2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony: Schedule, Flag Bearers And More

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 23: The Olympic Stadium is pictured in Olympic Park during previews ahead of the London Olympic Games on July 23, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

A preview of the Opening Ceremony for the 2012 London Olympics, which goes down on Friday.

The 2012 Summer Olympics begin with a celebration on Friday as the Opening Ceremony goes down in London. The event is highly anticipated around the globe after Beijing, China, put on an impressive show for the world to kick off the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Each ceremony requires a variety of different things as outlined by the International Olympic Committee, but the event is also a substantial opportunity for the host city to show off some artistic expression and impress the international community.

The artistic director of the Opening Ceremony this year is famous British film director Danny Boyle, best known for his involvement in films such as Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours, 28 Days Later, Sunshine and Trainspotting. Other than whatever he has in store, here's a basic schedule of the ceremony's process from the official website:

  • The ceremony begins when the Head of State, Queen Elizabeth II, is received at the entrance of the Olympic Stadium by Jacques Rogge, the President of the International Olympic Committee.
  • A parade of athletes from the different participating nations enters the Olympic Stadium in, "alphabetical order, according to the language of the Host Country, apart from the Greek team, which enters first for the Olympics, and the team of the Great Britain, which marches in last."
  • The chair of London's Olympic organizing committee, Seb Coe, will give a speech, following by a subsequent speech by Rogge. Their speeches end by welcoming the Head of State to proclaim the beginning of the games.
  • After the games are declared open, the Olympic Flag enters the stadium and is hoisted into the air as the British national anthem is played.
  • A participating athlete, judge and coach from Team Great Britain all take a vow to compete and judge the games according to the rules of each respective sport.
  • The most well-known portion of the ceremony comes at the end, as the Olympic Flame enters the Olympic Stadium. The flame is passed through the procession of athletes before being given to the final Torchbearer, who lights the Cauldron, signifying the beginning of the games. The flame will burn for the duration of the Games.
  • There are numerous big name flag bearers in this year's Opening Ceremony, including Yi Jianlian for Team China, Pau Gasol for Team Spain, Novak Djokovic for Team Serbia, Maria Sharapova for Team Russa and Agnieszka Radwanska for Team Poland.
    The event is being played on tape delay, so it'll be broadcast at 7:30 p.m. EST on NBC on the East Coast, but it will also be broadcast at the same 7:30 p.m. PST slot by NBC on the west coast.

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