olympic games tokyo 2020012

Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 opening ceremony: Five memories from London 2012

The Olympics begin - a year late - today

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games kick off this afternoon with the opening ceremony – a year late and looking very different from how they were first planned, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

olympic games tokyo 2020
The Tokyo Olympics 2020 starts today (Credit: BBC – Photographer: Nick Eagle

Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 begins!

As the opening ceremony gets underway at midday today, we’re looking back at our top five memories from the dazzling opening ceremony at the London 2012 games.

1 The countdown

Remember the nerves we felt when the countdown to the ceremony began?

Read more: When does the Tokyo Olympics start? Which new sports have been added?

Because, let’s face it, the handover ceremony at Beijing 2008 was underwhelming and we were all wondering if London could pull it off.

Tokyo 2020 has to live up to London 2012
The countdown to the opening ceremony of London 2012 had us all on tenterhooks (Credit: Olympics/YouTube)

But even the countdown was great – a 60-second swoosh round London.

2 The fiery Olympic rings

The stadium transformed from green fields to industrial Britain.

olympic games tokyo 2020
Kenneth Branagh starred in the opening ceremony at London 2012 (Credit: Olympics/YouTube)

Kenneth Branagh as Isambard Kingdom Brunel directed the amazing dancers, the drummers drummed, the Chelsea Pensioners marched, and suddenly there were five Olympic rings burning brightly above the crowds.

olympic games tokyo 2020
The Olympic rings (Credit: Olympics/YouTube)

We’re a bit emotional just thinking about it now.

3 The tribute to the NHS

Back in 2012, when no one had heard of Covid, we couldn’t possibly have predicted how grateful we’d all be to the NHS less than a decade later.

Tokyo 2020 has to live up to London 2012
We’re still all so grateful for the NHS (Credit: Olympics/YouTube)

Opening ceremony director Danny Boyle’s tribute to the health service seems even more poignant and important now.

4 Mr Bean

And then it all got a bit quiet, as we were told the London Philharmonic Orchestra were paying tribute to the British film industry playing Chariots of Fire.

olympic games tokyo 2020
Mr Bean (AKA Rowan Atkinson) stole the show as the orchestra played (Credit: Olympics/YouTube)

But those of us who thought they’d take the chance to go and top up their wine glass missed Mr Bean (otherwise known as actor Rowan Atkinson) hilariously playing the famous tune.

5 The Queen

As if all that brilliance wasn’t enough, we were then treated to a short film of Daniel Craig as James Bond heading off to Buckingham Palace to see the Queen.

olympic games tokyo 2020
The Queen showed us she’s got a brilliant sense of humour as she joined in with Daniel Craig as James Bond (Credit: Olympics/YouTube)

It wouldn’t be the real Queen, we all thought. It would be an actress. Helen Mirren, perhaps. Or Joanna Lumley. But no.

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A moment that launched 1000 memes (Credit: Olympics/YouTube)

It was the actual real Queen, proving she’s got a brilliant sense of humour.

And a sense of self-preservation when she handed over to a stunt performer rather than parachuting into the stadium herself.

olympic games tokyo 2020
David Beckham living his best life (Credit: Olympics/YouTube)

There were other highlights of course. David Beckham speeding down the Thames with the Olympic torch, Emile Sande’s beautiful singing in the moving memorial segment, clips of Corrie being beamed across the world, Paul McCartney doing what he does best and being a national treasure… so many amazing moments.

The world looks very different this year, but we’re ready for Tokyo 2020 and we can’t wait to see what the opening ceremony looks like.

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The Tokyo 2020 Olympics opening ceremony will air on BBC One, today, at midday.

Will you be watching? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know what you think.

Kerry Barrett
Freelance Soap Writer

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