Isolation diary: Remembering London 2012

A huge gap has opened up in the TV schedules for this summer, because of the cancellation of so many major sporting events. And the biggest of them all will be when the Olympics and Paralympics would have taken place.

I hear they are planning to replay much of the action from 2012, and I am looking forward to watching Mo Farah, Bradley Wiggins, Ellie Simmonds, David Weir, Jessica Ennis, Laura Trott, Andy Murray, Nicola Adams and many other heroes relive their moments of glory, as well as the opening and closing ceremonies. Great Britain won 65 medals in the Olympics, and 120 in the Paralympics. It was also the first time that the Olympics and Paralympics were given equal parity and run by the same organisers.

As a Gamesmaker I was invited to attend the dress rehearsal of Danny Boyle’s extraordinary Olympics Opening Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium. We watched in genuine jaw-dropping astonishment as England’s green and pleasant land, complete with cattle and cricket, was transformed into the dark, satanic mills. The section honouring the NHS, with performers dancing around hospital beds, did seem a bit strange at the time, but will be utterly appropriate this year. After that we celebrated British pop culture from the 1960s to the present day, followed by a rare appearance of Tim Berners Lee, the father of the World Wide Web, who tweeted “This is for everyone”.

We were all asked to #SaveTheSurprise, which we did, but in fact the organisers kept a couple of surprises up their sleeves. All went quiet during the rehearsal at the points when Mr Bean was to play the piano with the London Symphony Orchestra, and when James Bond met the Queen and persuaded her to jump out of a helicopter. Those delights were only revealed when we went along to watch the event live on a huge screen in the Rose Theatre a couple of days later.

Some stats: Over 7500 volunteers took part in the ceremony, it was viewed by 900 million people, and it cost £27 million.  It was a triumph.

 

 


Please note

We have been in full self-isolation since 16th March to protect my husband whose immune system is compromised.

If you are in self-isolation then join the Lib Dems in self-isolation Facebook group.

You can find my previous Isolation diaries here.

 

* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames where she is still very active with the local party.

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One Comment

  • Innocent Bystander 29th Jun '20 - 12:43pm

    I, too, was a Gamesmaker and my wife was one of those performers at the Opening Ceremony. God clearly has a special fondness for the British as the performers rehearsed through four weeks of continuous rain but He sent us perfect weather for the Games!
    I still have my “uniform” although eight years later it might have done what all my other clothes have done and gotten smaller with time.

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