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London 2012 Legacy Thread cont'd.

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Am I the only person who didn't realise the benches at St Pancras are made from the Olympic Rings which hung there in 2012?!

Sat on them loads of times but I've only just found this out....



Edited by Rob.
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How can you tell? All these pictures show us is the massing which doesn't seem unusual for an urban context. We can only tell how good the buildings are once we see the actual architecture. They might

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPTLqnt6Eak <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/TPTLqnt6Eak" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Am I the only person who didn't realise the benches at St Pancras are made from the Olympic Rings which hung there in 2012?! Sat on them loads of times but I've only just found this out....

  • 2 months later...


One Night in 2012 - An Imagine Special

Alan Yentob tells the story of London's Olympic Opening Ceremony, as seen through the eyes of its artistic director Danny Boyle, his creative team and just some of the thousands of volunteers who worked to make it happen. The documentary relates how they united in the face of a cynical nation and produced a warm-up act like no other.

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More info:

London. The Summer of 2012. As rehearsals take place in a rainy Dagenham car park, Director Danny Boyle reveals a glimpse of his Opening Ceremony to the press. Some denounce it as the “Tellytubby Olympics” - others fear that it can never compete with the spectacle of Beijing. Everything pointed to an embarrassing failure. So how did one night in 2012 become 'The Greatest Show on Earth'?

This is the story of a unique night when the Brits began to believe in themselves again. A night which showed the country what it could achieve when extraordinary people pulled together. A night which went beyond everyone’s expectations.

For the first time since that night, Danny Boyle and the creative team behind the ceremony reunite in the company of Alan Yentob to explain the thinking that went into creating one of the country’s finer moments.

Fuelled by the volunteers, Boyle and his team assembled the building blocks of what should be celebrated. Out went the Empire, in came literature, music, humour, the NHS, the worldwide web: things we gave to the world rather than took from it.

Between them they conjure the absurd scale of the ambition, (how to tell stories on such a vast stage), the obstacles they overcame, the doubts (Boyle never wavered), the chaos and the process that led to that the mass movement of thousands of people. Recounting tales of creating Pandemonium, the engineering genius behind the 40ft towers and the mayhem of perhaps "the biggest scene-change there's ever been", this is a funny emotional reunion.

It was a night full of famous faces, from Shakespeare to Her Majesty the Queen, from Bond to J.K. Rowling. But at the core of Boyle’s vision were the thousands of volunteers who came together and gave Boyle’s vision form. This Imagine Special will give a voice to those volunteers, their stories forming the spine of the film. None of these people were professionals, yet they formed a bond that made the world sit up and take notice. This is a unique glimpse into the friendships that were forged, the talents that were discovered and the lives that were changed. It’s a tale of the transformative power of art.

With exclusive access to behind the scenes footage from audition through to the night itself - from HD to iPhone - this is the story of 90 minutes that rekindled a country’s faith in itself and dazzled the world when it mattered - on the night.

It was a warm-up act like no other.

BBC Studios/Rogan Productions

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/proginfo/2016/29/olympic-imagine

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update: she's now part of team GB in two events for atletics. i want to start a rumour that she's the flag bearer of rio

Desiree Henry: from lighting London's Olympic flame to competing in Rio
des-henry-sport-large_trans++7C2LdXbH_PADesiree Henry is now one of the country's leading sprinters CREDIT: UK SPORTS PICS
25 JUNE 2016 • 8:00AM

One of them has not competed since 2014, two are focused on becoming doctors and another has turned her back on representing Britain altogether.

If proof was ever required of the complexities of turning a talented junior career into a successful life in the senior ranks, you need look no further than the teenagers dubbed the “Secret Seven” after they were given the honour of lighting the London 2012 Olympic torch.

Their presence was a novel answer to a question that had kept the entire nation on tenterhooks for weeks. Conventionally befitting of a host nation’s sporting superstar, the most prestigious of Olympic roles was not given to Sir Steve Redgrave or David Beckham but seven complete unknowns selected by some of Britain’s most successful Olympians.

It was all part of a master plan to stress the London 2012 legacy narrative by focusing attention on those primed to be the stars of tomorrow.

Four years on, it has not quite turned out the way that was envisaged. But for every hard luck story there is a tale of triumph, and in this case there is Desiree Henry – at that point a world youth 200 metres champion chosen for the role by Daley Thompson and now, aged 20, the third fastest female sprinter this country has ever produced.

Henry’s torch-lighting story is one she has no doubt relayed dozens of times but, as she attempts today to return to the Olympic stage – this time as an athlete, always smiling and relentlessly positive – she is all too happy to tell it again.

desiree-henry-lille-large_trans++UkPY_iHHenry claimed her world youth title in 2011 CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES

“It was literally two weeks before the opening ceremony that I received a phone call saying they wanted me to come down to the Olympic Stadium,” she says. “An Olympic car came to pick us up and me and my mum thought: ‘Oh, this is a bit different.’ Once we arrived [opening ceremony director] Danny Boyle came out and told us the names of the sportspeople who had invited us there. I couldn’t even believe Daley Thompson knew who I was.

“He huddled the seven of us together away from our parents and whispered his idea for us to be the ones to light the Olympic cauldron. At that point I think I was like, ‘No way, is this really about to happen?’ It just went on from there.”

desiree-henry-afp-large_trans++RZDo1uVj2It has been a rocky road for the "Secret Seven" from London 2012 CREDIT: AFP

As Henry spent an increasing amount of time at the Olympic Stadium, the little white lies began to grow. Costume fittings and rehearsals took place amid a backdrop of secrecy with Henry and her mother sworn to silence over the entire episode. Even her sisters were kept in the dark, with Henry left to casually suggest they try not to miss the opening ceremony because they might enjoy it.

“They couldn’t believe it when they saw,” she says with a laugh. “It really was an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience and I’m just so happy that I could be a part of it. To this day I still think I’m so lucky.”

With sporting participation numbers continuing to fluctuate and West Ham United preparing to take occupancy of the Olympic Stadium for barely more than a nominal fee, the jury remains firmly undecided as to how successful the legacy mission has been.

For Henry at least, being given a chance to take centre stage at the opening ceremony allowed her to dream bigger than she had ever previously envisaged.

“Being in the stadium surrounded by athletes just made me think: ‘I want to be here one day,’” she says. “It was amazing lighting the cauldron but I decided that the next time the Olympics came around I wanted to be one of the athletes. I felt like it was a sign that I was on the right path – keep at it and don’t give up.”

Tom Daley helps launch Team GB kitPlay!01:01

Four years on, the dream looks almost certain to become a reality. From making the European 100m final and anchoring Britain’s 4 x 100m team to gold on her senior international debut in 2014, Henry continued to lower her personal bests until a breakthrough performance this April, clocking 11.06 sec to move third on the British all-time 100m rankings.

With national record holder and Henry’s long-term adversary Dina Asher-Smith only contesting the 200 m at the British Olympic trials this weekend, Henry is now favourite to triumph over the shorter sprint distance and claim her first national title.

An individual medal in Rio is likely to prove beyond her and Henry instead has her sights set on making a first Olympic final.

“I have to be realistic with the fact that it’s my first Olympics and there’s still so much to learn,” she says. “To be an Olympic finalist would be amazing.

“When I was 15 or 16 I always said to myself that by the time I was 20 it was time to make it to the Olympics. So now that it has come around and it actually looks realistic – it’s just so exciting. Then in 2020 I’ll start to look at medals. It’s all one step closer to my ultimate dream.”

From lighting the torch in 2012 to making a final in 2016 and winning a medal in 2020. That would be some Olympic legacy.

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Have seen the preview - this is awesome! Great behind the scenes to see what it was like! Also post Brexit - a sore reminder of a once united country - oh to be able to go back 4 years and carry on! TUNE in! It's great!

It was fascinating. Inevitably a certain amount of going over ground already covered by interviews, but plenty of little bits worth close inspection in iPlayer.

I was particularly intrigued by the treatment of designer Suttirat Anne Larlarb, who as a long-time Boyle collaborator had been part of the original "bunch of people in a hired room" which devised the ceremony. She did eventually appear, but she was absent from the reconstruction of the group which formed the show's backbone (though she continues to work with Boyle, on projects liike Steve Jobs) and it was nice to hear his candid acknowledgement that the 2012 work, in which she personally did a great deal of costume making / remodelling as well as design, nearly destroyed both her health and their friendship.

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Do you want to purchase a piece of the London 2012 track which was graced by the legends of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012? 

You can now ‘own the track’ – and also help maintain the Community Track and the Stadium at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. 



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Four years since the opening ceremony and Jason Hawkes has been up in the air again...
(a shame the velodrome isn't in shot, but otherwise a good photos)






Edited by Rob.
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I may have overdone it this time, just a little.


The fourth anniversary edition of "By Strange Conveyance" (available free in epub and mobi formats via the above link) contains much more information about the 2012 Olympic opening ceremony than any sane person would wish to know. It now features a detailed guide to many aspects of the event which were not shown on TV, but can be seen in spectator videos, including the country activities of the pre-show, and the fantastic complexity of Pandemonium. Not light reading, but it should be great for reference.


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Not actually legacy, just a compromise instead of putting it in the Rio OC thread...

In the early stages of planning, London was considering a two-entrance solution with a central avenue for the parade, a variation on the single-entrance-into-two approach adopted in Sochi (and apparently in Rio):


(From mass movement maestro Steve Boyd's website: http://steveboydportfolio.com/Portfolio/Olympics/Pages/London_2012.html )

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In case there are any Mark Snow completists out there- I've done a tiny update to my epic London 2012 Opening Ceremony ebook By Strange Conveyance, noting the fulfilment of my prediction that Rio would find an interesting eco-friendly solution to the Cauldron problem.


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  • 1 month later...

^^ Saw this a week or so ago. Excellent video showing the stadium how it is now. Terrible lack of security. And some of it made me feel sick watching it. DON'T GET THAT CLOSE T THE EDGE!!!!!! :blink:

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