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Opening Ceremonies

SPORTS
July 28, 2012
Frankly, they looked like they were ready for a star turn on "Glee. " USA Swimming attempted to go where many teams have gone before, offering up a video clip, lip-syncing and dancing to the song "Call Me Maybe. " Even Michael Phelps was pulled into the fray, briefly bobbing his head in rhythm on an airplane. The video was a collaborative effort between Kathleen Hersey and her Olympic teammates Caitlin Leverenz and Alyssa Anderson . Hersey posted a link to the clip on her Twitter account Thursday and by late in the afternoon on Friday, the video had more than 300,000 views.
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ENTERTAINMENT
July 28, 2012 | By Steven Zeitchik
NBC posted the highest numbers ever for an Olympics opening ceremony held outside the U.S., garnering a 23.0 rating and 40 share for the primetime telecast, according to preliminary results released Saturday morning by Nielsen. The figures are 28% higher than NBC generated at the 2004 Athens Games and 7% higher than its Beijing festivities four years ago, which saw a splashy ceremony staged by the director Zhang Yimou. Friday's events were overseen by the filmmaker Danny Boyle and featured appearances by personalities including David Beckham to Queen Elizabeth, as well as a splashy presentation stocked with filmic, musical and political references.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 28, 2012 | By Scott Collins
NBC started the London Olympics with ratings gold. Friday's opening ceremony -- beamed to Americans mostly in prime time, hours after the marathon spectacle of parades, speeches and performances had wrapped up across the pond -- was the most-watched for any Summer Olympics, with an average of 40.7 million viewers tuning in, according to Nielsen. The previous record-holder, the 1996 Atlanta games, drew 39.7 million. The Beijing ceremony delivered 34.9 million four years ago. This year's outing featured the customary parade of athletes and fireworks, capped by a live performance from Paul McCartney.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 28, 2012 | By Charles McNulty, Losa Angeles Times Theater Critic
Olympic opening ceremonies tend to be orgies of nationalistic sentiment, choreographed with the propagandizing artistry of a Las Vegas-styled Leni Riefenstahl.    “Marvel at our unparalleled history,” said the Greeks at the 2004 games in Athens. “Stand in awe of our multitudinous might,” said the Chinese at the 2008 competition in Beijing.   The British pageant had to tread more carefully given the country's imperial history and modern self-consciousness. Too much muscle-flexing in this post-colonial era wouldn't have advanced Britain's 21st century image as a deluxe global marketplace, welcoming to all who have the financial wherewithal to get past security.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 27, 2012 | Marcia Adair
LONDON - Britain was alive with the sound of bells at 8:12 this morning to signify the first day of the 2012 Olympic Games. Church bells, cow bells, hand bells, Big Ben, bicycle bells, doorbells; bells on Morris Dancers, Bangladeshi girls and ships -- all rang as quickly and loudly as possible for three minutes as part of Martin Creed's artwork for the Olympics: "Work No 1197, All the Bells in a Country Rung as Quickly and Loudly as Possible for...
ENTERTAINMENT
July 27, 2012 | By Rebecca Keegan
Here's a sport that Olympics viewers can play from their couches at home -- counting the movie references director Danny Boyle packed into the sprawling opening ceremonies he staged Friday night at London's Olympics Stadium. For those keeping score at home, here are a few of the spectacle's cinematic highlights: -- The queen became a Bond girl: In a pretaped action segment that will undoubtedly be the most widely seen promotion for this fall's James Bond sequel "Skyfall," current Bond Daniel Craig transported Queen Elizabeth II to Olympic Stadium via parachute.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 27, 2012 | By Scott Collins
As the London Olympics got underway Friday, fans weren't giving NBC any medals for blacking out live coverage of the opening ceremonies for many viewers. NBC was set to air the festivities at the Olympic stadium in a taped and edited format during prime time. That meant millions of Americans were left with no place to turn, either on TV sets or laptops. And they weren't happy about it. "In this day and age, no livestream for the Olympics opening ceremony?," asked @jjwright on Twitter.
SPORTS
July 27, 2012 | By Kevin Baxter
LONDON - The U.S. women's soccer team was in Glasgow, Scotland, on Friday, more than 400 miles from Olympic Park and the opening ceremonies of the London Games. But they were there in spirit. The team planned to dress in the blue blazers, white skirts and blue berets the rest of Team USA wore during the parade of nations in London, then take over a ballroom at the Glasgow Hilton to watch the event on TV. “We're going to feel the spirit,” goalkeeper Hope Solo said. “As long as I'm with my teammates, we're going to be fine.” Shortly after Friday's ceremony ends team members will turn their focus back to soccer, Solo said, packing up their Ralph Lauren uniforms and shipping them home before taking on Colombia in their second match of group play Saturday.
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