Top moments from London 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony
Jul 29, 2012 11:52p ET
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 27: British actor Rowan Atkinson in his role as Mr Bean takes part in the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
So who lit the cauldron?
British Olympic hero Steve Redgrave carried the torch into the stadium — its final stop after a journey around the country — and the five-time rowing gold medalist handed it off to seven young athletes representing Britain’s hopes for the future, who ignited copper “petals” on the ground and lit the Olympic cauldron. The fire spread in a circle and the petals converged to form a large cauldron in the sky. Video: Horrow's Olympic business update.
Stars and stripes
The Americans, big favorites to take home the most medals, make a grand entrance into the Olympic Stadium, with LeBron, Kobe, Lolo and company sporting Ralph Lauren’s presidential look. Video: Dawes previews USA men's gymnastics.
He won’t play in the Games. And he didn’t light the torch either. But David Beckham still had a pretty nice role in the Opening Ceremony, speedboating his way up the Thames with the Olympic torch in tow. Would have been cooler if Bond had been on the boat too. Video: Chastain on women's soccer.
It was more than 20 years ago today that Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play. But even 45 years after the fact, it was inevitable the Beatles were going to be involved in the Olympics. And they weren’t the only ones. In an homage to Britain’s contribution to rock and roll, we were treated to clips from the Rolling Stones, Queen and even the Sex Pistols. Video: Advice for first-time Olympians.
Chariots of Fire II
There were stirring moments at the Opening Ceremony, befitting the British sense of pomp and circumstance. But there were also ones that revealed their unique sense of humor. This one combined both. The scene started with the London Symphony Orchestra performing a stirring rendition of "Chariots of Fire," only to have it hijacked — both in person and digitally — by Rowan Atkinson’s Mr. Bean. Classic British humor. Video: Improving the games.
The Queen gets a unique serenade
After jumping out of a plane, Queen Elizabeth II got to hear a very special dedication for her. The children’s choir of deaf and hearing children performed “God Save The Queen” in voice and sign language. This moment showed that no child was left behind in this ceremony. Video: Dawes interviews first lady.
On her Majesty’s secret service
You can gamble on a lot of things with regard to the Olympics here in London. But if you’d told us Queen Elizabeth II was going to welcome James Bond into Buckingham Palace (“Good evening, Mr. Bond”), then board a helicopter, buzz London Bridge and parachute into the stadium, we’d have called that a sucker bet. Even if it was a stunt double. Video: What's it like to be an Olympic mom?
You say you want a revolution?
We don’t remember enough from high school to say whether Boyle’s depiction of England during the late 18th century was historically accurate. But those Industrial Revolution-era skyscrapers rising from the Olympic Stadium floor and the fireworks meant to evoke comparisons to molted steel (in the outline of the Olympic rings, no less) were impressive. Video: Athletes' psyche.
Just plane fun
Sure, the start of the Opening Ceremony was delayed to accommodate director Danny Boyle’s vision of the entire show at night, but when nine highly-trained fighter pilots buzz the entire city it’s not a bad consolation prize. Fighter Pilots from the Royal Air Force’s Red Arrows flew across London, leaving behind them a trail of red, blue and white smoke at 8:12 (20:12 in military time, the original start time of the games). Video: Are athletes safe?
Let the games begin
The wait is over. After all the buildup, the Olympic Games were officially ushered in with pyrotechnics, elaborate stage numbers and more during the Opening Ceremony on Friday in London. Here are the most memorable moments. Video: Van Dyken on opening ceremony.