London 2012 Opening & Closing Ceremonies

The Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the London 2012 Olympics were watched by an estimated one billion people across the world and set the tone for the whole Games. Hosted in the brand new base for the Games- the Olympic Stadium, there was also a huge live crowd dazzled by the spectacle. 

Oscar winning film director Danny Boyle directed the Opening Ceremony, and top creative director Kim Gavin took charge of the Closing Ceremony. Helping them out were a team of Executive Producers, including Oscar nominated director (for Billy Elliot) Stephen Daldry, the mastermind behind some of the biggest rock concerts ever staged (including Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones and U2) Mark Fisher, and the world's best live show director Hamish Hamilton (who has directed the MTV Music Awards, the Super Bowl half time show and this year's Oscars). 

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The London 2012 Opening Ceremony (27th July)

The Opening Ceremony not only marked the start of the 2012 Olympic Games, but also acted as a presentation to the world of the culture of London and the UK. The Olympic Committee chose one of Britain's most successful film directors, Danny Boyle, to be the creative force behind the ceremony. Boyle won an Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire, and received huge praise for many of his other films, including Trainspotting, 28 Days Later and 127 Hours.

Whilst many were hoping for something spectacular from the Opening Ceremony, almost everyone was blown away by it. With stunning set design, thousands of participants and some celebrity appearances it was the perfect start to the Games. You can watch it in its entirety below.


As well as the main show, there were a number of aspects that every Olympic Ceremony has to incorporate:

Human Torch

Receiving the Head of State: Queen Elizabeth II was met at the entrance of the Olympic Stadium by the President of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge, and by the head of the London 2012 Organising Committee Seb Coe.

Parade of Athletes: Every single athlete participating in the Games paraded through the Stadium country by country. They went in alphabetical order, except for the Greek team which always enters first (a tradition that dates back to the Ancient Olympics), and Team GB who came in last.

Speeches: Once every nation's athletes were in the stadium, Seb Coe and then Jacques Rogge made speeches, with the latter ending his by introducing the Queen to officially declare the Games open.

The Olympic Flag and Anthem: After the Queen officially opened the Games, a huge Olympic flag was carried into the Stadium and hoisted whilst the Olympic Anthem was played. According to the Olympic Charter, the flag must "fly for the entire duration of the Olympic Games from a flagpole placed in a prominent position in the main Stadium".

Lighting of the Cauldron: The finale to the Ceremony was the entrance of the Olympic Flame into the Stadium. This was one of the most stunning aspects of the whole ceremony, with local young athletes all taking a flame each and lighting a huge structure of 'petals' that rose up to form one giant flame.


The London 2012 Closing Ceremony (12th August)

After two weeks of amazing sporting action, the Closing Ceremony officially brought the Games to an end, and passed the responsibility on to the next host city.

Though not quite as good as the Opening Ceremony (what is?!), the Closing one was still a decent spectacle to end the Games. Again you can watch the whole thing below:

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