It's hard to imagine any opening ceremony in my lifetime living up to the overwhelming spectacle that was at the Beijing Olympics. Just the sheer magnitude of what they were able to do was mindboggling. That said, while London didn't take my breath away with its big displays, it actually really impressed me by adding a lot of humor to an event that is usually dreadfully serious and filled with tradition. Sure, director Danny Boyle infused the 2012 opening with the proper amount of history (and a tribute to the National Health Service), but it was the quirkier moments that will still be talked about when it is Rio's turn to wow the world in 2016. Here are our favorite moments of the night:
The 2012 Summer Olympics finally kick off in London tonight with a massive opening ceremony, but the spectacle of the interpretive dancing and fireworks isn't the only part of this two-week sporting extravaganza that's worth watching. Even if you don't know Usain Bolt from Michael Phelps, here are plenty of reasons to tune in:
First, you can't say that I didn't warn you about the Olympics obsession. Second, I just found out that I might have new and different ways to watch the Olympics without making my TiVo explode. Awesome. Some geniuses as a company called Wavexpress (hi there, my new favorite people, can you make it friendly for Macs too?) came up with a way to make events available for download onto your laptop during the Olympics for free so that fans can watch them closer to when they actually happen instead of hours and hours later after all the news networks have already "spoiled" the winners because Bejing is 12 hours ahead of us here in the States. Apparently people who subscribe to this free service (which is too long and boring for me to explain so just read about it here.) can pick their favorite sports (um, how 'bout all of them) and get nice, nearly high-def content (which would look so nice on my beautiful macbook... hint, hint) in the middle of the night, so they can watch while commuting. If I can either convince my husband to let me use his laptop and upgrade to Vista, or if those nice Wavexpress people find a way to make it Mac friendly (they've got a whole month and a half), or I can convince my boss that I really need Vista at work to do my job, then this news will make me very happy indeed. I'm still holding a grudge against the girls in my old office who spoiled the Tara Lipinski gold medal figure skating win during the Nagano Olympics in 1998 before I had a chance to go home and watch it. Trust me. It was a very upsetting experience.
I am an Olympic junkie (my obsession will probably reach its fever pitch by the time August 8th rolls around, expect lots of rants about scheduling) and I'm already feeling baffled and overwhelmed by the prospect of having to figure out how the new gymnastics judging system is going to work.
I, like many others (there are others, right?), consider myself a bit of a sofa judge. I pay little attention to the popular sporting event in the off years, but by the time it rolls around I feel overly qualified from my sedentary position to critique how well someone performed on the balance beam or if they really stuck their landing.