I’m not particularly patriotic but what with the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic’s coming to London, it’s been a pretty good year for Britain.
I went to see the Olympic torch twice- once in my hometown and once in the City I go to University in. It’s a once in a lifetime (or in my case, twice in a lifetime) opportunity so I thought, why the Hell not? I doubt London will ever host the Olympics again in my lifetime. Whilst it did get a little tedious waiting aaaages for the Torch to arrive, the atmosphere was incredible. Whole towns and cities turning up to witness the event- local heroes being given the chance to do something so monumental in the games, with thousands of people watching. The old and the young, coming together to watch the Torch as it travelled across the country. Schools letting kids go off to see it, or stopping lessons so they can watch it on the TV; who would have thought a flame could have such an impact on people?
And now the relay has come to an end and the Games have begun, starting off with the stunning opening ceremony. I wasn’t expecting much to be honest. I was thinking, and a lot of people I know also, that the ceremony would be more like The Royal Variety Show- boring and overrated. But wow, was I proven wrong. With Danny Boyle directing the Opening Ceremony, it was brilliantly done in a truly British style. An actual interesting history lesson, the Industrial Revolution and the World Wars being stunningly and sensitively depicted through acting, dance and music. There was an amazing scene about Great Ormond Street Hospital and the NHS mixed in with children’s literature- something Britain can be incredibly proud of. The best part was that it wasn’t just professional dancers involved, real doctors and nurses also got to take part. Children’s storybook characters came alive, with the legendary JK Rowling reading in the background as Mary Poppins defeated Lord Voldemort, the Child Catcher, Cruella De Vil and Captain Hook.
There was also the typical British humour, with the Queen making her first acting appearance as she parachuted *ahem, her stuntdouble don’t be silly* with James Bond into the Olympic Stadium. And the amazing Rowan Atkinson ❤ as Mr Bean, playing Chariots of Fire! And then there was the music, British superstars like The Beatles, Arctic Monkeys, Emile Sande, Dizzee Rascal (although where was Take That?!?!?!?! 😥 </3 ).
From sporting legend Muhammad Ali to the fact that every country involved in the Olympics, for the first time ever, has female athletes on their team, it was a truly inspirational event. My favourite part being the symbolic act of sporting greats like Dame Kelly Holmes and Sir Steve Redgrave passing the torch from one generation to the next and allowing the seven nominated young athletes to light the flame of unity.
I’m actually feeling pretty proud to be British.