Sunday, July 29, 2012

Opening Weekend of the 2012 Olympics a Hit

The Opening Ceremony and the first two days of the London 2012 Olympics have come and gone, and have delivered on every level. Though, did anyone think they wouldn't?

The Opening Ceremony featured a short film with James Bond (Daniel Craig) and the Queen Herself, Queen Elizabeth II, showing off her dry sense of humor. A stand-in Queen jumped out of a helicopter, and the real Queen entered the stadium to take her seat. Paul McCartney also gave a solid performance, showing that even one of the biggest stars in the world can get choked up being at such a massive event, as he did at the start of "Hey Jude."  There was also a mysterious woman who snuck into the parade of athletes with the team from India (see below). You can't miss her, she is the one in a red jacket and teal pants, walking and waving like she is one of them. I love that she managed to bypass security in a bright colored outfit and get to the front of the line with nobody saying anything to her. She did it with a smile, which must be the key.
Ryan Lochte beat Michael Phelps for Gold on Saturday, and Phelps failed to medal in the event. The US Women's Soccer team beat Colombia 3-0 to clinch a spot in the Quarterfinals with one group Stage game to go against mysterious North Korea on Tuesday. Abby Wambach got punched during the game by the sneaky & dirty Lady Andrade, getting a black eye, behind the refs back. Wambach responded by burying a goal into the back of the net. Colombia has yet to score a goal in a major tournament (ha ha). And its ironic that her name is "Lady", because she is obviously far from being one. The power-house Spanish men's soccer team lost two games to Japan & Honduras, being eliminated in the group stage. Hope Solo also cause a furor, tweeting her displeasure for US icon Brandi Chastain's criticisms during commentary. I'll stick by Chastain on this, its her job to be critical, not 100% positive all the time. *Update* - Lady Andrade has been suspended by FIFA two games for striking Abby Wambach. 

Kim Rhode (shooting) became the first American to win a medal at five straight Olympics dating back to Atlanta 1996. Both Volleyball teams picked up wins, as did the Basketball teams. Misty-May & Kerri Walsh also kicked off their quest for a 3rd straight Beach Volleyball gold with a hard fought victory. It won't be as easy this time around. USA also won its first diving medal since Sydney 2000. In the men's 400 free swim relay, USA couldn't shock France like they did in Beijing 2008, getting silver behind France this time. Bill Gates is also a big Table Tennis fan, taking in some of the action. Great Britain picked up some medals, but are still searching for their first Gold of the games. China currently leads the pack in both golds and total medals, with USA right behind. 

The London 2012 Olympics have also been ratings gold for NBC so far even though some complained that certain event were held back for tape delays to show in prime-time. The Opening Ceremony was NBC's highest rated ever, getting around 40 million viewers to surpass Atlanta 1996, which had 39 million. The first night of competition also surpassed Atlanta as the most watched opening night ever. I guess NBC gets the gold?

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