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To all generations since, London. London has known suffering.
Horror has come to London. But London always rises again.
London is a monument to the hard times, to the good. The celebration
of what we have been and what we are today. London, our heart and
our sinews and our voice. # Up-and-down the City Road
# In-and-out of the eagle # That's the way the money goes
# Pop goes to weasel. # Poetry and prose, people and places.
London now throws open its doors on a new Theatre of Dreams. A city in
waiting. A city on the move. Humans on the move. The fascination with
making the next step faster, higher, stronger and putting the fastest
and the strongest to the test. This is London of the Olympic Games. And
since this is our heart, and our voice, London must feel and speak
of romance, of love... # When you turn and smile at me. #
London is ready. So take a deep breath. COMMENTARY: Absolutely
faultless! He has blown them all away.
But not for long. For London is about to cry out with heart and
soul. Let the Games commence! been quite a journey. Seven years
we have waited and now, on the evening of July 27th, 2012, this
relatively small plot of land in East London will take its place at
the centre of the sporting world. Over the next few hours, the
Olympic Flame will meeyander its way to its resting place where it
will glow for the next 17 days. Msh mean -- meander. Welcome to London
2012. The greatest show on earth is about to begin. It will start with
what promises to be a spectacular Opening Ceremony, to celebrate the
Games being back in Britain for the first time since 1948. The ceremony
faces a unique challenge to be as memorable as the dramatic and
lavish welcome we received in Beijing four years ago. Well, the
Oscar-winning director, Danny Boyle, has been drafted in to mastermind
the operation. We can guarantee it will be different. The theme he's
chosen is Isles of Wonder and we will start by celebrating the Green
and Pleasant Land of rural Britain. Britain is the focus tonight and
the world will be watching. Over a billion people will be tuning in.
No pressure then(!)Huw Edwards can tell us more. This is quite unlike
any other ceremony in the history of the Olympics. It is certainly
creative. It's daring. It's highly original. If it all goes according
to plan, I'm going to dare to say that it is going to be a fantastic
start to London 2012. What do we have here? We have a chunk of the
British countryside planted in the British countryside planted in the
stadium itself. But don't be fooled by all of the tranquillity and all
of the greenery and the peace. It will all change. There will be
plenty of noise, plenty of drama. Some great music, too as the
ceremony unfolds. We should, I suppose, remind ourselves, too, as
we look at all of this, what is the main purpose of this Opening
Ceremony? Yes, it is to project British values. It is to say
something about British history. But ultimately, it is about
welcoming thousands of athletes to the Olympic Games. That is the
prime purpose. By the way, there are a couple of mysteries that we
have still not solved. One of the main mysteries is to do with this
work of art. It is the Great Olympic Bell. Made at the
Whitechapel Foundry, which is a local works. They were the ones who
made Big Ben in 1858. Who will be the person chosen to ring that bell
at the start of the ceremony? All at the start of the ceremony? All
will be revealed after 9.00pm. For whom the bell tolls! Over the
next couple of weeks we shall witness incredible sporting feats,
we will live through moments of triumph, trauma and tears. History
shows us we are in for a treat. Daley Thompson. I have the big G,
boys. COMMENTARY: Owens wins!
Faultless! A ten has gone on the board. That is perfection and that
is Olympic history. COMMENTARY: Emil Zatopek is ahead
of everyone else! History is being made. Carl Lewis on his way to four
gold medals. It's an enormous one. He was up in
Gold for Freeman! The nation expected and she's not disappointed.
There is the man who everyone in the world is now watching. Mark
Spitz goes into the record books as the greatest-ever Olympic
competitor. Ovett hits the front and Coe can't get through. Ovett is
in trouble. Coe gets the medal that he wanted.
Tommie Smith does it! It's going to be oh so close! Great
Britain ARE the Olympic Champions by two centimetres. Come on, Kelly!
One more! It's gold! You've won it, Kelly! You've won it!
Sebastian Coe, back at his best, is the Olympic Champion.
Olga Korbut has caused so many sensations here this evening, it
just isn't true. Eight straight gold medals. Every single person
stands and salutes Michael Phelps of the USA, the greatest Olympian
ever. He goes ballistic in all senses of
the word! He has blown them all away.
Hold on, boys, here we go! Great Britain get the gold medal!
And the world record has gone. This man surely is not human.
It is one of those great moments That is what it's all about. Every
day, athletes will wake up to the prospect of fulfilling their dream,
along with the threat of disappointment. The quest for
Olympic gold, the ultimate prize in sport, will provide us with
memories that will last for a lifetime. Our first two guests have
provided us with many of those over the years. We have Britain's
greatest Olympian, Sir Steve Redgrave, and Michael Johnson. The
question that everyone wants to know the answer to, are you going
to light the Flame tonight? I don't know how many times I have been
asked that question! LAUGHTER One more won't hurt! We will find out
very soon. I haven't had a phone call yet. If you excuse me, I have
still got my phone with me. Danny, if you are interested, I'm here.
Give him a call. Where's the caldron? I have been looking around
since I have got here. Any ideas? No idea at all. It will probably
appear from somewhere at some stage, maybe from over the top. Then,
there is quite a lot of cables up there. I think he knows more than
he is letting on! Steve, you were instrumental in bringing the Games
here. You were involved for the last seven years. It is fantastic
for British sport. I was involved in the bid as well, so I have been
involved for 12 years. I remember being asked 12 years ago, sitting
in a cafe in London, saying, "Would you get involved in the bid?" I
said, "Yes, that would be fantastic." 2012, that is such a
long way away. My life had been revolved around four-year chunks.
Here we are, it's happening. It is happening very soon. It's finally
arrived. Michael, you know what it is like to compete in an Olympic
Games in your own country. How different is it? It is very
different. I believe the most significant part of that is the
build-up. The athletes that are about to start competing here,
those athletes over the last few years, on those days when they
don't really feel like training and they are on their way to training,
and you pass that billboard that reminds you what you are training
for, that is an incredible motivation. A home Olympics have
very significant because of that. Then also because of the funding
and sponsorship. There's increased funding and sponsorship for
athletes to train. That makes it a much better situation for those
athletes. Once you come into this stadium knowing it will be British
support here for British athletes, that is a great feeling. Help or a
hindrance? Depends on the athlete. It can be a hindrance to some if
you don't manage it well. You can walk in here and be overwhelmed.
You know going into this - especially for those athletes that
are favourites - they will know there is a tremendous amount of
pressure. You know this is an incredible opportunity and you
don't want to miss out on it. You want to have your best performance
here, but owe know that anything can happen at the Olympic Games.
You have to be ready and you have to produce that performance on the
day. That is very difficult to do. Well, we are here waiting for the
Opening Ceremony. 80,000 ticket holders here at the Olympic Park.
Many others are making their way here. Here at Buckingham Palace,
Her Majesty the Queen has been holding a reception there for many
of the heads of state who will be making their way here to the
ceremony. She is not on that bus, though, is she?! LAUGHTER This is
the scene here at Olympic Park. least the weather has stayed dry so
far as well. Clouds are quite dark overhead. We hope the rain stays
off. This is Weymouth. All the sailing of course takes place down
there. Thousands of people are on the beach. They are going to enjoy
a special showing of the ceremony and the sailors will show up later
as well which, of course, Team GB does pretty well in over the years
and is expected to do well again. It is filling up here inside the
stadium, reasonably slowly, but there's still almost two hours
until the actual Opening Ceremony makes its start. Down to Huw who is
down on the track, or what is left of the track.
Thank you very much. I'll admit, there is a sense of a touch of rain
in the air. It's fingers crossed. It is filling up nicely now. One
thing I would say at this stage, Gary, is as we look ahead to the
ceremony, let's remind ourselves of some of the key reasons that London
was chosen seven years ago to host these Games. Lots of tough
competition at the time. One of the reasons was the involvement process.
To what extent would these Games involve local communities? London,
being such a rich and diverse city, possibly the richest and most
diverse city in the world. When you look at one part of London, the
East End, here, of course the richest and the most diverse part
of the capital city. One of its prime ambassadors is the rapper
Dizzee Rascal and he's been explaining why this part of London
to him means so much and why the Forget Big Ben, Hyde Park and St
Paul's Cathedral, the Olympics is being held in the real heart of
This is the part of the city that needed the Olympics, needed the
investment. I grew up on a council estate called the Lincoln estate.
I learned to DJ and MC, that is where I honed my skills. What is
that? I'm all right. Always good to come back here and meet the people
I grew up with. Long-time! Where I know you've seen me. He always
comes to seem a. You and her should get to see -- get together. Dizzee
Where is everyone? Finally come back to see us after all this time?
Music was a release for me growing up here. It is one of the things I
could focus my positive energy on to. Sport is also one of the things
that keeps people out of trouble. Hackney Marshes, a number of
When I was younger, I was into athletics so that is why the
Olympics mean something to me. This is one of the most multicultural
places in the world and everybody is going to be rooting for somebody.
Not necessarily for Britain and that is not necessarily a bad thing,
it shows the diversity of where I come from. This city has got
something for everybody. You can have tea at the Ritz or go raving
at fabric. Go shopping at Bond Street or the market. You can get
lost or you can get discovered. That is London, the real London, my
London. From one local start to another. They could be cheering him,
Trevor Nelson, who is with me tonight as part of the commentary
team. It is good to have you with us. Amazing, I can't believe I'm
here. It has finally happened. I'm Hackney boy it born-and-bred, I
lived in Forest Gate, the other side of the Olympic site. Like
Dizzee Rascal, I can't believe this. We are walking on what was a waste
ground. Everybody had forgotten about us and now the whole world is
looking at us. I also have a sister and my cousin performing in the
ceremony. I believe that nearly everybody I know it knows somebody
who is doing something, a volunteer, fantastic people. I hope it goes
very well. What has the preparation been like for the local community?
It has been a slow process over seven years. More recently, it has
built up. A lot of people have sacrificed a lot of hours for this.
You've had a lot of changes. A lot of changes of preparation, Danny
Boyle will tell you he has cut a lot of things short. But they are
loving it. This is their day. it comes to the ceremony itself and
these guys have a fantastic view, when it comes to the ceremony, the
music, what are you looking forward to? British music is our greatest
export as far as I'm concerned. I hope Danny reflect that. I'm
looking forward to seeing local people performing. Some of the
legends as well. Rock'n'roll, crime, rave, the whole lot. Danny Boyle is
contemporary as well. It will be a treat. You will be with us
throughout, giving us your response to what is going on. Greater have
you with us. I will be like a fan. Looking forward to it.
I was a little bit worried about those clouds drifting around! We
are a few hundred yards from the stadium where stands the Olympic
village, home for the next couple of weeks to some of the most famous
sporting human beings on the planet. Including, of course, the fastest
of all, you send Bolt, he was looking to make more history in
London. -- Usain Bolt. The men's 100m title has only been
defended once in Olympic history. And even when it was, in 1998, Carl
Lewis didn't cross the line first. -- 1988. I don't know how he does
it, he does something to stimulate him. He was a creditor gold after
Ben Johnson tested positive for steroids. What should have been a
glorious first for Lewis, became just another chapter in a saga of
scandal. But then Usain Bolt hit Beijing. He was from the parish of
Trelawny Dampney in Cornwall County in Jamaica. He put the fun back
into it sprinting by running like this. He has blown them all away.
Three gold medals, three world records, it sparked a new
scientific debate. Could be human frame go much faster than this? It
could. Usain Bolt could. The following year at the World
Championships in Berlin, he set new records. He was now, you Minkley,
Olympic and world champion at 100m and 200m. A running wonder, a
swaggering money-making machine and somehow still lovable. If anyone
could cross the line first in the 100m in consecutive Games, it had
to be Usain Bolt. London would be his crowning glory. But then
something went wrong. The final of the 100m at the World Championships
in South Korea. He wasn't beaten. He beat himself. Did something
changed when he jumped the gun? Yohan Blake, his training partner,
won the 100m without him and since then Blake has won with bold
running twice. There are others who want which goes with being the
fastest athlete on world -- on earth. Have these dangers been
deliberately woven by the master storyteller? Only one thing is
clear. When the ending comes, it We live in an age where we are all
obsessed with technology and gadgets, but there's still a primal
three -- thriller that he can run the fastest. Usain Bolt has had
injuries, there are question marks. It could make it more fascinating.
This will be the most dramatic 100m in history. There are so many
incredible story lines and it has to do with the fact that Usain Bolt
is not at his best. If he is at his best, the other athletes are at
their best, he wins that race every time. But now you have Yohan Blake,
who has proven time and time again, if you leave the door open, I will
walk through it. He wants it. It is a unique situation for Usain Bolt
because we have seen a different Usain Bolt. He is not the best, he
is not as dominant and he is under a tremendous amount of pressure.
He's the only one in this entire race that has something to lose.
Everyone else only has something to gain. That's an incredible
advantage for them. He is by far the best. There's also Tyson Gay,
Justin Gatlin, Asafa Powell is almost like an outsider. It's true.
Everyone has a unique situation. Tyson Gay will have to wait and see
through the rounds. He can't depend on his body. He has had two
surgeries. He doesn't know it whether he will get through the
rounds. At the US championships he was very tentative. That plays on
your confidence. Even though he is so quick and he is one of the best
technicians in the business. He is the second fastest of all time
behind Usain Bolt, but he can't depend on his body. It makes it a
unique situation. Justin Gatlin, coming back after suspension,
nobody expected him to be here. If I am Usain Bolt and Blake, I'm
hoping he qualifies as one of the fastest so he is beside me. If he
is in lane one or lane eight, he is most dangerous by himself. We kid
sees so many going under 10 seconds. Or all of them could go under 10
seconds. Steve, what about Britain's prospects? Expectations
are high, the target is 48 medals. We were fourth in the medal table
in Beijing. Can we live up to expectations? I think we can. It
will be difficult. Everything went well in Beijing. 19 gold medals. I
think we can sneak into the twenties. Where will they come
from? They will come from the main sports that have done it before.
Cycling will still be our best sport. Rowing and sailing will be
up there. There's a few good chances in athletics. Swimming we
are looking strong in. Taekwondo, triathlon, a lot of sports that
will bring in a lot of medals. The overall target we will hit easily,
but the gold medal won will be difficult. Her you have won five of
them! They don't count any more! You have a halo over your head.
There's more to him than meets the eye! We can go behind the scenes
where Clare Balding has got someone with her.
I'm right down here beside the track. The ceremony has a lot of
Britain about it and that means a sense of humour. These people in
the centre have got the most amazing seats. Fees are fee-paying
members of the audience, they are not actors. They will be part of
the show. Tell us how you got the tickets, what you are looking
forward to and why you're here. got the tickets from my son, I'm
here with my sister. The thing I'm looking forward to is the parade
and the atmosphere. Everybody has been so friendly. It is brilliant,
what has taken place here, the transformation, absolutely
brilliant. You're a Londoner? from Walthamstow and I'm here to
celebrate the Jamaican team and the Great Britain team. Enjoy the show.
Where are you from? Woolwich. what about you? Leighton, just down
the road. It is amazing, the spectacle as you walk on to the
island. It is only when you get into the stadium that you realise
what a once-in-a-lifetime spectacle this will be. What an opportunity
for you guys to be here and be part of it. What about you? I'm living
locally and this is a nice crowd. Everyone is cheerful. Everyone
really liked that. Nice one. Nice experience. It has made such a
difference in Stratford and everybody, as they come out of the
park and going across into the shopping centre, last night
everyone was smiling and everyone in the stadium is smiling,
including phrase two ladies. They are in the show. We are part of the
mechanical team. We have to do audience leader, get them involved
in the show. But in 3D glasses on. And keep them energised, which
shouldn't be difficult. It is a wonderful atmosphere tonight and we
are really, really enjoying it. Well done to you because you are
both volunteers and part of the huge band of volunteers, but
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 45 seconds
particularly you guys, enjoy Now we really can't wait because
there's just an hour and a half before the Opening Ceremony starts
in the Olympic Park, but it's not just about London. Football matches
are taking place all around Britain and tonight big screens have been
assembled in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Let's take you
around a few of them now and to Belfast. They will be watching on
the big screen to see the Opening Ceremony, to see the Olympics get
under way. There they are. screens all around Britain this
evening. Everyone has been looking forward to this Opening Ceremony
for a long time. This is Edinburgh. They are clapping, they are not
clapping us! The pipes. The pipes are playing and the build-up
continues. Tower Bridge, that is where the flame is at the moment.
It made its way up the River Thames to there. Steve Redgrave is still
not giving anything away about who might light the flame. That is
where it will be coming from later. Every time I see a flotilla, I get
slightly nervous! Let's get onto the beach. Glorious evening in
Doesn't that look wonderful? Not long to wait for all of them down
there. Great scenes all around and here in the stadium, too, it is
getting gradually more full. It's 50%, 60% full now. Yeah. Everyone
who is lucky enough to have a ticket tonight is going to enjoy
themselves, from what we have heard. The biggest cheer was when the
first cloud came into the stadium - it got a massive cheer. LAUGHTER
Imagine what will happen later this evening. There will be a few
occasions when rehearsals will be going on behind us. We don't want
to spoil it for you. We will pop across to the other side of the
Olympic Park to our studio. There it is. It's that blue structure
there. I was in there last night for the Great Britain team playing
against Senegal. It is a great spot. Who is in there? I know, Jake
Humphrey and Mishal Husain. You found us! Welcome to our side
of the Olympic Park and this fantastic view of the stadium. What
an incredible night for London and for the whole of the UK. It is so
exciting, particularly those shots looking around the UK. I would like
to be on Weymouth beach this evening! We weren't lucky enough to
get a ticket to be inside. We will be joined by people who know what
it feels like to carry their country's flag, to march proudly
into the stadium and to stand on the top step of the podium, people
just like this. As the hosts, Team GB will go last into the Athletes'
Parade. It is an honour to be asked to carry the flag. Sir Steve
Redgrave has done it twice - 1992 and then again in 1996. Sir Matthew
Pinsent has done it once - that was in Sydney in the year 2000, the
Sydney Olympics. And in Beijing, it was swimmer, Mark Foster.
incredible honour for all of them. Welcome to some distinguished
company, Sir Chris Hoy. A man who deals with the pressures of the
Velodrome is taking his flag- bearing duties in his stride. Let's
see how he is feeling with Sir Matthew Pinsent. I am. Let's be
clear, this isn't the Parade uniform you are standing in front
of us with? No, this is the regular village wear. I'm going to get
changed in a few minutes. What does the uniform look like? I wouldn't
want to give too much away. It is very bright and there is a bit of
gold in there. It's going to be an eye-catching outfit. Describe the
mood within the British team at the moment? I arrived in the village
about an hour or two ago. There's just this electric atmosphere from
everybody, not just the British team, but in the cycling team in
particular, we have been up in Newport and there's been some
incredible performances by the team. We are ready to get on with it. It
is such an exciting time. Can you describe what it means to carry the
British flag tonight? It is not easy to explain just how proud you
feel when you are asked to lead the whole team out there and it is
something you have experienced. I will be speaking to you about it
later on! It won't hit me until I walk into the stadium. It's such an
historic moment and to be the person that carries the flag, it is
a huge honour. That little bit extra special because it was voted
by the other athletes? You are their choice? Very flattering. I
hope I will do the job well and I can do them justice and carry the
flag high with pride. Steve Redgrave and I used to have this
thing about arms straight - you are not going to use the holster. What
is your decision? You have to carry it. You can't have the holster!
Mark Foster got some stick last time because of that. LAUGHTER
Thank you very much. Enjoy it. Thank you, Matt. If one man is not
going to go with the holster, that man is! Now to Ian Thorpe and
Sharron Davies. Thank you for coming in and joining us up here.
You will break a habit of a lifetime this evening, Ian. You
will go to the Opening Ceremony of an Olympic Games. You have never
been before? I have never been before. Most of the swimmers
haven't been because they have to compete on the first day. You made
home advantage work for you? worked for me and no holster for
me! LAUGHTER Your medal moment was in 1980. What are your Olympic
memories? The Olympics are so special. Lots of memories. Winning
my medal in 1980 was important, but every Games has a character about
it. These Games are the best so far. Everyone is so friendly. The
facilities are beautiful. Everyone is so excited to get going. What is
the atmosphere like in the stadium? About five minutes ago, you got the
call to come over here! So you have not lost your pace! There's a few
of us over there that are all dressed this way. Very excited to
be asked. We only got asked about a month ago. We didn't even know. We
are all in there and we have a bit to do later on. You look great.
haven't seen a lot of each other. We will talk more swimming in a
second. All the swimming action here in London is going to happen
at the Aquatics Centre. We have a fantastic view of it just here. It
was designed by Zaha Hadid. Inside, it is a stunning interior, one you
will see a lot of in the coming weeks. The swimming pool at one end,
the diving pool at the other. The star swimmer of Beijing's Water
Cube is Michael Phelps. He is going to be competing here. He's had a
remarkable tally of 14 gold medals. A few more in London will take him
to a new record. The great Michael Phelps is only 19, going for eight
COMMENTARY: That's the fourth gold medal of these Games to Michael
COMMENTARY: Still on for eight COMMENTARY: Waiting for history.
# And a real hero. # The greatest Olympian, ever! If you
dream as big as you can dream, A physique I'm always jealous of!
14 golds. If he picks up another three, Michael will have more
medals from the Olympics than any other athlete in the history of the
Games. Will it happen? If we are talking about three gold medals
here, I'm confident in Michael being able to secure that kind of
number. Looking at eight compared to that, Michael in what he's
swimming has the potential to win more than that. I spoke to his
sister today, actually. She said he is looking pretty good. It's not a
foregone conclusion, is it? He has stiff competition from the US team?
Very much so. He has sort of lost his way a little bit. But he has
found his mojo again. Ryan beating him on a couple of occasions has
given him drive. He's made a big comment about wanting to enjoy
these Games because it will be his swansong. He will be retired after
this. It is important for him to take up every bit of the atmosphere.
Talking about being relaxed, Hannah Miley is known as "Smiley Miley."
To win gold is going to be so difficult? I have a soft spot for
her, it is my event. It is going to be tough. Out of eight of them, six
stand a chance of winning that gold medal. Could she take gold? She is
ranked two in the world on the time she has done this year. He's only
just behind the American by half a second. Steph Rice is defending
champion. She will be in good form. She is coming back into form as
well. It will be tough. It won't be easy. It is a tough event. We will
have that rice live here tomorrow morning on BBC One. -- that race
live here on BBC One. What about Rebecca Adlington? How is she
looking? She is really relaxed coming into this competition. She
has a tremendous amount of pressure on her, not only being at a home
Olympic Games, but defending champion in some of these events.
I'm hoping she does well. She has a big challenge in the 400 m. This is
what the Italians are talking about. The French girl is looking good. I
put money on the 800! LAUGHTER is going to be. Tomorrow morning,
that is when we will see that action get under way. Thank you
very much. Well, already the Torch relay has been an amazing part of
this Olympic story. After a 70-day journey, the last time we saw the
Torch today was at Tower Bridge. That is where it disappeared from
view after travelling along the Thames this morning. There were
once concerns over the public embracing and relating to the Torch
as it travelled the UK. What an incredible success it has been. I'm
going to miss checking out torchcam every morning! The final leg
remains top secret. We do know it will end in the same place that Sue
and Gary are, inside the Olympic The crowd is building up and the
wait is almost over. Jake was talking about the Torch relay and
8,000 lucky people had the honour of carrying that Torch all the way
around the country. In fact, it was a man on my right also, Gary
Lineker, he got the chance to carry the Flame. He did it in Leicester.
It was an early start for you? 7.30am in the morning! I had to be
there at 5.30am, but it was an amazing experience. Very emotional.
Despite the early morning start, a few people came out. Did you enjoy
it? I loved it. I'm not the only one, am I, Sue? You did it in
Sutton? I did. The crowds were tremendous. It was such a "feel-
good factor", the cheering, everyone had such a positive vibe
going forward. Still the "golden girl"! Look at that. Michael, you
impressed with the running style there? I am. I was going to talk
about your knee lift, though! LAUGHTER She's not got your running
style. Shall we have a look at your style? You did it in Stonehenge?
did. At least Sue was running(!) LAUGHTER It was a great experience.
I had never been to Stonehenge before. Carrying the Torch, it was
phenomenal. The sunrise that morning, a beautiful day. Your halo
is still there, Steve! You have carried the Torch already?
Henley. That is where the rowing was in 1908 and 1948. Rowing with
one arm? I carried the flag with one arm, I carried the Torch with
one arm as well. We crossed the line, the two finishing lines. I
was blase about it beforehand. The emotion of doing it was
unbelievable. I'm surprised that would be so significant after what
you have achieved? All those gold medals. You have done everything?
It's a home Games. I was with Michael a couple of weeks ago and
we were at a dinner together. I have been telling everybody I would
have loved to have been competing at 2012. I think I have probably
got the better place. I have done my Olympics. Now I can enjoy every
minute of it. I'm enjoying today and what is going to happen in the
next hours. If we sneak between - you can see Huw with Hazel Irvine.
That is the commentary position. Nice to see you! Can you see me?!
Take it away. Hazel is with me. We were in
Beijing together. We were. first thing we should do is remind
people at home that there is a big purpose to this event, which is not
just drama and spectacle, it is to do with welcoming thousands of
rather special people? Indeed. Danny Boyle says his primary
function is to do that. 10,490 athletes from all over the world,
204 nations and territories all competing in 26 different sports.
It is when they come in here that we will have our work cut out.
mentioned four years ago. We did leave the Bird's Nest stadium
saying, "Nothing will ever beat that!" Yes. We have seen lots of
this ceremony. It's got the It does. Four years ago it was or
precision and wonderful stage management and the formality of
thousands of people. This has energy and dynamism. A lot of
people involved in it. It will be very different in tone from four
years ago. It is very, very compelling in its own way. The man
responsible for that compelling note is Danny Boyle. It is time to
hear from him. I had a word with him about his vision for tonight's
Where do we start? Trying to construct an event on this scale.
We sat down with a bunch of people. It is a wonderful thing to do. You
focus on the best of us. You have to be slightly critical, as part of
that process, but you realise that the evening is a festival of
celebration of the best of us. One of our key people is an American,
Suttirat Anne Larlab. I have worked with her many times and she is
great. She did not grow up here. She will tell you, I don't know
what you're talking about, the international audience will be
completely bemused, if you are going on about the Clangers. You
have to keep an international perspective. It has to represent us
and feel truthful about the details of our heritage and growing up. But
you also have to make sure it doesn't just befuddle everybody
abroad. What are the British values, in simple terms, that come out of
this show? The place we are in the world is a very different place now,
economically and politically, compared to the last time we hosted
the Games, when we brought together the world after the war. As the
flame drew nearer, vast crowds poured into the stadium in the
blazing sunshine that graced this opening day. There's a modesty
about it as well. We are aware of our place in the world now. The
Olympics helps you do that because it is the coming together of all
different nations and although we had booked -- we hope to be fourth
in the medal table, most of all you hope to be in the mix. To what
extent did you manage to balance the past, the present and what you
think will be the future? You have to remember where you come from,
you have to have respect for the past, but you are pushing forward.
This is really about youth. Not just in a PR sense, this is about
the next generation. To what extent have you been conditioned by
previous shows and are you reacting against some of them? Are you
borrowing elements from others? There are certain things in built
that you can't avoid and you don't want to avoid, like drumming. There
will be some drumming! They are wonderful. One of the Games we
valued was Sydney. They rightly called that the People's Games.
They managed to generate a feeling of inclusive a T. It felt like it
belonged to the people and they were preventing this -- presenting
this festival. If we get compared to that, I will be very proud. I
don't think you can be compared to Beijing, it was an awe-inspiring
spectacle, we wanted hours to be spectacular but also feel inclusive.
And have a warmth about it that might surprise people.
SUE BARKER: London is waiting. Danny's story will look at the
history of Britain and the future. London 2012 is all about leaving a
legacy. The logo of the Games is inspired a generation, as they hope
youngsters will want to follow their heroes. Every athlete has a
story to tell and this is the story of one hour -- one of our Golden
girls. Denise Lewis is the Olympic champion! I remember grinning, just
grinning from ear to ear. dazzling smile appears. My mum was
in the stands at the time. She was emotional, but also very proud.
What a picture. I felt I had come such a long way to get to that
point. On your marks, get set... was a sporty kid. Primary school, I
couldn't wait for break times when I could just run up and down the
yard and race against people. I wanted to take on the best in the
year and once I had dealt with all the girls, I wanted to take on the
boy's! Fantastic to see so many of you turn up even though it is
raining! We are still having fun! My mum was always there. It was
just me and my mum. I grew up watching her, I was at nursery at a
very young age because she had to work. She had to put food on the
table, pay the bills. We were like a little team. There was something
about athletics, feeling free and just challenging myself. I went to
my mum and said, unique to take me to the nearest track. To a degree I
think my mum kind of went along with it at that time. You are still
very much heavily into school life. I was constantly worried about
school because I thought that was more important. We had a lot of
arguments about that, as you can imagine. For me, it was always
about me doing it, me needing it and not being held back. When I
used to finish school, I would be here in this patch with my big
kitbag. This is my sleeping patch. I used to get maybe half an hour,
40 minutes' sleep in this corner before I had to start training and
warming up. I don't know how she did that because I can never sleep
in half-an-hour. Competition morning, I learnt to keep away from
her. If I saw her at breakfast, she doesn't want anything to eat.
Everything is fine, Mum, leave it! She would put her music on and she
would go into her zone. This stadium is home. I'm a lifetime
member of Birchfield Harriers. It is a breeding ground for talent, it
really has. Their first Olympic champion. What a moment for Great
Britain and what a wonderful moment for Denise Lewis. If you would like
to get involved in Olympic sports, Here she is, Denise Lewis. She
sleeps on the floor. Can't believe that! In many ways you can be a
world champion and European champion, but there's more to life,
you have to win a gold medal and that is the difference. It is. You
dream about being a big champion, that is what most of our sportsmen
and women dream about. It is not about being world champion, it is
about being Olympic champion, emulating the stars you have seen
from yesteryear and wanting to be that person. What a magical feeling
it must be. The best feeling in the world. It has given me such a great
life. Standing on the podium is important, but what I've been able
to give back to my community, my friends, my family, the next
generation of sports stars is priceless. She has certainly
inspired so many young girls to take up sport and in 2012, almost
5,000 women will compete in London. Women's boxing makes a first
appearance at the Games and for the first time in Olympic history, all
200 for participating nations will include female athletes. Quite a
He won the modern Olympic Games were revived in 1896, women were
perfectly welcome, as spectators. Fuelled by the turmoil of World War,
female emancipation was slowly becoming a reality in life and in
sport. In 1928, days after voting equality was achieved in Britain,
the first women's Olympic 800m started in Amsterdam. Germany's Li
Na Red Cap won gold, but some for the spectacle unedifying. The Daily
Mail said there was sobbing girls, all of the women collapsed and it
was a terrible sight. But it is just not true. This was the
testimony of one finalist, American Florence McDonald. I think the goal
that won the race did OK. -- girl. Sport was controlled by men of
certain parts of society and the reaction to seeing women in the
sporting arena was, this is unladylike. It was much more about
that than it was about worrying about the health, that was a red
Hering. The IOC women could not or should not run such distances. They
would come -- banned from competing beyond 200m until beyond -- until
the Rome Olympics of 1960 ft up the Second World War not only changed
the course of history but also the cause of women's lives. In
emergency, they had led the way and post war, they wanted to maintain
the sense of responsibility. In 1948, a 30-year-old mother of two
from Utrecht came to embody that ethos. But when Fanny Blake has
going arrived at the London Games, she was not universally welcomed.
She was criticised. She received letters from people saying she
should not leave her children. She had a hard time in being accepted.
The critics soon revise their views as the so called Flying housewife
stormed Dugald in four of the nine women's events. Stash stormed gold.
And she had one last surprise. When her third child was born in 1949,
it became clear that she had competed in London while pregnant.
Sex, drugs and rock and roll, but the 1960s was also an era of
demonstration, of civil unrest and Women's lip. As feminism performed
-- forge forward, so did sportswomen on the world stage.
is poised to jump into Olympic history. A beautiful jump! She will
take the gold medal! Ann Packer of Great Britain. Come on, Mary!
has the gold medal! You don't realise it at the time and you are
breaking down barriers for women. But as you look back, you realise
that yes, we were doing something right at the time. In Montreal in
1976, women's handball, rowing and basketball were added to the
Olympic programme and a woman achieved the impossible. Perfection.
Verity is! 10. Olympic history. -- there it is. Her by the 1980s,
women were reading the news and they were the news. The dramas of
the female players on the Olympic stage were just as compelling. The
rivalry of Fatima Whitbread and Tessa Sanderson. The acrimony of
Zola Budd and Mary Decker. And the incredible exploits of Florence
Griffith-Joyner. After nearly a century of Olympic competition,
this was author of the decadent that finally delivered the holy
grail for female athletes. The marathon. 90,000 people greeted the
victory in Los Angeles, a win that was nearly 100 years in the making.
By the 1990s, sport was big business, advertising, sponsorship,
marketing, all meant your body was your brand and four women in
particular, that meant that what it looked like was just as important
as what it could do. Women and women in sport are judged on how
they look. It is not right. You only have to look at the magazine
covers to see what type of women make it onto the front cover.
inclusion of women's boxing is historic, symbolic and it is real.
It means that London 2012 finally offers women's -- women sporting
parity with men and that will have ramifications far beyond these
Olympic Games. In his Opening Ceremony, the
history of the women's movement is reflected, particularly the
suffragettes, Emmeline Pankhurst, who won women the right to vote,
and got equal rights for men and women in 1928. We do just tough her
relatives -- and a representative, but also relatives. My name is
Helen Pankhurst and I am the great granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst.
What is the vision of Danny Boyle in terms are reflecting your great-
grandmother's struggle. importance was the suffragette
movement and the contribution they made to British history. They
fought for women's right to vote and that wasn't just about voting,
it was about equality, political equality. To get that into a show
like this has been really important. What about you? You are 17, still
at school. It has been amazing, but more than that, it is really
important to me personally because of my background, but also because
inequality and equality, it is so unequal globally as well as here.
It is incredible that we get to spread the message to such an
enormous audience, especially as my relatives had to fight so hard,
even for a tiny audience, and we have a billion people. What we do a
It's amazing that you're representing everything the
Pankhurst family has done. Good luck. Thank you very much. There it
is, it's livening up inside the stadium. The crowds are in and we
have animals, lots of them. Geese, obviously, it's a farmyard view
here. Shire horses, it's hard to know what they're going to do with
them all. It's open to your imagination at home. All will be
revealed, of course, pretty shortly. Cows and goats, all sorts.
Fantastic stuff. One of the many aspects to look forward to in
tonight's ceremony, about an hour from now. Not all the competitors
will take part though. No the spotlight, pressure lies heavily on
the shoulders of the British competitors. To protect the track
and field team, who don't start their campaign for eight days, UK
athletics have taken them to Portugal to the resort there as
keeping them fit and focused on the challenge ahead. Our man there is
Phil Jones. First of all, I hear you were doing my job last night?
Oh, I promise your job is well and truly safe! I did host a question
of sport for the athletes here last night. Not surprisingly it got
competitive. There were four teams of four, two lofts semi-finals. Two
of the teams were led by Lawrence Clark and Andy Turner, two of our
hurdlers. The final teams were led by Dai Greene and Christian Malcom.
It was Christian who won by a couple of points. But it was more
about the taking part that counted than the winning. At the end of it
all, it did the trick. We rallied the troops. There were a few laughs
and the team spirit seemed to shine through.
The athletes have been here for three of the last four years before
major championships to prepare. On the last couple of occasions it
seems to have worked a treat. They've gone on to have successful
campaigns. We hope for more of the same this time. The fact that
they're here means they can't be at the Opening Ceremony tonight. Trust
me when I say they're very much with you in spirit.
It's a home away from home for Britain's athletes. Monte Gordo was
the base in 2009 and Barcelona Europeans a year later, both
successful championships for Team GB. It's a so-called holding camp,
a pause for final preparation, a haven away for the hype -- from the
hype for the medal hopefuls. takes the Gold Medal! For one
Olympic champion it's not only a question of avoiding the hype, but
also an invasive sentimentality. The emotion has gone out. It's pure
business. At the same time, when everybody's gone home, I'll still
be there. It's something that I'll always remember and be proud that
somewhere I've grown up has been able to host one of the most
amazing, important events in the world. Being in the UK, with all
the hype surrounding the Olympics is not good for British athletes.
We've come away. We get no distractions out here. We focus on
our training, recovery. Everyone's been on teams together before. The
new recruits seem to find their footing in the squad. There's a
fantastic atmosphere. It's a pleasure to be around the other
athletes. The Jessica Ennis is here, ready for her close up. The mood in
the camp is good. It's nice to be out here finally. Everyone's
feeling positive and training well. We're going to watch the Opening
Ceremony together in our uniform. We can't be there, but we'll be
here together as a team. It would have been nice to experience it,
there but we're going to do something with everyone and we have
our Opening Ceremony kit. So it will be exciting to be with the
whole team. Not all star athletes are here to share in the team
viewing. Mo Farah, Gold Medal contender over 5,000 and 10,000
metres is at altitude in Europe, fine tuning for his pursuit of
Olympic history, four years after disappointment in Beijing. He's
going through a bit of a bad patch. He's in serious trouble now.
wasn't easy. It was the hardest time in my life. As an athlete you
know you can do better, but you didn't do it. It's hard to deal
with yourself. Something you work so hard and you know you could have
done, but you didn't do it. I think there's going to be a few Dark
Horses and underdogs who will be a shock and surprise people. You
might not know who they are now, but by the end of the Games they
will know. We all want to excel in London. Everyone knows we're on the
verge of perhaps achieving something great. There Just having
a home crowd and you know, it's the Olympics, it's a huge occasion.
That's just going to bring out extra performances in all of us.
I'm joined now by two of our medal hopefuls inage letsics, Dai Greene,
Robbie Grabberts in the high jump. It's a special night across the UK.
You're here in Portugal, you have separate plans tonight? Yes indeed.
The athletics squad is preparing for the Games. We won't be in
London tonight, sadly, but we're all gathering together to watch the
occasion and we'll all be glued to the TV all night. I know you have
this particular kit on here, but the special unveiling of another
kit later I hear? Yeah, there's a slight strip show and then
transformation into a surprise outfit. Part of that, I've heard,
there might be spectacles, tell me about that? That's also a secret.
Keep your eyes peeled for the team photos. One thing that struck me,
we saw the question of sport clip from last night, you were part of
that. There's a great team unity here. You as team captain are at
the forefront. There's a good mix of youngsters coming into the squad.
Athletes who have been in the squad for many years too. There are
friends in the squad and I think that just goes a long way to
creating a positive attitude in the squad. We all feel like friends. We
all want each other to succeed. It's great having that feeling
going to the Olympics. Robbie, I'm sure you need to be focused but
trying to deliver an air of relaxation before the big job.
nothing more than that. I'm all about having fun. It's nice to
share that with other people as well. Relax those who may be a
little tense and let the relaxation rub off on everyone else. You might
be hundreds of miles away from the Opening Ceremony tonight, I know
you'll be there in spirit, is there a message to send back to the
millions watching at home? I hope all of Britain try to tune in,
enjoy the moment. It's a fantastic achievement to have the Olympics.
I'm sure we'll do a great job. Everyone should dot upmost to get
behind the team and enjoy tonight. Enjoy the Opening Ceremony, enjoy
the Games. Thanks for talking to us. Every pull of an oar, every lap,
every sprint for the line, every mile every tack of the sail, for
one obsession. So much to look forward to. Look
who's joined us, the one and only John McEnroe. Have you met John?
Long time no see! '77 was the first year we saw each other. Sue should
have won Wimbledon. Don't start that! She just got over it. No, I
haven't. Do you two know each other? We do. It's a pleasure to be
sitting next to Michael especially at my first Olympics. I'm pumped up.
You never competed in an Olympics. Plenty of chalk dust but no gold
dust. Well put. What are your first impressions? I'm excited. I don't
know about this scene, this rural England or whatever it is, it's
pretty awesome. I had a chance in '88 to play, but didn't participate
because I felt like tennis players shouldn't be in the Olympics. But
this year at Wimbledon, quite a bit more exciting for the players. Soy
think this is, I'm missing it. I wish I had the chance to play. I've
got to ask one question though, the British track and field team, I
never had a chance to participate in an Olympics, it is a regret. I
wish I did. A lot of these guys I'm guessing, may never be here again,
couldn't they have flown them in and flown them back to resume
training in the moment? Gary, come on? Nothing to do with me. I'd have
had them here. Ask this man. Even those who will get this opportunity
again, you're right, it won't be in London again. This is a once in a
lifetime opportunity. In 1996, Atlanta Olympics, I understand
where they're coming from. You don't want to be in this
environment. I flew in and flew right back out. I flew in the day
before, for the Opening Ceremony, and then flew right back out. They
could have done that as well. You'll never have this opportunity
again. I remember walking, it's the one moment when you realise, I'm an
Olympian, when you walk in the stadium and it's a home Games.
can see behind us, actually, that the Countdown is on. The ceremony
is not far away. And that is the Countdown to the magnificent Red
Arrows, who will be coming across Olympic Park. This will be the
moment that will really start the Opening Ceremony. The Red Arrows
have been making their journey around the country, the four
capitals and the nations of Great Britain, but this is their final
stop, to come here to get this Opening Ceremony under way.
Hopefully we'll get a glimpse of them soon. There they are. Look at
that, what a spectacular sight that is. They fly towards the stadium.
They're flying from east to west. So I can yell as loud as I want now
in 50 seconds and no-one will hear a word I'm say sning Quite possibly
John and that will probably be a GB colours, how about that?!
far away. They have been such an iconic sight around the nation. The
crowd now beginning to cheer. They've been told that the Red
Arrows are not far away, just Arrows are not far away, just
metres away. Faster even than Usain Bolt. Looking overhead here, I'm
waiting to see them Sue. There's that we've heard here in the
stadium. There will be many, many more to come here tonight. They
hoed off west into the sun set and their way home. They've travelled
all around the country, this, their last destination. Is it really
seven years ago that this all The Games of the 30th Olympian in
2012 are awarded to the City of The City that welcomes the world
with open arms but also with an open mind. The handover is complete,
London's vision of inspiration and legacy, to inspire young people to
choose sport wherever they live, whatever they do, whatever they
Looking at those pictures, you mentioned your first Olympics, I
know you're heavily involved with the tennis. What are you looking
forward to? Would love to be at the 100m and 200 m final. That is THE
race. I did a race for the Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps rivalry.
I'm scieked for that. And I'm a bicycling fan. I'm excited for that
to get going. I know Great Britain looks promising there. Of course,
tennis, you know I'm only doing probably one match and I'm hoping
that in this case a guy by the name of Andy Murray is able, after
Wimbledon, that he can win the gold. Let's hope so. John great to see
you. Thanks for having me. recent Olympic Games Britannia has
ruled the waves. With four golds won in Beijing, this year's sailors
have much to live up to. They've been introduced to the crowd in
Weymouth, which is the only venue where there is no seating. That's
my dad fact of the night. It's the only one we're going to allow you.
Those are the scenes there. The sailing team being introduced on
the stage. The star is Ben Ainsworth. Can he strike gold for a
Welcome to Weymouth. It is a beautiful evening here. Even you
must be blown away by the number of people who have turned out here to
cheer you on your way. Yes, it is great, such a great atmosphere, for
our home Olympics. To see so many people here are supporting us in
Weymouth and Portland, and of course, up in London, on a
beautiful English summer evening, it is fantastic. You were the very
first person to carry the torch on British soil, and I know you got
emotional about it, because you believe the Olympics is not just
about the athletes, it is a celebration for absolutely
everyone? That's right. The great thing about the torch was that it
went all round the country, it was a chance for everyone to get
involved. Certainly, the Olympics is about the youngsters, the young
people coming through. Hopefully, this Games will inspire future
generations to come into sport, and from what I can see, it has already
started. We know you're going for gold, the entire nation is behind
you, but what would it mean to do it here in home waters, surrounded
by all these people who have helped you on your amazing 16-year
journey? It is hard to describe what it would mean for any of us,
competing on home waters, in the sailing. It is so special, such an
incredible opportunity. Also, it is a huge responsibility to perform
when it counts. We hope we can do everyone proud. On behalf of the
entire nation, may you have the most fabulous of fortnights. We
hope you can do it. The party will continue here in Weymouth, and it
really feels as if we are so lucky to be part of something which is
going to be so very, very special. And it is not any special in
Weymouth, it is very special here Weymouth, it is very special here
in east London as well. It is starting to fill up nicely, but
they are about to do so rehearsals, so we had better not show you any
more for now. With us now, two men who know how it feels to fight for
who know how it feels to fight for an Olympic medal, and to be
successful. Lennox Lewis won gold for Canada in 1988, and Amir Khan
was a sensation in 1994, winning a silver medal. -- in 2004. But you
have let the American boxers training your gym?! They came to
look at our facilities, and they said they needed somewhere to train.
Bolton is a long way from London, about 300 miles away, but I said,
if you want to come and train here, boxing is a team sport, we are a
family. They were in the gym, very dedicated, and to be honest, they
did not want to go out. Lennox Lewis, you have got so many
highlights from your career, so how does that gold-medal compare?
definitely compares with one of the goals which I wanted to achieve.
There is nothing like winning a gold medal at the Olympics. Nothing
really compares to it, maybe a world heavyweight championship, but
once you have won the Olympic medal, it is like you have completed a
goal. Mohamed Ali was my hero, and the fact that she had one, I wanted
to get one as well. Athens was amazing for you, what is your
stand-out memory? It totally changed my life. Winning that
silver medal, when I came back to England, I was treated like I had
won the gold medal. Everybody knew who Amir Khan was. It is like
changing, and I have been speaking to a cup of the athletes in the
boxing team, and I told them, trained hard and do not give up,
because this is like changing. If you win a medal, it can change your
life. All the boxing this time around in London is going to be
taking place at the ExCel Arena, which is in east London, very near
the Olympic Park, so let's just take you to show you what it looks
take you to show you what it looks like. It has a capacity of 10,000.
It is also going to be the home of other sports, including fencing and
judo. But British boxing has come a long way in recent years. There are
seven men and three women in the squad. Women boxers are competing
in the Olympics for the very first time. Here's what you can expect
Team GB boxing is in rude health, and ready to take on the world. Of
the 10 athletes representing their country, seven are ranked in the
top three in the world. They have come a long way since Athens 2004,
when Amir Khan came away with silver. He was Britain's only
representative in the ring. The performance director has said he
wants a minimum of three medals in 2012. Hoping to stand on top of the
medal podium will be the team medal podium will be the team
captain, Tom Stalker, ranked world number one at light-welterweight.
It is all about the draw, you do need a bit of luck on your side.
For me to win a gold medal, I have got to win five fights, basically.
That's what I am thinking about when I go to bed every night, could
see the whole of work that I have put in over the years. It is
something you dedicate your life to, and you get the rewards. I have
never wanted anything as bad as I want this. That is why I will be
giving 110% when I fight. Another hopeful is super-heavyweight
Anthony Joshua. I have just got to keep it low key, and hopefully get
the job done. We are not doing it for ourselves, we keep doing it for
the country. It is another day in The Office, going out to defeat the
opponent. It is nothing to get excited about. I know there is
going to be an amazing atmosphere and an amazing crowd, when they
seek two 20 stone guys walking in, the crowd will get excited. But I
have got to keep my head on my shoulders and stick to my game plan.
At the end of the day, as long as good at winning, that's what
matters. Andrew Selby, the flyweight, last year became the
first Welshman to win gold at the European Championships in 86 years.
Let them come forward, and I will pick punches. My style of boxing is
just hit and move. London 2012 will see Women's boxing making its
Olympic debut. Natasha Jonas won Brawns in the recent World
Championships, and is under no illusions about the task ahead.
London is massive for me as an athlete, being the first women to
compete there in our sport. We are pioneers. But boxing is boxing,
whether you're a man or woman. great teams comes a heavy
expectation, but Britain's boxers could be now up there with the best
of them. Times have really changed, because we have got 10 boxers in
the squad, whereas in Athens, it was just you! Yes, it shows how
much boxing has come on. We have got some great fighters in the Team
GB camp. I really think this could be one of the best Olympics we have,
especially in boxing. It is not just the fact that we have got more
boxers competing, it is that for the first time ever in the Olympic
Games, women will be competing. What are your thoughts? I think it
is great. It is exciting times. When men are out there boxing, I'm
sure a lot of women will be saying, I can beat them. Now, they will
have the opportunity to go and compete. I always thought Mohamed
Ali's daughter was very good. She led the way for women boxing. I'm
sure there's a lot of women who will want to follow in her
footsteps. Of course, and we must mention Anthony Joshua, he came out
of nowhere to win silver in the World Championships - can he turn
that into gold here at the Games? We are hoping for great things from
Anthony Joshua. I think he is going to do well. He just has to relax
and do what he does best. He has got a magnificent physique. He has
got a really strong punch as well. So, we're hoping that he will come
through with a gold medal. Amir Khan, any particular ones to look
out for for you? Tom Stalker is one of the best in the world, I think
he can win a medal. We have got some good fighters, they just have
to stay calm. It is a big occasion. Going to a World Championships and
European championships, it is amazing, but the Olympics is
something else. There's a lot of pressure on these fighters. Behind
us is the Olympic village, if there are any boxers who have decided not
to come down tonight, surely, your watch is all the inspiration they
need! I hope so! Winning a medal will totally changed her life
around. It has changed my life in a big way. I turned professional and
everything. It was a great platform for me. Life-changing for you as
well, the next? Absolutely. Stepping into the ring, everybody
is looking at you, they do not know if you're going to win or not. And
then all of a sudden, you win the fight, you come out of the ring,
and everybody wants to take your picture, everybody wants your
autograph, it is night and day. Thank you very much for joining us.
You will be commentating on Radio 5 Live for the duration. Thank you
very much, guys. Now, to some more potential winners, some people that
Every early morning, three miles. Every twist and turn, every kick.
Every sprint for the line. One Rehearsals are still going on in
the stadium. But I can tell you, the umbrellas are up as well, it
has just started to rain! We have got the clouds out, and now we have
got the rain. We have got animals everywhere. There is a strange bit
of countryside activity going on about there. One of the best-kept
secrets is who's going to light the flame. It is not going to be that
scarecrow, is it? The second best secret is how it will make its way
from City Hall to the stadium tonight. The torch has made its way
the length and breadth of Britain, passing within 10 miles of all of
you at home. Touch down in the UK - final destination, London, but only
after 8,000 miles, 70 days, with 8,000 torchbearers. As the relay
begins, the message goes from runner to run a - this is your
moment to shine. It has been really emotional, I am going to start
crying. I am not really anybody, and people are cheering me on, it
is ridiculous! I was in Wonderland. Throughout Britain, the sight of
the torch touched millions. It was carried by famous names, and by
people simply nominated by family and friends, each with a story to
tell. The guys have come down to support him, he means a lot to the
regiment. They gave me my date, and I was due to give birth, but I said
a little prayer! You have got two choices in life - sit and do
nothing, or get up and live your life exactly as you did before,
which is exactly what I do. Olympic spirit swept through the
nation, and the public turned out in force to cheer on their loved
ones, or just to see the world's most famous flame. A little bit
emotional, it is just extraordinary. The experience of a lifetime.
does not bother us, we have done that, got the T-shirt. It is only a
bit of water. A little bit wet, but totally worth it. Each day brought
a new story, a new memory to cherish, a new beginning. I cannot
believe how sneaky he was to do that! I do not want to let anybody
down, you know. And so to the last stage of the torch relay, the last
of the 8,000 runners, the last few steps of the 8,000 miles. This is
the host city, but if the past 70 days have shown one thing, it is
that the spirit of the Olympics reaches way beyond London to the
for corners of the United Kingdom. Through rain, and more rain, the
message was never forgotten - this Wonderful im ages. I was in south-
west London and watched the torch. I saw it in Sheffield and near my
home in North London. Got the kids out of bet early on their summer
holidays. It was strangely emotional. No-one really expected
it to be as successful as it has. But it was. You know what, they
weren't put off when it was raining and the torch game by. They will
not be put off this evening, stkpwiet the fact that the breaking
news here at the Olympic Park is that the heavens have opened and
below us there are thousands of people walking past going into the
stadium. You know what, we always come prepared. There they are, the
ponchos in just about every colour you can get them in. We knew that
clouds were always part of the Opening Ceremony in one way or
another. The real things are actually here now. We're going to
talk cycling next here in the studio. This is one of Britain's
big sports. With us now are Chris Boardman who won gold in 1992 and
Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson who is not only talking about the road race
tomorrow but also Britain's most successful Paralympic athlete. The
torch relay, how was it for you? It's been amazing. I live in the
north-east of England. We went to a back road in Stockton an hour
before it came through and it was packed. We had to elbow our way to
the front. I think 14 million people have come to see it. That's
amazing. We didn't expect those kind of numbers. It grabbed
people's attention in the build up to the Games. Now cycling is
grabbing people's attention. We've heard John McEnroe say he is
looking forward to it. Steve Redgrave too. The sport is on a
high. It is an unprecedented time for us with success in the Tour De
France, Mark Cavendish, Bradley Wiggins winning first time. This is
the strongest team we've ever fieldled for an Olympic Games.
inspiration from the man who won gold in 92. Yes I am responsible
for all this success! Course you are. The road race starts tomorrow.
As Chris told me earlier Mark Cavendish will be fine. After all
he's had six days rest since the Tour finished. After sufferinging
heart break four years ago, being the only track cyclist to leave
Beijing without a medal, tomorrow he will be inspired to make 2012
his year. Can you believe that the biggest
name in cycling, you're the winning of the Tour De France? I am
officially bigger than Cavendish? big part of sprinting is confidence.
He's got bucket loads of it. COMMENTATOR: Cavendish takes
victory and it's sweet. He's an all or nothing kind of guy. That's key.
It's something I strive to be. leads a race incredibly well.
Whereas you or I would see a mess of bodies everywhere, Mark just
sees gaps. His genius is his ability to stay completely rational.
It's the most hectic and uncontrollable moment in cycling.
People forget they see the last 500 metres of a stage and you have to
ride for five hours before that and to unleash the sprint at the end.
People ask who would win between us two, I wouldn't even be at the
finish. COMMENTATOR: Mark Cavendish wins
for the fourth year running. I know I have to do, make the calculations,
the decisions in an instant, it's close to instinct as you can get
from learning to ride a bike. Somehow he sees everything
happening in slow motion. He sees things happen that others aren't
seeing. He's making decision that's other people are panicking about.
He's the only guy in the ruck us that isn't losing his cool. But
when he finishes the -- crossings - - crosses the finishing line, it
all comes out. It's a big honour to represent my country, to ride as a
team, doing it for that honour, for the country, not for a commercial
wage, it's a big, big thing. To us he's just Mark, you know. Even the
last few days, you can see he's getting excited and he's
approaching the thing he's been looking at for the last 12 months.
We are almost trying to calm him down all the time. He's going
through the full spectrum. He makes himself angry, nervous, confident.
He can be practising a victory salute one moment to being
terrified the next. That's just him. He's a wonderful personality.
super excited. He's getting his shoes ready, his glasses ready.
He's ready to go. He's as fit as I've ever seen him. He was
complaining on the road that we were going too hard and smashing
his head in. We said this is your fault, you asked for us to be here.
We're here to dot job for you. have four Tour De France stage
winners in the team, guys who really want to do this. We were
training today and it was just like, oh, my God, this is a dream team.
It's a big thing to have, guys who can win in their own right,
dedicate themselves to a cause and you know, I can't let my team down,
that's it. That's the biggest thing. What a talent. Remember, he has
unfinished Olympic business. A simple tweet from him tonight
saying "I am nervous." I think he's talking about tomorrow, not tonight.
But it is one of the highlights of tomorrow morning, first day of
sporting action, we'll be talking about it here on BBC within. Of
course he's known as a fantastic sprint cyclist, we saw that in the
Tour De France. This is a long course, though. I think everyone's
been talking about him potentially winning it for a long time. It will
be interesting, how many people going up against him, what they do,
whether they try to break him early on. People who haven't been exposed
to cycling and watch the Tour will be fascinated by the team and the
whole do or die that their job is to get him to the finish line first.
We cycled the road racecourse today, we just went up, that was fine for
us. We didn't go down. As far as Cav is concerned, he has trained to
take on box hill nine times and still be in the count for the
sprint at the end. He's ridden the course a lot. He has lost a little
bit of weight. He took the edge off his speed in the first week of the
Tour De France. I think the climb is not his problem. It's his
reputation. There's a lot of good riders out there. It will be a
really attacking race. He has the whole team behind him, the best
they've ever had. There are only four guys. You can't control the
race. The team strength is there. They're very strong and they will
ride for him. It will be fascinating. They have a lot of
experience. David Miller will be captain on the road and calling the
shots. No race radios this time around. Enjoy being there tomorrow
soaking up the atmosphere. Chris comentaits on the race as it
unfolds. Thank you both. The Opening Ceremony is now about 20
minutes away. For the final time, Gary and Sue, back to you in the
stadium. I imagine the atmosphere is something quite special.
It certainly is. It is fantastic here. And I think it's stopped
raining. The brollies have gone down. That's great news. Danny
Boyle has been out and asked it to stop. That's how good the
organisation is. Just 20 minutes away, the start of the greatest
show on earth. That's only the appetiser, of course, for 16 days
of the very best of the sport, which you can enjoy in all sorts of
different ways on the BBC. The BBC is covering the 2012
Olympics like never before. Whether it's on TV, online, on the radio or
through your mobile. We'll make sure you never miss a moment of
these historic Games. On BBC One, we'll broadcast from breakfast
right through until 1am. BBC Three will show live action,
uninterrupted from 9am to 11pm. We'll be showing more sports on the
red button, just click to see what's available. The BBC website
will cover up to 24 live streams of every event. Go to bbc.co.uk/sport
to see our new interactive sport player. We'll have every session of
every sport, every day live. On the website you'll find a page for
every athlete, sport, venue and country, as well as all the news as
it happens. If you're on the move, access the latest news through our
new Olympic app or on the BBC mobile website. You can listen to
the live coverage on BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio 5 Live Olympics
extra, the new Olympic station. you've got a 3-D TV and you want to
see the Games in 3-D, you can. We broadcast daily highlights on the
HD channel and live coverage of the ceremonies and 100 metres final.
London 2012 on the BBC. We've got the Olympic Games covered.
There's only one thing to watch right now, the Opening Ceremony not
far away. We heard a short time ago from Mark Cavendish. He'll be
hoping to get the team off to a flying start with a Gold Medal on
the opening day. As far as rowing is concerned, there is one athlete
who is desperate to get her hands on an Olympic gold medal. Katherine
Grainger has competed in three Games and won three silver medals.
Surely this time it will be gold. There's nothing like an Olympic
final. Great Britain currently in bronze position. Girls, don't give
up on that sex offender. Glrb on We got it.
Great Britain must go now. 75 metres remain. Let's go Great
Britain. Up and give it everything! They take the silver medal.
Katherine Grainger adds another silver medal to her collection.
This has got to be gold for Katherine Grainger. Great Britain
there now easing out to half a length. China is coming. They have
to move. And the Chinese have unleashed an
incredible amount of speed. It is China for the Gold Medal. Utter,
utter disappointment for Great Britain and also for Katherine
Grainger. Silver again for Katherine Grainger.
Emotional scenes. What do you think? She's rowing in a double
with Anna watt kins. They're unbeaten. They're in good form.
They're in relaxed mood. I think it's time. The nation will be
rooting for her. Generally in rowing, we'll do well, won't we?
Very well. We had a very good World Championships last year. We had ten
medals in the Olympic event. Certainly medal chances in almost
every event. We have four days of finals and Gold Medal chances on
every one of those days. Do you miss it? Do you feel like, here in
this country, you'd like to be part of it? There's part of me that
would like to be part of it. There's a lot of me that will not.
I can imagine! The pre-show is continuing and singing live right
now is Frank Turner, a regular on the festival scene and a particular
favourite of the show's artistic boss, Danny Boyle. He's on
Glastonbury Tor there, in the fields transformed into the British
countryside. This song's called I Still Believe.
# Hey, friends and Romans, countrymen, hey, hey, punks and
skins and journeymen # Hey, hey my sisters and my
brethren, the time is coming near # Come, yeah,
# Come yeah, to the sound, is ringing clear, now who'd have
thought that after all something as simple and rock'n'roll would save
us all? # Who'd have thought that after all
it was rock'n'roll # Hey, hey, now anybody could take
this stage. # Think miracles on minimum wage
# The songs through the modern age # Right here, right now
# Who'd have thought that after all # It was rock'n'roll
# I still believe in the saints in Gerry Lee and Johnny and the greats.
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 45 seconds
# I still believe. # Now who'd have thought that after
all. # Something as simple as rock all. # Something as simple as rock
'n' roll would save us all. # Now who'd have thought that after all.
# Something so simple, something so small.
# Who would have thought? # That after all.
# It's rock'n'roll. But # thank you And don't forget, this is just a
warm-up, the Opening Ceremony is not yet begun. We are getting close,
though. Andrew Marr now charts the proud history of this magnificent
Back at the turn of the last century, the founder of the modern
Olympics, Pierre de Coubertin, came up with the five rings to represent
the five continents competing together. He said, in the Olympic
Games, the most important thing is not to win, but to take part, just
as in life, the most important thing is not the triumph but the
struggle. This, you might think, is a bit defeatist, particularly for a
Frenchman. On the other hand, the Games was all about people pouring
in from all parts of the world, and all about resilience, so it is not
a bad fit, you might think, for the City of London. After all, this is
a city which has faced disaster many times in the past. Roman
London was virtually wiped out by rebel British tribes, and the city
lost around a fifth of its population in the Great plague of
1665, and then had its heart burned out in the Great Fire one year
later. Then was the Blitz, which knocked much of London to pieces.
The aerial bombardment was not just supposed to destroy buildings and
the transport system, but actually to strangle the optimism of the
people. NEWSREEL: there are no words to
describe what is happening in London these days. In 1940, the
tunnels of the Underground, which today are the rather clogged
arteries supporting working life in London, would protect life itself.
There was no government planned to start with, but eventually, 150,000
Londoners would be sleeping on station platforms as the bombing
went on overhead. Huge numbers of people were killed, but life also
went on, despite 57 consecutive nights of air raids. Some of the
scars are still visible, some of which is due to the cheaper
rebuilding in the decades after the war. Just three years after the war
ended, in 1948, London hosted the first Olympics since the infamous
Berlin Games. The international Games of the 14
for modern Olympiad began at Wembley... The chairman of the
Organising Committee said that London represented a warm flame of
hope for better understanding in the world, which has burnt so low.
We may think that we have got things hard today, with austerity
and all that. We know nothing. 1948 was the real austerity Olympics.
Britain's economy was on its knees. There were no new venues, no
village for athletes. Their rations were limited to 5467 calories a day,
the same as for dockers and miners, which was really quite generous.
Anyone else was restricted to half that. As for all the freebies, well,
there was free Bovril and bring your own towel. Building an Olympic
village? No, that was considered to be far too expensive, so the
athletes were housed in RAF camps in Uxbridge, west Drayton and
Diversity. Female competitors had rather basic rooms in London
colleges. Legacy? Well, the real achievement was holding the Games
at all. London had held the Olympics before, in 19 a late,
Games which were most famous for the gallant attempt of this Italian
to finish the Marathon he was leading. But he was helped in the
final phases and was disqualified. But he was given a special, gilded,
Silver Cup, presented by Queen Alexandra the next day. Now, more
than a century later, London is to hold the Games for a record third
time. The morning after the award had been announced, when there was
a wonderful bubble of euphoria, and expectation was at fever pitch,
London's commuters were targeted by Al-Qaeda terrorists. Four suicide
bombers detonated devices on free Tube trains and a bus. 52 innocent
people were killed. Once again, rather than dwelling on this
savagery, Londoners managed to absorb the blow, and keep going. So,
why is London sometimes a target? These days, because it is a world
city, as near as we have to a genuine global village, one of the
most diverse places on the planet, with more than 300 language groups
and huge overseas populations. Five rings for five continents -
certainly, people from all five continents are bouncing and rolling
around the streets of London every day of the year. This is not an
easy place, it is always crowned, fast and changing, and often raw,
as the summer riots last year reminded us. But London's response
to that low point was, thank goodness, predictable - get back to
work, get on with it. Because London understands, as Pierre de
Coubertin nearly said, that you get absolutely no way in life without a
bitter struggle. These are the sites in London, as
darkness descends upon us, which is the reason why the Olympics
ceremony is due to start at 9 o'clock. Danny Boyle wanted it to
be dark to show the stadium off to full effect. The austerity Games,
back in 1948. We have been sent in a programme from those Games. What
about that? If anyone has got one from 1908, we would like one of
those as well! That was your first gold, wasn't it, Steve? A little
bit before that, I took a year off. Steve, everyone's so proud to have
the Games back in London. Everybody must be proud to see how the venues
have come together. Certainly. In Beijing, they had stunning venues,
and everybody thought, there is no way we will be able to match that,
but I think we have. Mark Spitz came to look at the Aquatics Centre,
and he was absolutely blown away with it, and so was I. I was in the
board meetings, when they were sketching a round, regarding what
the venues might look at. But it is all about the use afterwards.
Michael, are we ready to host the Games? Tap do so, despite what Mitt
Romney says. And he is not our president, just a guy trying to
become president. No, I think so. I have seen the work that has been
done, and I think absolutely. The IOC got it right when they said,
this is the most prepared team they have ever seen. Steve, are you
staying with us? You have got a telephone! Anyway, the waiting is
almost over. There are other ways almost over. There are other ways
to watch. For the first time ever, there's live? In 3D, which has just
got under way on the HD Channel. Also, for viewers who are blind or
partially sighted, will offering audio description via the red
button. Finally, a warning that the ceremony will include flashing
images and fireworks - you would not expect anything else. It is
going to be special. Our, NATO's for the Opening Ceremony are Trevor
Nelson, Hazel Irvine and Huw 80 young musicians joining together
to perform Nimrod by Edward Elgar, starting with a celebration of
Britain's maritime tradition. The world is waiting to see what London
has to offer. The journey is almost complete, the moment has arrived,
the Opening Ceremony will take us through the great revolutions in
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 45 seconds
MUSIC: "Nimrod" from Enigma Stand by for a few surprises along
the way. We will be making our way from the Industrial Revolution,
which changed Britain and the world, to the full-blown digital