David Beckham drives a powerboat with the Olympic torch in an opening ceremony described as spectacular, eccentric and fun. Reuters photo
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Young athletes light the Olympic fire during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in London. AFP
London Olympic Games open with fun-filled show
By Guy Jackson (AFP)
LONDON — James Bond and David Beckham starred as Britain welcomed the world to the Olympics in an eccentric opening ceremony showcasing the country's rich history and sense of fun.
The Olympic Stadium is seen during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games July 27, 2012. Reuters
Seven young athletes lit the cauldron in the climax to a show which ran into the early hours of Saturday before former Beatle Paul McCartney brought the curtain down at London's Olympic Stadium.
Departing from the tradition of choosing a gold medal winner to light the cauldron, the London organisers handed the honour to the seven youngsters nominated by British Olympic heroes of the past.
Five-time gold medallist rower Steve Redgrave had brought the torch into the stadium in east London before passing it on to a series of young runners.
They embraced their mentors, including decathlete Daley Thompson and middle-distance runner Kelly Holmes, before the teenagers lit a series of torches which hydraulically lifted to create a high-tech cauldron.
A performer playing the role of Britain's Queen Elizabeth parachutes from a helicopter during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium July 27, 2012. Reuters
Queen Elizabeth II, who had made a royal entrance like no other in a spoof film with James Bond actor Daniel Craig, declared the Games open as London took on the role of host nation for an unprecedented third time.
International Olympic Committee chief Jacques Rogge told the crowd of 80,000: "In a sense the Olympics are coming home," recognising Britain's role in developing modern sport.
The chief organiser of the Games, Sebastian Coe, thanked his fellow Britons for "making all this possible".
"In the next two weeks we will show all that has made London one of the greatest cities in the world," he said.
Animals and actors enter the stadium for the British meadow scene prior the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 27, 2012 at the Olympic stadium in London. AFP
The show was quintessentially British, as its creator, British film director Danny Boyle, had promised.
The queen was shown parachuting from a helicopter with Craig into the stadium before the real 86-year-old monarch took her seat to loud applause.
The show traced Britain's development from a bucolic past through the Industrial Revolution before fast-forwarding to the present day.
It included a tribute to Britain's state-run National Health Service while actor Kenneth Branagh, "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling and "Mr Bean" Rowan Atkinson all had roles.
Britain's David Beckham, at center, drives a powerboat with the Olympic torch as fireworks are launched over Tower Bridge during the opening ceremony. REUTERS
When the athletes paraded in, the world's fastest man Usain Bolt sauntered into the stadium carrying the Jamaican flag.
The British team was greeted with a huge roar from the crowd as they marched into the stadium last – an honour reserved for the hosts – behind four-time Olympic champion cyclist Chris Hoy.
The stage is now set for superstars Bolt, Michael Phelps and Roger Federer to dazzle in competition, while an army of unsung competitors are also aiming for gold.
athlete – someone who is good at sports and takes part in sports competitions นักกีฬา
eccentric – behaving in slightly strange or unusual ways คนที่ผิดปกติ, คนที่แปลกประหลาด
showcase – to show the best qualities or parts of something แสดง,ทำให้เห็นจุดเด่น
cauldron – a large deep pot for boiling liquids or cooking food over a fire หม้อต้มขนาดใหญ่
climax – the most exciting or important part จุดสำคัญสูงสุด
bring the curtain down – to end an event, performance, show, etc.
depart – to leave; to move away from ออกจาก
traditional –a way of doing things that has not changed for a long time ประเพณี
nominate – to formally propose someone for a job or duty เสนอชื่อ
torch – a piece of wood or a long container with a flame at one end คบเพลิง
embrace – to hold someone tightly with both arms to express love, liking or sympathy, or when greeting or leaving someone การสวมกอดอย่างรักใคร่, การโอบกอด
mentor – an experienced person who helps someone who has less experience, especially in their job ผู้ให้คำปรึกษา
decathlete – a person who competes in a decathlon (a sporting event in which people compete in ten different sports) นักกีฬาในการแข่งขันกรีฑา 10 ประเภท
hydraulic – using the pressure of water or oil to make something work ซึ่งใช้น้ำในการขับเคลื่อน
spoof – a piece of entertainment that copies something in a funny way that is intended to make it seem silly การหยอกล้อ, การล้อเล่น
role – the purpose or influence of someone or something in a particular situation บทบาท
host – a country, city, group, person, etc. which provides the space and other things necessary for a special event เจ้าภาพ
unprecedented – never having happened before ที่ไม่เคยเกิดขึ้นมาก่อน
recognise – to give praise or approval to someone or something เป็นที่ชื่นชม ยกย่อง
fellow – used for talking about people who are similar to you or are in the same situation เพื่อนร่วมชะตากรรม
meadow – a field covered in grass, used especially for hay ทุ่งหญ้า
quintessential – the perfect example of something; the most important features of something; essence แก่นสาร
creator – a person who has made or invented a particular thing ผู้ออกแบบ, เจ้าตำรับ, ผู้ประดิษฐ์
director – a person in charge of a film/movie or play who tells the actors and staff what to do ผู้กำกับ
monarch – a king or queen กษัตริย์ หรือราชินี
applause – showing enjoyment or approval of something such as a performance or speech by clapping the hands repeatedly to make a noise การปรบมือแสดงความชื่นชม
trace – to discover the cause or origin of something by examining the way in which it has developed สืบหาร่องรอย
bucolic – connected with the countryside or country life บ้านนอก
tribute – something that you do, say, or build to show that you respect and admire someone or something การแสดงความเคารพ ยกย่องต่อ
state – government รัฐบาล
firework – an object that explodes when you light it and produces coloured lights and loud noise – ดอกไม้ไฟ, ดอกไม้เพลิง, พลุ
launched – to send something out into the sky space ปล่อย
saunter – to walk in a relaxed way เดินทอดน่อง
roar – a loud continuous noise เสียงดังลั่น
reserved – kept for a particular purpose or time สงวนไว้
stage is set – ready for something to happen เตรียมพร้อมไว้, เตรียมการไว้
dazzle – to impress somebody a lot with your beauty, skill, etc ทำให้ประทับใจ
unsung – not praised or famous but often deserving to be ที่ไม่มีชื่อเสียง