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The big Olympic opening 'surprise': I must know!

By Marisa Nadolny

Publication: theday.com

Published July 26. 2012 3:00PM   Updated July 26. 2012 3:32PM

So I'm trolling Twitter the other day and find a handy list of useful folks to follow if you want to be dialed into the London 2012 Olympics. Athletes, coaches, journos, etc. have signed on to Tweet the Games, and NBC and the IOC are bound and determined to make these Games the most interactive ever. It's pretty neat. Plus, we have some of our own in London, too.

It was our blogger Laura Stevenson-Flom, who, in her inaugural post, reported on the hottest meme to emerge from the Games thus far. Stevenson-Flom had access to the rehearsal for the opening ceremony — ceremonies so great, Olympic organizers et al are using the hashtag phrase #savethesurprise to encourage everyone in the know to keep mum about how apparently amazing the ceremony is going to be. Titled "Isles of Wonder," the whole shebang is a Danny Boyle production. (Perhaps you saw his little movie called "Slumdog Millionaire"?)

I plugged the hashtag into Twitter and I'm hereby intrigued. Maybe "intrigued" is too soft a word. After reading some tagged tweets, it might be more fair to say that I'm overcome with massive jealousy over my current Stateside predicament. And now, you will be too.

Check it out. Blogger Alan Palmer (@PalmerAlan) writes of the rehearsal, "The greatest show on earth. Be on front of a TV on Friday. Do not miss the Opening Ceremony. Proud. Emotional. #savethesurprise."

Andy Crisp (@ACrispix), a consultant at Atomic (whatever that is) tweets, "If ANYONE on Twitter moans about the opening ceremony on Friday then you literally have no soul. #savethesurprise."

The AP's Jill Lawless (@JillLawless) notes, "I will #savethesurprise, but will just say that Danny Boyle's #london2012 opening ceremony is splendidly British and magnificently bonkers."

Londoner Pete Hendrick (@petehendrick) tweets, "If you've got plans Friday night, cancel them. Opening ceremony is out of this world. Danny Boyle, I salute you. #olympics"

Other tweets about the ceremony are just plain hilarious.

British flautist Gareth Davies (@Flutelicious) writes, "The climax where the Queen and Obama sing 'Don't go breaking my heart' on roller skates though is unbelievable #savethesurprise"

Someone called Rhod (@dreegs) offers, "Oi, Beijing. Did you have a shire horse at yours??? No. No, you bloody well didn't. #savethesurprise"

Then there's my personal fave from Amy Barham (@msamybarham): "What if all the dead Beatles hadn't actually died, but had merely faked it, living in secrecy until the Opening Ceremony. #savethesurprise

Others, like this one from London PR guy Jamie Walden (@chippingvon), are fabulously au courant: "Please tell me that #savethesurprise includes a huge parade of people escorting Mitt Romney off of British soil?"

In recent press Boyle has said, "Our Isles of Wonder salutes and celebrates the exuberant creativity of the British genius in an Opening Ceremony that we hope will be as unpredictable and inventive as the British people."

I really, really, really, really hope that includes some Pythons. ("Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!")

A smattering of details about the opening ceremony has emerged from AP, BBC and other news outlets. It all sounds very lovely, with appropriate nods to Britain's great artists (Shakespeare in particular...duh) and celebrated countryside, among the standard elements of the ceremonies such as the Parade of Athletes. Reportedly the cast required for both opening and closing ceremonies is about 15,000.

Loads of information about the broadcast of the opening ceremony is available at www.london2012.com; nbcolympics.com; and just about every television set/smartphone/tablet in a 10-foot radius. If you watch the ceremony, share your thoughts in the comments. In the meantime, if you turn up anymore details, I suppose you'll have to save the surprise like everybody else. (But here's the spoiler clip if your'e really curious.)

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