Paul McCartney performs during the opening ceremony of the London Olympics. (Cameron Spencer / Getty…)
LONDON — The opening ceremony had ended. The image of the majestic fireworks still lingered.
And then came the biggest bang of all: Our double-decker media shuttle bus hit an overpass.
Standing passengers lurched forward. Glass from the upper level cracked but didn’t shatter, leading one to believe that those who decided to stack a second level on this city’s distinctive vehicles accounted for such mishaps.
A security official quickly boarded and asked all to evacuate. Nobody was hurt, save for some fatigue-induced crabbiness. Near 1 a.m., we stood on a large gravel patch in the shadow of Olympic Stadium, waiting for a backup.
One reporter — unfortunately defining the term “ugly American” — started complaining to the security official about the wait. Another reporter from Germany echoed the sentiment, straining the vibe further. Suddenly, on the periphery a faint song could be heard.
“Na, na, na, na-na-na-na, na-na-na-na, hey Jude . . .”
No, it wasn’t Paul McCartney, who had dazzled us mere minutes earlier with the Beatles classic. It was a female reporter from Russia, who soon had company. It wasn’t loud, but it was right, the Olympic spirit returning at a time when it should burn brightest.
A backup bus appeared. We boarded, and the security official sported a smile by this time. As we drove away, the official could be seen consoling the first driver who had taken the wrong turn that led to the accident.
Take a sad song and make it better, indeed.
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