I hadn’t meant to watch any of the Opening Ceremony as I had planned on getting an early night. However, I switched on part way through the Industrial Revolution and remained captivated right the way through to Jamaica’s entry, by which point I thought it was definitely time to go to bed. And I have to say, from the chunk of ceremony I saw, I think it was brilliant.
I’ve read negative reports, but the reasons given in those are partly why I thought it was so good. Of those who didn’t like it, most disliked it because it wasn’t what they wanted or expected. Throughout the build up to the Olympics the organisers have consistently done the unexpected, and that, in my opinion, is a very good thing.
Take the logo, for example. Rather than go for the safe, dull, 1992-2008 style, the 2012 logo split opinion right down the middle and is all the more exciting for it. As a rule of thumb, if the Daily Mail don’t like it, then it’s OK.
Bravo Danny Boyle.
Thus, I was so pleased that the opening ceremony also broke with so many of the Olympic conventions, but also broke with the cup-cake and bunting, faux-vintage, retro-chintz, conspicuous patriotism that has become so ubiquitous for national celebrations throughout Britain since the wedding of William and Catherine née Kate.
It wasn’t “bigger than Beijing”, but it wasn’t meant to be. It was British, whatever that means.
Whatever it was, it was a great way to start the Games and the positivity looks to be continuing.
Indeed, I drafted this in my notebook, lying on the grass outside Winchester Cathedral, watching some kind of Equestrianisming on a big screen, while families picnic around me and an instructor in GB blue is demonstrating judo to children.