Making for quite the sight to be seen, the 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony was held in London, England on Friday night. Taking place at Olympic Stadium, the kickoff to the event that sees 26 sports contested by 10,500 athletes over 17 days of competition drew out royals including Queen Elizabeth II, Prince William, Kate Middleton and Prince Harry, as well as U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, actress Nicole Kidman and footballer David Beckham – who helmed a speedboat carrying the Olympic flame during the UK festivities.
As for the theme of London’s Opening Ceremony, spectators were treated to a colorful display charting Britain’s history from the start of the modern Games back in 1896 to the present. With 80,000 people in attendance for the production, director Danny Boyle took on choreographer duties while including segments such as 1,000 drummers marching through a pastoral setting complete with cows, goats and sheep roaming about with farm children.
The complete Opening Ceremony was put together with Boyle trying to remain under his $15 million budget, which falls far below Beijing’s 2008 production that ended up being the most expensive Opening Ceremony ever at a hefty $40 million total cost. Of his low-cost efforts, Boyle told the AP, “There has to be a modesty. You can’t get grandiose with this job because you are following Beijing.”
With competitors including Kobe Bryant, Maria Sharapova, Usain Bolt and Novak Djokovic also partaking in the traditional walk-through, be sure to check out highlights from the 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony via video clips and pictures below!
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