London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony world biggest sport festival started / London 2012 Olympics News

After seven years and 21 days of expectation, the moment for Britain to deliver Olympics that “lifts up our world” will finally arrive on Friday.

After seven years and 21 days of expectation, the moment for Britain to deliver Olympics that “lifts up our world” will finally arrive on Friday.

At 9pm a global television audience of up to a billion will unite to watch the Queen open the 30th modern Olympiad in London during a spectacular three-and-a-half hour ceremony.

The Duke of Cambridge hailed the arrival of the Games as an “epic time” and a “great moment for our nation”, while David Cameron promised a “friendly Games” whose spirit would “shine out” from the capital.

On Thursday the Olympic flame, lit in Greece on May 10, will finally complete its 8,000-mile round-Britain relay by sailing down the Thames on board the royal rowbarge Gloriana, the star of the Diamond Jubilee river pageant, before arriving at the Olympic stadium in Stratford, east London.

There it will be used to light the Olympic cauldron that will burn until the end of the Games on Aug 12, though the identity of the person who will be given the final honour is just one of the many secrets that Danny Boyle, the opening ceremony’s director, has managed to keep up his sleeve.

Visiting the Olympic Park, David Cameron said: “Seven years of waiting, planning, building and dreaming are almost over.

“We want this to be the Games that lifts up a city, that lifts up our country and that lifts up our world, bringing people together.”

He added: “This is a time of some economic difficulty for the UK but look at what we are capable of achieving as a nation even at a difficult economic time.

“This is not a London Games, this is not an England Games, this a United Kingdom Games. Let’s put our best foot forward. We are an amazing country with fantastic things to offer. This is a great moment for us, let’s seize it.”

The £9 billion cost of London 2012, the last-minute fiasco over security and the recent transport chaos all seemed to have been forgotten last night as the nation got into party mood, starting with a concert in Hyde Park, attended by 40,000 people, after the overnight cauldron was lit there. Hundreds of thousands more lined the streets of the capital to watch the torch relay on its biggest day so far, as it passed Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square and the City.

Sir Bruce Forsyth carried the torch through the site of the athletics track of the first London Olympics — held in 1908 in White City — and said: “I have been waiting for this for 84 years and I have finally done it.”

Joanna Lumley and her Absolutely Fabulous co-star Jennifer Saunders carried the torch through Sloane Square, and in Downing Street, Kate Nesbitt, the first woman in the Royal Navy to be awarded the Military Cross, handed over the flame to pensioner Florence Rowe, who was among the spectators at the 1948 London Olympics as a teenager. At Buckingham Palace, the torch was carried by a Scout master and two charity workers nominated by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, who were on hand to cheer their progress.

Earlier in the day, as he visited a sports project for children, the Duke said: “For us to hold the Olympic and the Paralympic Games here in London is a great moment for our nation, which itself is steeped in sporting history.”

As well as the 10,500 athletes from 204 countries who will be taking part in the Games, about 100 heads of state and heads of government will descend on London on Friday, in time for the opening ceremony.

They will be entertained by the Queen at Buckingham Palace before making their way to the Olympic stadium for Oscar-winner Boyle’s £27 million production, called Isles of Wonder.

Last night the BBC broadcast the first preview of the ceremony, shot during two dress rehearsals this week, which showed children bouncing on giant beds, cyclists wearing luminous birds’ wings, and dancers throwing powder into the air. But the snippets did not include any footage of Boyle’s long-anticipated transformation of the Olympic stadium into a slice of the countryside, which will feature live farm animals and a working water wheel.

Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, who took part in the handover ceremony at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, dismissed suggestions by the US presidential candidate Mitt Romney that the capital might not be able to cope with the Games. After the cauldron was lit at Hyde Park, Mr Johnson said: “There’ll be enough gold and silver medals here to bail out Spain and Greece together.

“There’s a guy called Mitt Romney who wants to know if we are ready. Are we ready? Yes we are!” Earlier at a reception held at Mansion House to celebrate the beginning of London 2012, Mr Johnson issued a rallying cry to about 400 guests, including the Princess Royal, saying that the country could host “the greatest Olympics that has ever been held”.

He added that the “Geiger counter of Olympo-mania that has been spreading through the city” was about to go off the scale. On July 6 2005, when the word “London” fell from the lips of Jacques Rogge, the president of the International Olympic Committee, as he announced the winner of the 2012 bid, the Games seemed an impossibly long way off.

Finally, the wait is over.

London 2012 Olympics News: Welsh voices soar for Olympics opening ceremony

The voices of children from Wales will resound at the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, two days after Cardiff got the Games under way.

The strains of Cwm Rhondda sung by Only Kids Aloud will be played at the Olympic Stadium spectacular.

The celebrations started with bell-ringing in churches, streets and pubs at 08:12 BST.

The main event will be watched at outdoor big screens, including in front of 15,000 people in Colwyn Bay.

The Access All Eirias show will feature live music from Olly Murs, Only Men Aloud and Mike Peters, in between the screening of major moments from the opening live from London.

The ceremony at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, east London, on Friday marks the official start of the 2012 Games although the first event – a women’s football match – took place at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium on Wednesday.

First Minster Carwyn Jones, who will be at the Olympic Stadium, sent his own good luck message to the Welsh competitors taking part for Team GB.

“I have no doubt they will make all of us proud as they represent both Wales and the UK in the greatest sporting event in the world,” he said.

Welsh medal hopes include Dai Greene in the 400m hurdles, triathlete Helen Jenkins, rower Tom James and cyclists Nicole Cooke and Geraint Thomas.

London 2012 Olympics News: Short News

• These Olympic weeks will offer answers to a clutch of questions that have nagged at us since the last time London hosted the Games in 1948, writes Jonathan Freedland. What exactly is our place in the world? How do we compare to other countries and to the country we used to be? What kind of nation are we anyway?

• Usain Bolt has admitted for the first time that he has been suffered from a slight injury, but claims he is now fully recovered and ready to “become a legend”, Owen Gibson reports. Bolt was greeted with whoops and yelps from his fellow athletes, who seemed to recognise him as first among equals, when he turned up for a leisurely lunch at the athletes’ village yesterday, writes Robert Booth.

• The Games may actually be David Cameron’s economic strategy, muses Marina Hyde.

• Kings, queens and presidents will get the chance to experience a bit of British queuing tonight, reports Julian Borger, as they line up outside Buckingham Palace to travel from the Queen’s reception to the Olympic Stadium. “It will be first come, first served, and if you do not recognise – or are officially at war with – the country whose potentate you end up alongside, that will be too bad.”

• No 10 was stunned by what my American colleagues are calling the “Romneyshambles” yesterday, when the US presidential candidate Mitt Romney, visiting London, made some negative and cautious comments about how the Games might turn out. Boris Johnson responded at last night’s Olympic concert at Hyde Park: “I hear there’s a guy called Mitt Romney who wants to know whether we’re ready,” the mayor yelled from the stage to a cheering crowd. “He wants to know whether we’re ready. Are we ready? Are we ready? Yes, we are.”

• Barney Ronay marvels at the creation of the Team GB men’s football team.

British amateur teams competed regularly at the Olympics until the Munich Games, but these are the first real, actual professional players to appear under the union flag. They will also probably be the last, so great are the assorted tensions in the wings of Team GB, chiefly the fear of loss of influence within football’s governing body Fifa. Which is a shame as in the hours before kick-off Manchester seemed surprisingly hospitable to this footballing flag of convenience, the streets of the Piccadilly area thronging with newbie fans and the procession towards Old Trafford producing an eclectic pageant of mingled union flag-ishness, reminiscent of a high-Britpop music video or an extended Benny Hill credits sequence.

• And here is Andy Hunter’s match GB v Senegal report. Brazil v Egypt is here. Spain v Japan is here.

• Steve Rose profiles Danny Boyle, the director of tonight’s opening ceremony.

• Kevin Mitchell looks at Andy Murray’s possible route to the Olympic tennis final (if that isn’t jinxing things too much), where he might face his Wimbledon nemesis Roger Federer.

• Anna Meares cuts a contrasting figure to her great rival Victoria Pendleton but acknowledges their battles have been good for cycling, writes William Fotheringham.

• “Confidence feels like it’s a weapon. You’re in control,” British middle-distance runner Mo Farah tells Anna Kessel.

• Charismatic American swimmer Ryan Lochte may win the popularity contest at London 2012, but will he be crowned greatest all-round swimmer, asks Andy Bull.

• The 2014 Winter Olympics torch relay will include a trip into space, the Russians say. That’s cool.

• And here’s Steve Bell’s take on the Games. I didn’t think Wenlock and Mandeville could look any more terrifying than they already do. But I was wrong.


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  2. will the lit cauldron remain in the center of the olympic stadium….???

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