Hard to believe that The Games are half way over. Even harder for me to believe that I’ve done a 360°turnaround. From a refusenik to someone with moderate enthusiasm. So, in celebration, and to mark the just-past-half-way point of the Olympic Olympics, as opposed to the splendid Paralympics, I’m posting a few quotes about the Opening Ceremony. And, inevitably, our Boris. With thanks to The Book of Olympic Quotes.
Tom Fordyce on BBC.co.uk/sport Whispers had hinted that the start of the London Olympics might be a little eccentric, a touch more tongue-in-cheek than others we have witnessed. What no one expected was that it would be quite so gloriously daft, so cynicism-squashingly charming and – well, so much pinch-yourself fun.
Marina Hyde in The Guardian An architect of Beijing’s ceremony once said that event had served Chinese food for the foreign palate, but Danny Boyle’s banquet felt as deliciously indigestible to global tastes as Marmite or jellied eels. I loved it. We can’t be worrying about how it went down in Moscow or Madagascar. I’m still reeling that a country that can put on a show that hilariously bonkers is allowed nuclear weapons.
Tom Sutcliffe in The Independent (On the diverse soundtrack to the Opening Ceremony)It was as if a KTel music compilation had been given the biggest budget ever for a television ad. In the end though that didn’t really matter. If you can pull the Queen out of your sleeve you’ve won the game before it’s even halfway over.
Christian Radnedge (@CRadnedge_ATR) on Twitter One small thing – would’ve liked Chas & Dave playing “Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner…” instead of Arctic Monkeys.
Charlotte Higgins in The Guardian This was the surely the most joke-filled Olympics opening ceremony ever staged. After all, what else can a former imperial power do in its more or less dignified decline than have the good grace to laugh at itself? The Queen herself colluded in the national sport of humorous self-deprecation, and not even the most hardened republican could deny that she did it beautifully.
David Owen on InsideTheGames.biz Fittingly it was left to a woman, Her Majesty the Queen, seemingly none the worse for her parachute glide, to declare the Games open.
Sarah Lyall in the New York Times With its hilariously quirky Olympic opening ceremony, a wild jumble of the celebratory and the fanciful; the conventional and the eccentric; and the frankly off-the-wall, Britain presented itself to the world Friday night as something it has often struggled to express even to itself: a nation secure in its own post-empire identity, whatever that actually is.
Dan Hodges in The Daily Telegraph David Beckham has achieved many things in his sporting career. But no last minute free kick for team GB could ever have matched the iconography of him escorting the Olympic flame by speedboat down the river Thames. Cool Britannia has never, and never will be, cooler.
Danny Boyle (@DannyBoyleFilm) on Twitter Thank you, everyone, for your kind words! Means the world to me. Proud to be British.
And of course, no set of London quotes would be the same without Boris.
On the rainy start to the Olympics in London…There are semi-naked women playing beach volleyball in the middle of the Horse Guards Parade immortalised by Canaletto. They are glistening like wet otters and the water is plashing off the brims of the spectators’ sou’westers.
On the extra-curricular sexual activities in the London 2012 Olympic Village…“Inspire a generation” is our motto. Not necessarily “Create a generation” … which is what they sometimes get up to in the Olympic village.
On TeamGB’s slow start to its home Olympic Games…I think we are showing great natural restraint and politeness as host nation in not hoarding the medals more so far.