Team witnesses pure magicJuly 28, 2012
Canada’s best athletes took in an incredible spectacle Friday at the Opening Ceremonies in London and are now even more determined to give their everything as the Games kick off.
Putting his best foot forward and marching around the stadium with a big grin holding the Canadian flag was two-time Olympic medallist and true patriot triathlete Simon Whitfield.
“What a rush. It was so amazing and was such an honour to be here tonight leading all of the athletes that I respect,” Whitfield said.
His teammates agreed.
“It was pretty cool. It was so surreal and can’t describe it. I am so inspired right now to know we are ready and going to be a competitive team,” said wrestler Leah Callahan, at the ceremonies.
During the rest of the parade, Canada’s athletes cheered on their fellow competitors. It’s the first Games in which social media had a significant presence and many athletes were snapping photos, tweeting and calling family and friends who no doubt wanted to share in their excitement.
Once all athletes from the 204 National Olympic Committees were inside, the Opening Ceremonies really kicked off whith a true British welcome.
Highlights in the show included a glimpse into key moments in British history with action packed-vignettes.
There was no shortage of home-grown celebrities and dignitaries who were part of the show like the band The Arctic Monkeys, comedian Rowan Atksinson known as Mr. Bean, actor Daniel Craig, Harry Potter series author JK Rowling, Muhammad Ali and her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.
Canadian Olympic athletes had a prime viewing spot right in the heat of the action.
“Last time, in Beijing, I was fighting for position with the water polo guys and this time I was right up front. So awesome!,” said Carol Huynh, the 2008 gold medallist in freestyle wrestling.
Since the Canadian Team had such a good spot, athletes were easily visible to the audiences in the stadium and back home in Canada. Credit goes to The Hudson Bay Company for making the team look distinctive and clean cut.
Like Whitfield led the Canadian Olympic Team around the track, the concept of these Opening Ceremonies was the brainchild of Danny Boyle. He’s a famous film director and producer most recently known for directing the Oscar winning movie “Slumdog Millionaire”.
The show was capped off by a performance from legendary British music legend Sir Paul McCartney.
SIDEBAR: OPENING CEREMONY FACTS
- 15, 000 volunteers participating
- 65,000 spectators inside the Olympic Stadium
- Over four billion people watching the Opening Ceremony on television around the world
- Budget for the Opening Ceremonies is about 27 million pounds = about 42 million Canadian dollars
- 40 sheep, 12 horses, 3 cows, 2 goats, 10 chickens, 10 ducks, 9 geese and 3 sheep dogs are part of the show
- 34,570 buttons on all the costumes