Fans rapturous over London ceremony
LONDON — Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle’s spectacular Olympic opening ceremony received a rapturous response from spectators in the early hours of Saturday morning.
A total of 80,000 people packed into London’s Olympic Stadium saw the quirky show that featured a pastoral scene being demolished as the industrial revolution tore up the landscape.
It featured jaw-dropping moments of drama as well as comic interludes, celebrating Britain’s musical heritage and the cherished National Health Service.
“It was excellent and the effects were spectacular,” said Britain’s Roddy Barrow, clad in a Union Flag after Paul McCartney had brought the show to a rousing close as the time approached 1:00 am local time.
“I enjoyed the Mary Poppins characters coming down and the way they created the flame at the end was pretty amazing.”
American Mary Lee-Maudsley, who is in her eighties, said: “It was fabulous. I loved it. I loved the beginning and the farm animals and I’m so glad I came. I’m old. I came to the 1948 Olympics (in London).”
Her son, Robert Lee, was impressed by the stadium flyover by the Red Arrows display team before the main action got under way.
“I liked the dancing, the tunes, it was neat,” he said. “It was typically British, the way they didn’t take themselves too seriously, for example the bit featuring Mr. Bean and the bits on the TV screens were integrated well.”
Briton Steve Winkworth said: “I thought it was fantastic. I was a bit blown away, particularly by the transition to the industrial revolution. I didn’t see that coming at all.
“I thought it was very British, which was good. They kept the surprises. There were so many things I thought we’d guessed but there were so many surprises.”
Gillian Carey said she appreciated how the torch was lit by a group of young people, signifying the handing over to youth.