Sunday, July 29, 2012

Spirit of London 2012

Source: Google Images

The 30th Olympiad in modern times has opened and what a show, as always. Watched by 4 billion people worldwide and attended by royalties, government leaders, celebrities, among others, it leaves no doubt to its billing as the greatest show on earth. The headlines say it all. Fantastic.

Coming home after the kids watched the blockbuster movie, Batman, The Dark Knight Rises, we caught the replay of the opening ceremonies last night as the athletes started the grand  ceremonial  parade by nations. We were excited to see the entrance of our Philippine delegation as the kids were having their countdown guessing the next in line by alphabetical sequence. It was also a lesson in geography for them and us actually, hearing for the first time many unknown countries and wondering where they are located in the globe. When the “ Saints” came marching by, they asked, why there were so many countries named after unknown saints.
The athletes “fashion wear”, i.e. uniform was another exciting part to watched. We laughed at the seemingly over and undressed,  admired the simplicity and design of others. Today, we learned that it was indeed a “catwalk show”, with the uniforms designed by such fashion biggest names, Armani, Ralph Lauren, Prada, Ferragamo, Stella McCartney, Hermes. Our national uniform was designed by a local big name, Rajo Laurel. I could only laughed that while I liked the navy blazers and navy berets uniform of the US delegation designed by Ralph Lauren, it is getting bad press because it was made in China. Ha ha.

But our greatest excitement was on the sight of popular sports stars, most especially, those who carried their national flags. It started with,  Marcus Baghdatis, the tennis star  from Cyprus, then NBA Memphis Grizzlies center Haddadi of Iran and world’s fastest sprinter Usain Bolt of Jamaica. It reached crescendo when our idol, tennis darling Maria Sharapova led the Russian delegation in a pant and suit design made by a Russian sportswear Bosco. The thrill hasn’t yet  subsided  when we sighted  a jubilant tennis superstar Novak Djokovic carryring the colors of his native land, Serbia. Then came the towering clean shaven NBA and Laker star Pau Gasol leading the very familiar glaring red and gold Spain delegation. At this moment, we almost expected and hoped the Swiss team will be led by tennis greatest, Roger Federer. Alas, roger was not there. This morning we knew why. He already has his 1st round going against a low rated opponent from Colombia. Now, we wondered. Who’s gonna carry the blue and red stripe American flag? Could it be Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, or Michael Phelps? It was none of the above; a lady fencer did the honors for the US team.

It was already midnight. The climax is yet to come;  the lighting of the Olympic torch and the best kept secret of the whole event: who will be given the honor of doing it? And finally, the “best of Britain”, Sir Paul McCartney ( who doesn’t know him and the Beatles”) closed the affair with his famous ballad, Hey Jude. Na na na na….na na na.

Now, the Games has begun. The events I'd like to watch: the showdown between Phelps and teammate Lochte in swimming, Bolt vs. Tyson Gay in sprints, USA vs. Spain in basketball, Federer vs. Djokovic, Saharapova vs. Serena Willliams in tennis, and the Chinese domination overall. But actually, if there is one event I am made to choose, it's athletics, track most especially.


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