London 2012′s Olympic opening ceremony – in tweets

Over on VeloVoices, the cycling blog I’m involved in running, we do a regular weekly feature called ‘Tweets of the Week’, which takes a Twitter-eye view on what riders, commentators and fans have been saying about the sport over the previous week. I’ve  just sat through Danny Boyle’s 80-minute interpretation of British history and culture in the Olympic opening ceremony. It was immensely entertaining on its own, but my enjoyment of the event was greatly enhanced by the 140-character commentary of a wide variety of people on Twitter.

Here’s a sample of the Twitterati’s view of the event. (The Boyle bit, not the parade of nations …)

Let’s kick off with a typically British view of the opening ceremony before it began. Twitter lends itself well to the typically sarcastic and cynical British view of the world, I find:

The sequence involving the Olympic symbol being forged as a set of five burning rings brought out the pop culture references:

And the sketch involving Daniel Craig‘s James Bond with the Queen which ended with a skydiving stunt from a helicopter into the stadium was met with hoots of laughter:

The extended sequence celebrating British pop music turned into a rapid-fire game of Name That Tune – anyone other than me remember that show? – and drew several wry comments:

The inclusion of Tim Berners-Lee, the British founder of the World Wide Web, drew universal praise, with many tweeters recognising his direct influence on laying the foundations for both this and other social media platforms:

A few miscellaneous observations on various other parts of the opening ceremony:

Overall, although there was the odd negative comment about the ceremony, by the end of it even the most cynical tweeters were admitting that it was quite good, and the overwhelming majority of opinions (on my timeline at least) were unapologetically favourable. Here’s a small selection:

Although many tweeters did recognise that the sheer ‘Britishness’ of much of the production might confuse people lacking familiarity with British culture and humour:

Major props to the fevered imagination of director Danny Boyle, who delivered a ceremony which was in turns both serious and tongue-in-cheek, and mixed no insignificant amount of socialist rhetoric with moments of downright slapstick:

I’ll leave the final word to VeloVoices’ resident Tweets of the Week columnist, Kathi, who mused on how tough it was to keep up with the sheer weirdness of it all at times:

The Games have truly started now. Let’s hope the next 2½ weeks provide us with moments as memorable as these.

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