Top news coming in today to a cool San Francisco is about the start of the Olympics 2012.
Today is the day when the Olympics begin in London. In the UK, the Olympic Games 2012 will begin at 9pm, that is 1pm local San Francisco time.
“The big day is finally here and I can’t wait to see the Opening Ceremony. Those are always exciting and every country offers the best of what it has. I know it has taken a lot of work from all those who are taking part. Still, the past seven years of preparation looks like it is finally going to pay off,” says local San Francisco resident and ex-pat, Donal WItham.
The past few days, however, have not been plain sailing for the 2012 Olympics or ‘London 2012,’ as it is known in the UK. Already there have been disruptions with the Greek triple jumper, Voula Papachristou being expelled from competing after she posted a racist tweet on Twitter. See that article here: Greek triple jumper Voula Papachristou removed from team for Olympic Games 2012
In addition, in Glasgow in Scotland, the North Korean women’s football team walked off the pitch in Hampden Park after their pictures were shown with the South Korean flag. There has been tension between the two countries for quite some time. See that article here: 2012 Olympics: North Koreans walk off pitch after flag row
The opening ceremony of the Olympics 2012 is expected to reach an audience of over a billion people. The Olympic torch is currently making its way to the Opening Ceremony on one of Queen Elizabeth’s barges.
Big Ben was heard to ring forty times to mark the occasion.
And if you are visiting the UK and still want tickets to the events, then know that you can still buy them. They will cost you $1,600 or even $2,000 a piece, however.
While what exactly the Opening Ceremony for the 2012 Olympics will involve is still a mystery until tonight in the UK, so too is who will light the cauldron in the final stage of the journey of the Olympic flame.
See the full report here from the BBC:
The opening ceremony of the London Olympics is due to take place later after seven years of preparations.
The three-hour spectacle in the Olympic Stadium is expected to be viewed by a global TV audience of a billion people. The Olympic flame is heading along the Thames on the Queen’s rowbarge Gloriana on the final day of the torch relay.
A mass bell-ringing took place for three minutes from 08:12 BST (07:12 GMT) to mark the Cultural Olympiad. Big Ben chimed 40 times during the period. It was the first time since the funeral of King George VI that the famous bell had rung non-stop for three minutes.
Organisers have released a video clip giving a sneak preview of Oscar winner Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony, featuring groups in colourful stage outfits dancing to Tiger Feet by 1970s rock group Mud and cyclists with wings pedalling along to Come Together by the Beatles.
In other developments: London taxi drivers who were to protest at Hyde Park Corner over their ban from using Olympic traffic lanes have been banned by the Metropolitan Police.
About 60,000 people gathered in Hyde Park on Thursday night to see the final torchbearer light a cauldron in front of 60,000 people as London Mayor Boris Johnson wished the crowds a wonderful Olympics, and thanked them for their support
The mayor of London has hit out at US presidential candidate Mitt Romney for comments suggesting Britain is not ready to stage the Olympic Games Europe’s largest bell will ring inside the Olympic stadium at 21:00 BST at the start of the £27m extravaganza, featuring a cast of 10,000 volunteers and said to be a quirky take on British life.
Some 15,000 square metres of staging and 12,956 props will be used, and the event will boast a million-watt PA system using more than 500 speakers. The crowd of about 80,000 will include the Queen and a host of dignitaries and celebrities.
As late as Thursday night, Games organisers said that the ceremony had not sold out and tickets in the two highest price categories, costing £2,012 and £1,600 were still available. Earlier, the torch relay is at Hampton Court Palace, where it wove through the famous maze before travelling down the Thames.
The torch relay is on the last leg of its 70-day journey The final torchbearer of the 70-day relay will be 22-year-old basketball player Amber Charles, who played a key role in London’s winning bid and who will carry the flame in front of City Hall and Tower Bridge at approximately 12:45 BST.
The relay ends late in the evening with the lighting of the cauldron during the opening ceremony but the identity of the person who will take on the honour remains a mystery. The chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority, Dennis Hone, said he was thrilled the big day was finally here.
He told BBC Radio 5 live: “When you look around at the park, you look at the venues, the 100 hectares of landscaping, the 2,000 trees, all the plants in bloom, it’s looking fantastic. It’s going to be a great day, it’s going to be a great 17 days of sport.”
While you are in London, a great place to check out for dining is at the restaurant, 1901, which is situated inside the Andaz Hotel in Liverpool Street. The restaurant is in the former Bethlehem Hospital and you can see original parts of that hospital, including the beautiful stained-glass cupola. The service is excellent and, just like those athletes who are competing in the 2012 Olympics, the 1901 at the Andaz Hotel, is the best of the best! Don’t miss it.
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See a selection of photos related to this article and the 2012 Olympics in the slideshow at the top of this piece.