With a total world television audience watching its coverage estimated at being well over 4 billion views, with satellites beaming pictures around the world, the London 2012 Olympic Games is expected have the largest sporting audience ever.
The opening ceremony itself was watched by an estimated 1 billion, and was, despite some carping about its left-leaning political subtext as it described the British nation, generally accepted as a total success with some spectacular theatrical stunts including chimneys rising from the countryside, the raising of Olympic rings apparently made of molten mental, cycling flapping birds and beautiful fireworks, before the final spectacular lighting of multiflames coming together to form a joint cauldron of fire.
The Caudron consisted of a flame carrying kettle from each team, raised to form one cauldron of fire. Courtesy: London 2012
The show had elements of the famous British sense of humour and even had Her Majesty the Queen playing a comedy foil to Daniel Craig’s fictional spy 007 James Bond. There were gasps and laughter as she apparently jumped and parachuted from a helicopter.
Not everything has gone to plan. There is public rage as blocks of audience seats at events have been seen to be empty despite an an overwhelming public demand for tickets via a much criticised ticket allocation system. Neverthless, the games have got off to an excellent start with most enjoying the spectacle. The only British nerves fraying so far are those concerned that, despite some very brave performances, by the end of day two Team GB had yet to score a gold medal.