London 2012 Olympics Becoming a Reality
With just over a month until the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games, finishing touches are being made and excitement is growing. Stunning plans have been revealed about the opening ceremony, whilst the organising committee have announced that the Games have come in half a billion pounds under budget.
Unique Opening Ceremony
The director of the opening ceremony, Danny Boyle, yesterday unveiled elaborate plans that will transform the Olympic Stadium into the British countryside for one night only on 27th July. There will be meadows, rivers, an oak tree, fake clouds and even real farmyard animals (including 70(!) sheep), all alongside 10,000 (human) volunteers.
The show is called "Green and Pleasant" and is inspired by Shakespeare's play The Tempest. It will tell the tale of a land recovering from its industrial legacy, and will begin with the world's largest "harmonically-tuned" bell ringing in the stadium.
However, the show will form just one part of the three hour opening ceremony, which will also include the athletes parade, the lighting of the cauldron and a huge fireworks display. All in all the ceremony will cost £27million to construct, though with over a billion people expected to be watching, organisers certainly feel it's worth the money.
Yesterday Danny Boyle described how the show is "a picture of ourselves as a nation" and that "the best way to tell that story is through working with real people". He had special praise for the volunteers who have already been through 157 rehearsals:
"I've been astounded by the selfless dedication of the volunteers, they are the pure embodiment of the Olympic spirit and represent the best of who we are as a nation."
Final Cost Under Budget
On the same day, sports minister Hugh Roberston revealed that spending on the Olympics as a whole has been about £500 million less than anticipated. However, the overall cost was still around a staggering £8.8 billion, which was almost four times the original estimated cost.
The fact that the government are happy to release figures shows that the vast majority of work is now complete. With the torch making its way around Britain, the Team GB athletes being chosen and the ceremony unveiled, London 2012 is starting to become a reality.