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2012 Summer Olympics - London, England


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#1 of 238 OFFLINE   Walter C

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Posted July 26 2012 - 11:23 AM

With competition already under way, as I have caught a couple soccer games yesterday, I am really looking forward to the Olympics, as London will be the only city to be hosting 3 times. Sucks that I could not make it there, being that these Games would be one of the easiest to get to, in a while.


Have to say, I thought the broadcasters were wrong when they say that Vancouver would feel the pressure for following Beijing, when it's really London that will be feeling it. But it will be interesting to see what they bring to the table.


Here's a trailer...





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#2 of 238 OFFLINE   Patrick_S

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Posted July 26 2012 - 12:15 PM

Since the end of the Cold War the Olympics are just not as interesting as they use to be. I know the Olympics are supposed to be non-political but the reality was the Olympic ruling body and the games themselves were all about politics for decades. I guess these days they might be a little less political but for some reason they seem less interesting also.

#3 of 238 OFFLINE   Walter C

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Posted July 27 2012 - 04:00 AM

Reminder, that coverage begins at 7:30pm tonight, though the ceremony itself will probably won't be shown until around 8pm.


Also, I hate the fact that there is a sign-in if I want to see the events live online. I was hoping to watch some of it while at work, but looks like I won't be able to. In any event, I will be glued to the TV a lot more than usual. Posted Image


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#4 of 238 OFFLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted July 27 2012 - 04:27 PM

There were parts I didn't like, but generally I thought it was a really good show. There's no topping the sheer spectacle of Beijing and London wisely didn't try. Instead it put on a show that was a triumphant declaration of British history, culture and society that told the world, "This is who we are, and this is what matters to us." Some of the political elements will cause grumbling, and the the text message romantic tribute to Tim Berners-Lee got too weird for me, but overall it was a great cross-section of a lot of different ideas and a live spectacle on a scale you only get to see every four years, since the Winter Olympic opening ceremonies simply aren't in the same ballpark. Paul McCartney still knows how to get a massive crowd on its feet. My main complaints were with NBC's coverage. I wish the network had aired it live, and then repeated it for prime time, and I wish the camera angles during the transition from the pre-industrial to industrial eras had been better chosen. Most of the shots concentrated on the mechanics of transforming the stadium rather than the performance, and the alternating between whole-stadium wide shots and tight close-ups of six or seven people meant that I couldn't get a feel for the choreography at play. The cauldron was beautifully conceived and executed. The Orbit observation tower alongside the stadium is absolutely hideous.

#5 of 238 OFFLINE   Walter C

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Posted July 27 2012 - 04:31 PM

Just watched the Opening Ceremony, and thought it was entertaining. I did like the Isles of Wonder and the James Bond & Queen Elizabeth bit, along with the lighting of the Olympic cauldron and Paul McCartney's performance. But I was not a fan of the house party bit, which was basically a MTV video and out of place, making it look very silly and feeling more like a Closing Ceremony instead.


Definitely not as memorable as Beijing or even Athens.


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#6 of 238 OFFLINE   Simon Massey

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Posted July 27 2012 - 09:33 PM

Loved it. But then I'm a Brit :) And it was very British ! :) I'd say it was the best soundtrack to an Opening Ceremony And a lot of film references in there too

#7 of 238 OFFLINE   Josh Dial

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Posted July 28 2012 - 04:18 AM

I thought it was terrible: the worst opening ceremony since Lillehammer (remember the World Egg?).  Everything was about 50% too long--the social media/house party sequence was actually 100% too long.  Everyone seemed bored, including the athletes and the Queen, which served to highlight the main problem: there was no wonder or majesty or, well, celebration.  Yes, it showcased the typical British stoicism and perseverance (which we partly inherited here in Canada), but every time the presentation appeared to be on the verge of showing us something wonderful, it instead found a way to make it dreary and dull.  Voldemort and his minions being defeated by an army of Mary Poppinses?  That's good stuff--in theory.  Why, then, was it so boring?


Even the countdown was without flash and splendor!


At any rate, I found a certain irony in the ceremony, considering the scathing reviews the British media gave about the Vancouver games.  Go back and watch the Vancouver opening: the crowd was electric, the athletes were having fun, the pieces were tightly-told and celebrated our history and people.  Even the speech from Dr. Rogge was good.  k.d. lang's performance was perfect: Paul McCartney's was...not.  Actually, re-watching k.d. lang's performance, she absolutely slayed it.  Yeah, the cauldron didn't go as planned, but that was about the only misstep.


The sequences with the Queen were fun, though.


Here's the entire Vancouver opening.



#8 of 238 OFFLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted July 28 2012 - 05:29 AM

But Paul McCartney's perhaps the greatest living pop star. Even over the hill and past his prime, he means something internationally that very few artists anywhere can aspire to. It was not a perfect performance from him, but he got the entire crowd, including thousands of Olympians, involved. I will remember that performance, and I don't remember anything about the Vancouver opening ceremonies except the flying skiers around the tent and the malfunctioning cauldron (which, to be fair, was pretty damn cool). That's not a slam against Canada or Vancouver's presentation. The Winter Olympics opening ceremony never have the same budget or resources; Vancouver's show was magnificent compared to Salt Lake City. But in terms of grandeur and spectacle, Beijing is way at the top, but I'd put yesterday's show at the top of everything else far below,

#9 of 238 OFFLINE   Simon Massey

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Posted July 28 2012 - 06:08 AM

Don't know which coverage you were watching Josh but while you might not have enjoyed the segments ( and I can imagine some may have gone over people's heads) the spectators and athletes seemed anything but bored. For an opening ceremony I thought it was relatively quick up to the parade. Paul McCartney did disappoint me ( the Arctic Monkeys sang a Beatle song better than a Beatle :) ) but he is getting on a bit now. He wasn't very good at the jubilee either. I can imagine the NHS and G.O.S.H.sequence may have mystified an international audience but the British contribution to children's literature and to the music industry over the last century were definitely known and worth celebrating. And I normally hate Mr Bean :) Guess I was biased but I know a lot of Brits lost their cynicism over the games last night :) !! There was an interview with one of the torch lighters tonight and he said even his Mum didn't know he was chosen until he appeared on screen. Brilliant!

#10 of 238 OFFLINE   Walter C

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Posted July 28 2012 - 06:39 AM

Originally Posted by Adam Lenhardt 

The Winter Olympics opening ceremony never have the same budget or resources; Vancouver's show was magnificent compared to Salt Lake City.


This. It's why I don't compare ceremonies of the Winter Games with that of the Summer Games.


The only Winter OCs I've seen were the last 2, and thought Vancouver was a lot better than that of Torino.


Originally Posted by Simon Massey 

For an opening ceremony I thought it was relatively quick up to the parade.


Yeah, I thought the Parade of Nations went unusually fast. Even the NBC broadcasters had a little trouble keeping up, as they kept trying to give facts about each country as they entered the stadium.


I am probably one of the few people that actually likes the Parade of Nations, even in the Summer Games. Posted Image


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#11 of 238 OFFLINE   Josh Dial

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Posted July 28 2012 - 08:55 AM

Originally Posted by Simon Massey 

Don't know which coverage you were watching Josh but while you might not have enjoyed the segments ( and I can imagine some may have gone over people's heads) the spectators and athletes seemed anything but bored. For an opening ceremony I thought it was relatively quick up to the parade.
 


At one point, the Queen was so bored (or appeared to be) that she was cleaning her fingernails! :)  As a staunch Royalist, I had to laugh.


Additionally, virtually every shot of the athletes showed them just hanging out on the grass, or walking around aimlessly.  Yes, there were a few athletes from a few states "getting into it," but it was the exception, really.


Regarding Sir Paul, he's a favourite of mine, and is indeed a living legend.  However, that was not a good performance from him or his band; he sounded better recently on SNL.  Also, I don't agree that the entire crowd was involved at all.  Maybe the CTV feed was different, but during his performance, most of the crowd shots showed people barely singing along, and often showed people with blank stares or engaged in private conversation.  The outro picked it up, of course, and the athletes finally got into it.  This was one segment that ought to have been longer: additional song would have went a long way.


I really enjoyed the Arctic Monkeys, however, and will be checking them out further.


The cauldron was amazing, though--probably the best ever (though the camera shots on the CTV feed were terrible).



#12 of 238 OFFLINE   Simon Massey

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Posted July 28 2012 - 09:50 AM

The Queen always looks bored :) I saw that too and that was when Team GB came out as well. Think she has seen it all before. I think u must have had a different feed from me :) On a side note, the music section was very popular in our house. I had family with me watching it and most said that Boyle pretty much picked songs from all our youth from each decade. Don't know how other Brits felt about that but it seems to have gone over well. (The Album of the games seems to be selling on ITunes pretty well here :) ) Think they took the whole "Inspire a generation" motto of the Games as a theme for this ceremony apart from the History bit at the start. Anyone else notice a problem with the start of Hey Jude - think they had a track playing for him to mime to if he wanted but it was out of sync with him at the start so they had to turn it off.

#13 of 238 OFFLINE   Walter C

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Posted July 28 2012 - 02:15 PM

Michael Phelps gets shut out of the medal stand, losing by a huge margin to Ryan Lochte in the individual medley. Score: Lochte 1, Phelps 0

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#14 of 238 OFFLINE   Yee-Ming

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Posted July 28 2012 - 09:55 PM

Originally Posted by Simon Massey 

Paul McCartney did disappoint me ( the Arctic Monkeys sang a Beatle song better than a Beatle Posted Image ) but he is getting on a bit now. He wasn't very good at the jubilee either. 


Sorry, can't quite agree: the Arctic Monkey's singer was flat throughout his performance of the Beatles song.  Sir Macca wasn't brilliant, but for a 70-something, he still managed to hit the high notes when he absolutely had to.



#15 of 238 OFFLINE   Walter C

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Posted July 29 2012 - 06:38 AM

I'm sorry, but this Olympic basketball team is not the Dream Team, even though they beat France by a wide margin. I don't know why they think of themselves as that. But they should still win gold, with Coach K at the helm. I thought the 1st quarter was just them getting used to slightly different basketball than what they are accustomed to, in the NBA.


Also, catching a table tennis match, it was interesting to see a player representing the US facing off against another from Luxembourg, both of them being ethnic Chinese.


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#16 of 238 OFFLINE   Walter C

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Posted July 29 2012 - 06:53 AM

NBC Airs Most-Watched Summer Games Opening Ceremony on Record


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#17 of 238 OFFLINE   Ockeghem

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Posted July 29 2012 - 07:50 AM

I've watched every Olympics since 1968, with my favorite Olympics being the Summer Games of 1972 (Munich), which I remember fairly well. Such a tragedy, and it came right into our homes via the television. Yet through it all there were still some of the most memorable performances I have ever seen at an Olympics. I will never forget the performances of Shorter, Korbut, Spitz, Wottle, the controversial finish to the U.S.A. - Russia basketball game, the first female equestrian gold medalist, the return of archery to the Games, and Steve Prefontaine's quest for a medal. What an Olympics that was, the memories of which I will forever cherish. I am enjoying this year's Olympics very much. I've even printed out the schedule so my children can see how many events there are at this year's Games. It's mind-boggling how many different sports are at the Olympics. I've been hoping to catch some coverage of judo, equestrian, and dressage early on. It was really good to see how much the children were into the swimming and the men's gymnastics last night. :)

#18 of 238 OFFLINE   Walter C

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Posted July 29 2012 - 09:54 AM

Originally Posted by Ockeghem 

I've watched every Olympics since 1968, with my favorite Olympics being the Summer Games of 1972 (Munich), which I remember fairly well. Such a tragedy, and it came right into our homes via the television. Yet through it all there were still some of the most memorable performances I have ever seen at an Olympics. I will never forget the performances of Shorter, Korbut, Spitz, Wottle, the controversial finish to the U.S.A. - Russia basketball game, the first female equestrian gold medalist, the return of archery to the Games, and Steve Prefontaine's quest for a medal. What an Olympics that was, the memories of which I will forever cherish.

I am enjoying this year's Olympics very much. I've even printed out the schedule so my children can see how many events there are at this year's Games. It's mind-boggling how many different sports are at the Olympics. I've been hoping to catch some coverage of judo, equestrian, and dressage early on. It was really good to see how much the children were into the swimming and the men's gymnastics last night. Posted Image


The first Summer Games that I saw, was 1988 in Seoul, which was only the 2nd time they were hosted by an Asian city. I remember the US basketball team losing to the Soviets, and the last time they use amateurs. And I just learned recently that this was actually the first time that NBC convinced the Olympic organizers to stage the gold medal finals to make it live for prime time back in the US, which they would do again in Beijing. Who knew that the Games in Asia would turn out to be more time zone "friendly" than in Europe. Posted Image


Though I would not really get into the Olympics until they returned to its birthplace in 2004, the first Games that I followed from start to finish. I remember how awesome it was to see actual competition being held in ancient Olympia.


I try to organize my schedule in a way to watch as many events as possible, which isn't exactly easy to do. But I love it nonetheless, switching from swimming to basketball to volleyball to even water polo.

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#19 of 238 OFFLINE   Ockeghem

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Posted July 29 2012 - 03:33 PM

Walter, I watched some water polo today, as well as some beach volleyball (men and women), and a lot of swimming and gymnastics tonight. When I was watching water polo earlier today, I couldn't get Captain Archer (from Enterprise) out of my mind. ;)

#20 of 238 OFFLINE   Walter C

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Posted July 29 2012 - 04:15 PM

Some thoughts after watching the prime time coverage for Day 2...


1. Congrats to Brendan Hansen, who is from the Philly area, for winning a medal and finally beating his rival, Kitajima, after losing to him in the last 2 Olympics.


2. How strange was it that the outcome of the 4x100m relay in London, ended up being reverse of what happened in Beijing. At least Phelps won't come away empty-handed, but still, I thought the US would have this in the bag, with Lochte being the anchor.


3. I smell another controversy in gymnastics. This time, the rule being only 2 competitors from each country allowed in the all-around final, thus preventing Jordyn Wieber from making it, even though she scored really high.


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