Simply smashing! That pretty much sums up Friday night’s spectacular, occasionally mind-bending, and wonderfully irreverent (Queen Elizabeth, you go girl!) Opening Ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London.
Trying to single out a most memorable moment from NBC’s extensive primetime coverage would be akin to choosing the most dazzling shot in a Roger Federer five-setter, but here goes.
Amidst all the Union Jack-inspired pageantry, angel-voiced school children, and cameos showcasing Britain’s most shining stars –- Kenneth Branagh, J.K. Rowling, Rowan Atkinson (aka Mr. Bean), David Beckham, Sir Paul McCartney, to name a few — my absolute favorite moment had to be the eye-popping sight of Queen Elizabeth II (the real one, not Helen Mirren) arriving at the opening ceremonies by popping out of a helicopter and parachuting her way into Olympic Stadium, with companion James “007” Bond (Daniel Craig) in tow.
Cue the Bond theme, Liz is in da howse! Let the Games begin!
Of course, the 85-year-old monarch’s spectacularly daring entrance was actually part of a short film (watch it here) directed by London resident and Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle (also the opening ceremony’s Artistic Director, talk about multi-tasking!), but I loved the unabashedly British wit and “let’s not take ourselves so seriously” sentiment. This promises to be a Summer Games to remember.
What was your favorite or most inspiring moment from the Opening Ceremonies? Which flag bearer rocked his or her country’s costumes the best? Leave your comments below!–Mitch Rustad