London Spy

Opening Ceremony mysteries solved

A performer playing the role of Britain's Queen Elizabeth parachutes from a helicopter (AFP)

The Opening Ceremony of London's 2012 Olympic Games has come and gone, leaving many mysteries in their wake. Here, we answer some of the top head-scratchers from Danny Boyle's incredibly British event.

Why do the announcers speak French first?

That's because French and English are the two official Olympic languages. Remember, the modern Games were founded by Frenchman Pierre de Coubertin.

If not for him, there would be no Olympics. But even if it is a requirement by the IOC that the first language should be French, it does seem to add one more confusing element to the mix.

Did the Queen really parachute into the Games?

Well, no. But Her Majesty did show her common touch, participating in her first acting role with no less than Daniel Craig's James Bond as her co-star.

The two met up at her palace residence with her dogs in tow and took off in a helicopter together, headed to the stadium, and then, yes, parachuted down to the event.

And what an entrance, even if it was a stunt double dressed as the queen.

Who was that singer?

In one of the few quieter moments, performers paid a tribute to war dead and the victims of the 7/7 terrorist attacks. To add to the mood, the soulful singer Emeli Sande sung the sombre hymn "Abide With Me."

The singer grabbed attention when she won the 2012 Brit Award in the Critic's Choice category, and whose album "Our Version of Events" reached the No. 1 position on the U.K. charts. She's also a songwriter, and has penned tunes for artists including Susan Boyle, Leona Lewis, Tinie Tempah, Cheryl Cole, Cher Lloyd, and Alesha Dixon, among others, and was dubbed his "favourite songwriter at the minute" by Simon Cowell.

Who were the torch lighters?

The torch was passed, literally, from one generation down to the next. After being handed off from legendary Olympian Steve Redgrave, the seven young athletes received flames from seven Olympic legends and simultaneously lit 200 miniature torches. The flames rose together in the centre of the Olympic Stadium to form the cauldron made up of the copper kettles carried by each team.

What's with the giant baby head?

The child's head is a tribute to the Great Ormond Street Hospital staff. Viewers were treated to hundreds of hospital beds, complete with dancing nurses and their child patients.

The celebration of the National Health Service, a treasured national institution that started in 1948 amid the ruins of war-devastated Britain included the world-famous Great Ormond Street Hospital with the appearance of that giant baby head. Certainly, there was no missing that big baby.

Claudine Zap, Yahoo! Sports

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London Spy is the place to keep you informed on all the news in and around the 2012 Olympics. From torch tours to ticket touts, from Greco Roman wrestling to Stratford International maintenance, from Lord Coe to Wenlock and Mandeville, we will have all the slightly left field stories covered.


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