Olympic Games Opening Ceremony
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The Olympic Stadium, London, Britain.
0203 2012 700
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The Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic and Paralympic Games will announce the start of London 2012 to the world.
Olympic Games Opening Ceremony
The eyes of the world will be on London on 27 July 2012 for the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. The Ceremony will mark the beginning of the XXXth Olympiad. It will provide an opportunity for the world to view the artistic expression of Danny Boyle and his team, and the culture of our Host City and the UK.
There are certain elements that must feature in every Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, as outlined in the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Olympic Charter:
Receiving the Head of State of the Host Country
The Head of State of the Host Country is received at the entrance of the Olympic Stadium by the President of the IOC and the Chair of the Organising Committee. For London 2012, Her Majesty the Queen will be greeted by Jacques Rogge and Sebastian Coe.
Parade of Nations
A highlight of the Ceremony is the Parade of Nations – a procession of the participating teams into the Stadium, nation by nation.
Teams enter in alphabetical order, according to the language of the Host Country, apart from the Greek team, which enters first, and the Host Country (in this case Team GB), who march in last.
Once all the nations have arrived into the Stadium, the LOCOG Chair Seb Coe will give a speech, followed by the President of the IOC, Jacques Rogge. He will end his speech by introducing the Head of State to officially declare the Games open.
Playing the Olympic Anthem and the entry and raising of the Olympic Flag
Once the Games have been declared open, the Olympic Flag is carried into the Stadium and hoisted into the air as the Olympic Anthem is played.
The Olympic Charter states that the Olympic Flag must 'fly for the entire duration of the Olympic Games from a flagpole placed in a prominent position in the main Stadium'.
The flag bearers of the countries form a circle around the rostrum. A participating athlete, judge and coach from the Host Nation stand on the rostrum and, holding a corner of the Olympic Flag in their left hand and raising their right, take the Olympic Oath, vowing to compete and judge according to the rules of their respective sport.
The Torch and lighting of the Cauldron
The big finale is the entrance of the Olympic Flame into the Stadium. It is passed through the athletes to the final Torchbearer, who will ceremoniously light the Olympic Cauldron, indicating the beginning of the Games. The Olympic Flame will continue to burn for the whole of the Games.
Paralympic Opening Ceremony
Leading British creatives Bradley Hemmings and Jenny Sealey MBE are the Artistic Directors of the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
The protocol of a Paralympic Opening Ceremony, regulated by the Paralympic Charter, has similar traditions to that of the Olympics.
It starts with the raising of the Paralympic and Host Nation’s flags. This is followed by the Athletes Parade, grouped by nation and ordered alphabetically according to the Host Nation’s language.
The President of the IPC, Sir Philip Craven, and the Chair of the OCOG, Seb Coe, will take to the podium to give an address. The Games are then declared open and oaths are taken by representatives of the athletes and judges.
Finally, the Paralympic Flame is brought into the Stadium and passed on until it reaches the final Torchbearer, who lights the Paralympic Flame in the Cauldron.
The artistic performance of the Ceremony then gets underway.