘definitely’ should.
One of the benefits of considering a bid is a very public debate about sport in a community and nation. London won its bid for 2012 by talking about “legacy”, an over-used word that really means trying to get more young people into sport and regenerate a run-down part of London.
Usain Bolt is ready. Are we?
The opening ceremony
Meanwhile, the rest of the world is waiting for Danny Boyle’s £27m opening ceremony which officially launches the Olympic Games.
And who will light the Olympic flame?
According to a report on SB Nation, Sir Steve Redgrave, rowing gold medalist at an impressive five consecutive Olympics, seems to have the momentum as the favorite. But the sir descended into a row (pun intended) set off by an Evening Standard column he wrote about Daley Thompson, the runner-up favorite for the flame-lighting duties.