If uniting nations, fuelling pride and inspiring people earns an event the title of The Greatest Show on Earth, Boyle’s theatrical extravaganza certainly hit the mark.
I eagerly devoured the opening ceremony while scoffing cinema popcorn, (I argue when else are you going to eat popcorn at home?), and was unable to sleep once it’d finished at 4am my time. No wonder I was wide-eyed after the spectacle of Bond, Bean and the Queen!
The most iconic moment was the lighting of the Olympic flame because everything about it was unexpected. I anticipated a former Olympic medallist like everyone else, but instead seven young athletes lit it, before the centre of the stadium transformed into a beautifully crafted Olympic flame, made from copper petals; each representing one of the 204 competing. I’ll level with you: I also wiped a few tears at the start, mostly for the comedic value found in the Queen’s skydiving cameo alongside Daniel Craig’s Bond.
I thought I was just being more patriotic because I’m living abroad, but the number of positive social media posts, articles and interviews on TV have today proven me otherwise that I’m not alone in experiencing this feeling. The Brits have overnight developed the confidence to speak aloud about their new-found pride, and that is a breath of fresh air.
Lord Coe declared these Games are about inspiring a generation, but maybe it’s gone beyond that and already helped restore the pride of a nation. In any case, there’s no denying how encouraging and moving it was to see nations unite as all of us celebrated The Greatest Show on Earth.