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The eyes of the world will be on London on 27 July for the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games, which is expected to have a global TV audience of more than a billion people.
Award-winning film directors Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, The Beach and Slumdog Millionaire) and Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot) will oversee what is sure to be the UK's biggest-ever live show.
Opening Ceremony Details:
Host city: London, England, United Kingdom
Time: 21.00 GMT
Motto: Inspire a Generation
Nations participating: 204
Athletes participating: 10,500 (estimated)
Events: 302 in 26 sports
Opening ceremony: 27 July
Closing ceremony: 12 August
Stadium: Olympic Stadium
Beckham reveals opening ceremony role after London meeting with Ali (will he be involved too?)
David Beckham has confirmed he will have a role in the opening ceremony of the Olympics - but the former England captain refused to be drawn on whether he might light the flame.
The former England footballer confirmed on Tuesday night that he will have a part in the ceremony after he met sporting great Muhammad Ali at the Beyond Sport summit in London.
Don't spoil the surprise! 60,000 fans watch Olympic opening ceremony rehearsal - but are sworn to secrecy by organisers
London 2012 Olympics: opening Games ceremony out of this world, so cancel your plans for Friday night.........
Late on Monday night, a cool breeze of Olympic enthusiasm blew through a stifling Bakerloo Line train. A gaggle of passengers climbed aboard, their excitement irrepressible as they travelled home from a rehearsal of the opening ceremony that on Friday night will break the ice on London’s Olympic party.
Receiving the Head of State
The Head of State of the Host Country is received at the entrance of the Olympic Stadium by the President of the IOC. For the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony, Her Majesty the Queen will be greeted by Jacques Rogge.
Parade of Athletes
A procession of the participating teams in the Stadium, nation by nation. Teams enter in alphabetical order, according to the language of the Host Country, apart from the Greek team, which enters first for the Olympics, and the team of the Host Nation (in this case Team GB), who march in last.
Once all the nations have arrived into the Stadium, LOCOG Chair Seb Coe will give a speech, followed by Jacques Rogge. They will end their speeches by inviting the Head of State to officially declare the Games open.
Olympic Anthem and Flag
Once the Games have been declared open, the Olympic Flag is then carried into the Stadium and hoisted into the air as the respective Anthem is played. The Olympic Charter states that each flag must fly for the entire duration of the Games – placed in a prominent position in the main Stadium.
A participating athlete, judge and coach from the Host Nation stand on the rostrum and, holding a corner of the IOC flag in their left hand and raising their right, take the Oath, vowing to compete and judge according to the rules of their respective sport,.
The Torch and Cauldron
The big finale is the entrance of the Olympic Flame into the Stadium. It is passed through the athletes to the final Torchbearer, who will ceremoniously light the Cauldron, indicating the beginning of the Games. The Flame will continue to burn for the whole of the Games.
A host of world-class British directors and producers are leading the artistic team to stage the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
A total cast of 15,000 will take part in the London 2012 Opening and Closing Ceremonies, which will be watched by an estimated audience of four billion.
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