10 things you didn't (perhaps) know about the Olympic Opening Ceremony [caption id="attachment_12054" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="London 2012 Olympic Torch"] [/caption]
•••••Broadcast on TV screens (and mobile phones, iPads, laptops...) around the world today is one of the most heart-stopping shows on earth: the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. The colourful launch of the Olympic Games is rife with tradition and sentiment, and there are some quirky, surprising bits that come with all that pageantry. 10 things you didn't perhaps know about the Opening Ceremony. 1. The Brits come last: According to opening parade tradition, the host team enters the stadium last. So if you're wondering where the athletes from Great Britain are, worry not. Their entry marks the end of the entrance parade. 2. 15,000 performers will take place in the opening ceremony under the direction of Danny Boyle, Oscar-winning director of " Slum Dog Millionaire" - and who doesn't remember the dance sequences from that show! 3. There be animals: In keeping with the pastoral component of the opening scene, "Green and Pleasant," the cast includes 12 horses, 3 cows, 2 goats, 10 chickens, 10 ducks, 9 geese, 70 sheep, and 3 sheep dogs. (What, no corgis?) 4. More than one billion TV viewers around the world are expected to watch the grand spectacle. Some estimates suggested that viewership for the Beijing Opening Ceremony topped 2 billion. 5. Stephen Daldry, Creative Executive Producer of the London Olympic Ceremonies, made his directorial debut with " Billy Elliot." His stage production of " Billy Elliot" (which opened on Broadway to rave reviews) won 10 Tony Awards and is the most honoured British production in the history of the American theatre." 6. " Splendidly British and magnificently bonkers" is how one reviewer described the opening show after attending a dress rehearsal on the eve of the Olympic Opening. 7. 204 nations will participate in the parade of Olympians entering the stadium, in alphabetical order based on the language of the host country. So expect Team Canada fairly early on. (Save the bathroom break for later.) 8. Moms in the house: in the stadium for the opening ceremony will be scores of family members of Canadian athletes. At press time, at least 277 moms of Canada's Olympic Team members received generous assistance ($1,000 toward travel costs) from the Procter and Gamble Thank You Mom campaign in order to attend the Olympics. 9. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will open the London Olympics, 64 years after her father, King George VI, and mother, Queen Elizabeth, attended the last London Olympics in 1948. 10. Daniel Craig and Paul McCartney: the hot actor and Beatlemania star represent two generations of entertainers. Daniel Craig will appear in an opening film spot and the singer will be part of the closing act. I still get warm and fuzzy when I recall k.d. Lang singing "Hallelujah" at the Vancouver Winter Olympics. Does anyone else remember it?