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It was a slightly bizarre experience, sitting in a very local bar in Southern Spain, waiting, apprehensively, for the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, London 2012. Our Spanish friends seemed slightly bewildered as events unfolded, but as the beer flowed and the show gathered pace, I began to sit a little easier on my bar stool.

Having been blown away four years earlier by the spectacular, thunderous and awesome visual display at Beijingbs opening bash, there was not a little trepidation in my mind as to how G could possibly pull off an equally impressive opening ceremony, and indeed a global games, befitting of the whole Olympic tradition.

Let The Show Begin!

The London 2012 opening ceremony had been shrouded in intense secrecy in the run-up to the Games, but the wait seemed to be worthwhile as viewers around the globe heaped praise on Danny Boyle’s epic showpiece.
Billions of people from across the world tuned in to watch the B#27 million spectacular, while thousands of others travelled to the UK to witness the official start of the sporting celebration in person.

A View from Abroad

It was interesting to hear how foreign journalists viewed the ceremony; the Washington Post appeared particularly energised by the Queen’s appearance. “So, we’re all watching this movie at the Olympic Stadium in which James Bond (Daniel Craig) walks into the Royal Palace,” wrote Mike Wise. “He’s followed by two mutts and suddenly walks in to see, yes, Queen Elizabeth. It’s her first {acting} role…ever!” The papersb overall verdict was: “It’s corny, cheesy, altogether over the top. And it works. This is awesome!”

Elsewhere, Spain’s El Mundo correspondent John Muller tweeted: “I think that, despite all their mistakes, it has become clear that without the UK our lives would not be the same.”

Party Poopers!

It wasnbt all awe and praise though; of course not everybody was blown away by the pomp and eccentricity of the event. At the High Commission in Delhi, the Queen’s appearance brought every guest to their feet, but tweets from across Africa were rather less supportive. Zimbabwean journalist Ranga Mberi tweeted:”#OpeningCeremony segment supposedly showing the people who built modern Britain. But I don’t see many immigrants. OK Britain, we see you flaunting your history. Where’s the bit in which you invade, loot, kill and plunder?”

Best anti-ceremony tweet award must go to Zimbabwean “gadget geek” Richard Mberi who said: “Worst Olympic opening ceremony ever! Trust the Brits!” Where is your sense of humour man?!

So, wherever you were, whatever corner of the globe you found yourself in whilst this movingly bizarre and thoroughly entertaining spectacle unfolded, I hope you found it as up-lifting as I did and, as a Brit, were just a little proud of our eccentricity and heritage.

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