How it Feels to be a Brit on Olympic Opening Weekend

I am writing this the morning after the Opening Ceremony. Like many people, I struggled to get excited about the Olympics ahead of time. I wasn’t excited about the ceremony and only decided the day before that I should make an effort to watch it. I thought the whole #savethesurprise thing was probably just covering up something predictable like Paul McCartney. Turns out, there were many, many wonderful surprises and I have literally never been so proud to be British.

I am really pleased it’s Team GB this time, not England vs. Wales vs. Scotland vs. Northern Ireland. We’re playing as a team this time.

The Opening Ceremony, well, it was fantastic, wasn’t it? Quirky, odd, theatrical, poignant, eccentric, dramatic and funny…Danny Boyle pulled a wonder out of a value carrier bag. Picking Frank Turner to perform just before the start was an inspired choice – proper British boy, proud of his heritage but with something to say about the state of the country today. A bit like Danny Boyle, then.

Who else could laugh at themselves like GB? Who else would have an extended dance slot based around the crazy youth and their crazy culture?  Who else could say “yes, we’ll get the London Symphony Orchestra to perform Chariots of Fire, because that’s exactly what everyone expects us to do….OH HANG ON, but there’s Rowan Atkinson taking the total piss” (sorry for swearing, but it’s the right phrase for the purpose).

Who else would get their freaking monarch to arrive by helicopter, accompanied by James Bond? (Yes, it didn’t happen, but bloody hell that was well played and well done to Her Majesty for going along with it. I bet she had a big old giggle with Daniel Craig). I wonder if they were her actual corgis in the film.

Finally, and most importantly, who else would take that moment to celebrate the NHS. Our free national health service that means access to medical care for everyone. Everyone. For free. If you have an accident, you go to hospital and get treated. No insurance, no paperwork, no unnecessary worries. One of the most beautiful scenes at the opening ceremony celebrated the exact same NHS that is pretty much being phased out. The NHS that we basically can’t afford any more…but we can afford lavish Olympic ceremonies. Freaking well done Danny Boyle for having the guts to put that in there. Let’s hope the reminder of how proud we are of our free health service will serve to change what’s happening.

So not only am I proud of Danny Boyle and Great Britain for putting on the kind of opening ceremony to put the doubters to shame; but I am exceptionally proud of the fact that we dared to make a statement with it. Plus, there were fireworks. I love fireworks.

(If you’re excited about the Olympics, take this poll to let us know what you’re most excited about!)

  • Helena Lucy Jopling

    I was exactly the same as you. I have purposefully ignored everything going on with the Olympics. Mostly due to the overload of information being shoved in our faces for over a year now but I have never felt as patriotic as I did last night. So proud to be a Brit!!!

  • Freya H Dub

    I really enjoyed it too! I didn’t get into the Olympic spirit last time and really with I had. So I watched it alone and got a little teary at parts. I’m American born but my parents and all my family are British, So I root for two teams. I thought it was really great, all the descriptive words you used.

    I also applaud your Britain for their health care. It’s something America needs but we don’t really like to take care of our citizens now do we. After the ceremoneies, I was on FB and someone was ‘taking the piss’ out of the NHS and I said ‘hang on, why is taking care of their citizens something to make fun of?? Yeah the dance was dorky but they treat their country right.’ Keep on, GB! Keep on!

  • Nafisah Atcha

    I love this!!! it is so true! defiantely enjoyed it :)

  • Rhianna Fisher

    Highlights were definitely Mr Turner and the queen with James Bond, my jaw just about hit the floor, would never have predicted anything like that in a million years – incredible!! Danny Boyle is an absolute hero – I also wasn’t all that bothered, in fact I was getting a little annoyed with all the hype, but that was such a thrilling opening! Very proud to be British (and that isn’t something I say often)

  • Lynette Boyle

    It was so disappointing to watch in the US because they must have interrupted it 7 or 8 times with commercial breaks…the commentary was laughable too :( Wish I could have watched it live in England!

  • Jacquina Imdb Lee

    And Voldemort, don’t forget Voldemort!

  • Catherine Britt

    They were the Queen’s Corgis; they offered her body doubles but she said no!

  • Karen Taylor

    I skipped the whole thing, never been a sports person. And I can’t help but wonder what could have been done with all that money for the betterment of the entire British Isles. Conspicuous consumption much?

  • Mackenzie Lee Morgan

    Hey, awesome article! Yay for the Olympics! Making me wish I was a Brit haha. This is a link to a blog post I wrote about the Olympics and the ceremony and I would love and appreciate so much if any HelloGiggle fans such as myself checked it out! xoxoox

  • Mackenzie Lee Morgan
  • Hemma Jarnig

    I absolutely loved the opening ceremony!! :) I’m Austrian, but I study English at university so I felt very proud to be an English student!^^ And to be honest, I cried more than once… :’)

  • Lindsay Ann

    Frank Turner performed??? I don’t think they showed that on American TV, unfortunately…I love Frank Turner. That would have been awesome!!

  • Tiffany Nicole Tucker

    Giant Voldemort did it for me! Go England hahah

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