Sunday, 29 July 2012

2012 Olympics Country Style

2012 Olympics Country Style
After a 7-year wait since The Games were awarded to Great Britain The London 2012 Games finally got officially underway on Friday July 27, after what was described in some circles as a “spectacular” and  “amazing opening ceremony”
London 2012 Olympics
Cauldron-27July2012

Athletes, stars and viewers at home took to Twitter to express their delight.
Danny Boyle's production from Shakespeare to the Industrial Revolution, from "Chariots Of Fire" to Lord Voldemort, the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics provided plenty of moments and ”forged” images in the minds of many.
The dropping of 7 billion pieces of paper (representing every person) on the planet from a helicopter onto the assembled teams will provide much work for the clean-up crew. Perhaps London major Boris Johnson will be handing out a lot of brooms again as he did in the August 2011 riots.
It wasn't Beijing but how could you follow that? Long, few wow instances and not as magical but loud, fun quirky and thankfully not as expensive.

The Queen Elizabeth II made an acting debut as a stunt James Bond girl (Photo), did she grant License To Thrill? After all that excitement she took her seat and looked rather bored when the camera panned in her direction. Rowan “Mr. Bean” Atkinson also fell foul to monotony playing the one-finger ostinato on an electronic keyboard seated as a member of the London Symphony Orchestra to the theme from Chariots of Fire. He decided to occupy himself texting and daydreaming before running with the lads from the film movie.
Fireworks burst above the stadium during
 the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012
 Olympic Games (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Boxing legend Muhammad Ali suffering with Parkinson's Disease sadly looked a frail figure holding the Olympic flag and so made uncomfortable viewing. An engineering triumph was the forming of The Cauldron using 204 bronze petals, one for each nation competing, lit not by one high profile sporting superstar but from seven aspiring teenagers who were nominated by former British Olympians.

After this a vocally below par Paul McCartney didn’t really ignite the crowd with his performance of “Hey Jude” as the big ending resembled a bit of a whimper.
Bicycles made up to be doves, Mary Poppins’ floating above the stadium, British TV and pop culture along with the pomp and circumstance may not of been quite a worldwide audiences English cup of tea?

During the athletes' parade things got upbeat with the Fiji team marching enthusiastically to the music of the Bee Gees. It was a long A – Z wait to see the host Nation Team Great Britain (not Team United Kingdom?) met by huge roars.
United States's Mariel Zagunis carries
the flag during the Opening Ceremony
at the 2012 Summer Olympics,
Friday, July 27, 2012, in London (Getty Image)
Again as a “U”, Team USA were one of the last to emerge into the stadium to receive the second loudest welcome.
The 530 athletes dressed smartly in Ralph Lauren uniforms and “Made in China” berets made a patriotic entrance in the London stadium.
They were warmly applauded by First Lady Michelle Obama and U.S. Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney with his wife Ann in the stands.
Flag bearer Mariel Zagunis (Fencing) led the proud team out as she held the national flag in the athlete's parade, waving triumphantly at the appreciative 80,000 crowd. What a moment! 

**  See lots of pictures of Team USA at – www.dailymail.co.uk

So what country stars were there to witness the unfolding on the ceremony?
Hollywood royalty in the form of Nicole Kidman rubbed shoulders with diplomats and businessmen at a launch party for luxury watchmaker Omega, the Olympics' official time-keeper.
She brought along hubby Keith Urban and they attended the opening ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Urban was tweeting from the ceremony while accompanied by his gorgeous Oscar-winning wife Nicole. But he wasn’t just sharing details of what he was seeing in the space of 140-characters a generous Keith shared what he was seeing with all of his fans and Twitter followers via handheld video.

Urban tweeted his location and a pair of exclusive Urban Chat videos right from his seat, where he even says “Unbelievable” - >> YouTube- about what’s unfolding around him and his wife.
It’s loud and there is a lot of action going on, but Urban was doing his level best to offer fans a keyhole view to what was happening before his very eyes. >>  YouTube  

Keith Urban tweet:  @KeithUrban Nic and I are at the @London2012 @NBCOlympics opening ceremonies.... OVER THE TOP!!!! –KU

Congrats to Team USA on their first gold as Ryan Lochte won gold in the 400-meter individual medley! 

Country Artists favourite Olympic memories
The Examiner caught up with Country music newbies Jana Kramer and Frankie Ballard whom were 2 artists to get asked to share their favourite Olympic memories
  
“Why Ya Wanna” singer Jana Kramer shares:
Q: If you could compete in an event at the Summer Olympics, what would it be and why?
JK: “It would definitely be gymnastics! I wish I could do half the stuff they can! They are amazing!”

Q: Any memorable Olympic event you recall?
JK: “When Misty May and Kerri Walsh won for the second time in 2008 after winning in 2004. I love volleyball so it was awesome to see them kick butt! Girl power!”

Q: Do you have a favorite Olympian, and if so, why is he or she your favorite?
JK: “Kristi Yamaguchi. I grew up skating and she was always my idol!”

Solo artist Frankie Ballard shares:
Q: If you could compete in an event at the Summer Olympics, what would it be and why?
FB: “The 100-meter, because if I was doin’ that. I’d be a speedy son of a gun!”

Q: Any memorable Olympic event you recall?
FB: “The ‘Miracle on Ice’! I know it was the Winter Olympics, but when the Russians went down, it was huge!”

Q: Do you have a favorite Olympian, and if so, why is he or she your favorite?
FB: “I always liked Michael Johnson. He wore those gold shoes and just flew around the track!”

Olympics Trivia - Did You Know?
Country legend Loretta Lynn carried the Olympic Flame during the 2002 Salt Lake Olympic Torch Relay back in December 16, 2001 in Louisville, KY.

One of country music's biggest talents, agreed to be an official torchbearer for the United States 2002 Winter Olympics. She said she was "so excited" about her role in the event and added that "this is one of the greatest things I've ever been asked to do

To read more and see photos in this Billboard Article titled  Olympics 2012: 17 Musicians Carry the Torch go to Billboard Story

(Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
Salt Lake City

 
Music from the Opening Ceremony
Isles of Wonder: Music For the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games Various Artists was released digitally by Universal Music (Decca Music Group) on 28 July 2012
THE ISLES OF WONDER will also see a physical release on August 6th.
Amazon UK MP3 Downloads - Amazon.com CD Format [Import] (released on August 7, 2012)
For a Full track listing and downloads go to UK iTunes

After the Olympics ends also to be made available immediately afterwards on August 12 will be ‘A Symphony of British Music – Music For The Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games

Dispute between London Olympics and UK Musicians
As the final preparations were being made for the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony - which is expected to be watched by a global audience of close to 1 billion people - an ongoing dispute between the Olympic organizing committee LOCOG and the U.K. Musicians' Union is heating up.
 
The row relates to an agreement brokered between national Trade Union Congress (TUC), the Musicians' Union (MU) and the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), whereby LOCOG agreed that all professional musicians performing as part of London 2012 would receive fair payment for their work. Volunteer musicians (e.g. amateur artists) and headline acts were exempt from the deal.  
Despite LOCOG's commitment to paying artists performing as part of the Olympic games, the organizing body is facing a growing swell of criticism for repeatedly approaching professional musicians to perform for free. Read more in this Billboard Story

Further Reading (Dated Feb 23, 2012 - Will the 2012 London Olympics Really Boost The U.K. Music Industry?

SOURCES – daily.co.uk, Getty Images, Billboard, The Examiner

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