London Olympics 2012: the greatest show on earth begins
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) --
HM Ambassador of the UK in Uzbekistan Rupert Joy held a press conference at the British Embassy today to mark the start of the London Olympic Games: the Greatest Show on Earth.
The Ambassador raised the official London Games flag. Speaking to 33 journalists, Ambassador Joy said: "London becomes the first city ever to host the Olympic Games three times. This year marks the 20th anniversary of Uzbekistan’s Olympic movement. Uzbekistan has a remarkable record of increasing its medals tally at every Olympics in which it has competed since independence, from Atlanta in 1996 to Beijing in 2008. I have had the honour of meeting Uzbek athletes over the past year, and I know they have been putting a huge amount of work into their preparations for the Games. 56 Uzbek athletes qualified in 13 sports have every chance of building on Uzbekistan’s impressive record in London. During a recent farewell ceremony in Tashkent International Airport I have wished good luck to the National Olympic Team departing to London. Your athletes are strongly motivated and inspired to win and I have no doubts that they will bring home medals. We will be cheering them on”.
All the bells across the United Kingdom rang out this morning for three minutes, in a project created by Turner Prize-winning artist and musician Martin Creed, to celebrate the first day of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Turner Prize-winning artist Martin Creed said:
‘It’s by people and for people. On the morning of the opening of the Games it’s a massive signal that something is happening”.
The London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony will commence at 2100 UK time today and is titled ‘Isles of Wonder’, inspired by Shakespeare’s play The Tempest. It is expected to be viewed live by a worldwide TV audience of over a billion people.
It will open with a newly cast bell that is larger than Big Ben that will ring out from London’s Olympic Stadium. In one of the largest sets ever built, the Stadium will be transformed into the rolling British countryside, complete with meadows, fields and rivers and animals.
Each of the four nations will be represented by their national flower – the rose of England, the thistle of Scotland, the daffodil of Wales and flax from Northern Ireland. There will be 10,000 adult volunteer performers from across the UK, aged 18-90 years old, including people who watched the London 1948 Games live and 2,000 staff, crew and suppliers. The performance will also use 23,000 costumes and comprise a total of 12 hours of music. and 2,000 staff, crew and suppliers.
Over the last 70 days, 8,000 inspirational men, women and children have been carrying the Olympic flame around the length and breadth of our the UK. And every step of the way, thousands of people have come out to watch and welcome the torch to their town or village.
The new Olympic Park was delivered on time and on budget. Our transport infrastructure has been upgraded. And the medals are being held safe in the vaults of the Tower of London until they’re needed for the victory ceremonies.
We are also very proud that we have met the promise we made to inspire young people all over the world to choose sport. Our ‘International Inspiration’ programme is now working in 20 countries around the world, enriching the lives of more than 12 million young people.
But London 2012 is all the more special for us as it brings the Paralympic Games home for the first time to the birthplace of the Paralympic movement. Building on the spirit of Stoke Mandeville, these Games will make a difference to disabled people around the world, by changing attitudes, improving access and opening up new opportunities across sport, culture and business.When you watch tonight, we hope you will like what you see. A run-down industrial site in East London has been transformed into a stunning new landscape. State of the art sports venues stand within a beautiful Olympic Park that will deliver an environmental legacy for years to come.
As we wait for the curtain to rise on our Opening Ceremony, we want the memories of London 2012 to last a lifetime, and for this shared experience to cement a lifelong friendship with our country. It is time for the greatest show on earth to begin.