Tonight I scheduled my evening around watching the Olympics Opening Ceremony. It is one of those things that causes some people to make fun of me. Truth be told, I don’t really care if they do. I love the Olympics, and the fact that they are in London this year makes me happier than any other Olympics I’ve seen in my lifetime. (Sorry, Atlanta and Salt Lake.) I love England. Of all of the non-American countries in the world, England is the one I most want to visit. My love for literature and Colin Firth only enhances my enjoyment of all things British.
The thing about England is that despite its imperfections, it is rich with great history. Almost every country that passed through that stadium tonight has a connection with the United Kingdom, whether large or small.
The inclusion of the acknowledgement of the UK’s great literature was a given to my mind, but I admit that I was worried they wouldn’t include much. I was pleased with the Shakespeare reading, and J.M. Barrie. I adored that they had Rowling read to us, and that Mary Poppins showed up to save the day. I thought there were some things missing (Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, The Doctor), but overall I thought it was a good ceremony.
I found myself thinking today that I should have saved a little more vacation time so that I could stay home and watch some of the Olympics. For the most part, watching the Olympics athletes is not like watching any other type of athlete in the world. Most of them are genuinely good sports and graceful losers (except, I suspect, Usain Bolt), and I admire their commitment to their sport.
As I watched the opening ceremony tonight, I was moved. While others were slightly mocking, I was happily content to silently appreciate the music, the display and the people. It was London, baby! I loved every minute of it!