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London brings out the stars
Sprinter Marc Burns completed his role as T&T’s flag bearer with finesse during the opening ceremony of the London Olympic Games yesterday. He led a proud bunch that was all dressed in red, white and black dresses and suits in front of a totally packed house at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford. The frigid did not seem to affect any of the athletes from the world as they jumped and swayed and waved their national flags with a sense of patriotism. Burns, 29, proudly lead the T&T of 53 member contingent which comprised 30 athletes and 23 officials. This is Burn’s fourth appearance at an Olympic Games. He made his Olympic debut at the Sydney Olympics at the age of 17 years. He’s described as one of T&T's most consistent athletes in the history of local sport. At the 2008 Beijing Olympics he was a 100m finalist.
He will compete in the Men’s 100 metres dash and the 4x100m relay event when track and field gets going next Friday. Spectators started to arrive as early as 3 pm for an event which started promptly at 9 pm. Entitled Isles of Wonder, the opening ceremony was devised by Oscar-winning film director Danny Boyle with the aim of celebrating all things British and charting the nation's history. It started with the ringing of a giant bell by cycling hero Bradley Wiggins, who last weekend became the first British cyclist to win the Tour de France. The stadium was then turned into a green and pleasant land with hills, a cottage and people enjoying a version of British life. Animals including horse, cows, goats, chickens, ducks, nine and sheeps appeared in these opening scenes. The peace was shattered as the age of industry sprouted from the ground with loud banging. Giant smoking chimneys rising up from the ground were showcased next. There was a tribute to those killed in war. A number of British royalties and stars, musically, culturally and otherwise also took part in the opening festivities, including the Queen in a skit with the most recent James Bond, actor Daniel Craig, the highlight of the production.
On the big screens which were positioned around the stadium, the image showed the Queen leaving Buckingham Palace with Bond aboard a helicopter, The chopper then flew to the Olympic Park, where Bond and the Queen jumped out, arriving outside the stadium just in time for her big entrance. The two parachutists were really Gary Connery (the Queen) and Mark Sutton (Bond). It was broadcast ahead of the Queen's dramatic entrance at the opening ceremony as she officially opened the Games. In another comedy film sketch Rowan Atkinson in his Mr Bean character created havoc as Sir Simon Rattle conducted the theme from Chariots of Fire. Among the other flag bearers were record-holder Usain Bolt for Jamaica, 200m specialist Kirani James for Grenada and NBA star Pau Gasol for Spain. The show closed off with the traditional lifting of the Olympic flag, fireworks and the lighting of the Olympic torch.
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