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:
As I noted in my preview for this ceremony, there was really no way that this could ever compare to the overwhelming spectacle that was the Beijing Olympics. That was evident right off the bat when instead of giant footprint-shaped fireworks (fake or not) leading up to the venue, we get a snowboarder busting through the Olympic rings. Still impressive in its own right, but lacking the big wow factor. But I'm not going to spend too much time quibbling, especially considering that Bob Coastas at one point said that Vancouver's budget was about $30-40 million dollars compared to the $300-400 million that Beijing spent. And this is the Winter Olympics, which is traditionally smaller in scale anyway. So instead I'm going to focus on how they spent their cash and if it was worth it....
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