Jude Thaddeus L. Bautista
The sports drama is innumerable. Andy Murray shed tears of joy upon beating Roger Federer to earn the Gold Medal in the Men’s Tennis Final. Federer won Wimbledon over the Brit only weeks before. Usain Bolt repeated as gold medalist in the 100m dash.
The Olympics isn’t just about winning and medals. Kate Walsh of the Great Britain hockey team overcame a fractured jaw to come back 6 days later to power the team to a bronze finish. Netherlands took the gold. It’s about overcoming great adversity and competing, participating in the biggest sporting event in the world with the most countries. It’s approximately 10,500 athletes from 205 countries.
Lord Sebastian Coe is himself a 2 time Olympian middle distane runner and medalist. He is the Ambassador of the London Olympics and (London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games) LOCOG Chairman in the closing speech he said, “London 2012 has played host to some incredible sport to awe inspiring feats that are the synthesis of incredible dedication and skill by the world’s great sports men and women. To all the Olympians who came to compete: Thank You.”
Coe encapsulated how the event changed his country, “The spirit of these Olympics will inspire a generation. We have seen in these days what tenacity can do, what ambition can do, what imagination can do. We know more now as individuals and as a nation just what we are capable of. And that knowledge will drive us on. On the first day of these games I said we were determined to do it right. I said these games would see the best of us. On the last day I can finish with these words: when our time came Britain we did it right.”
The Olympic spirit is about giving your best and the coming together of the whole human race in friendly competition. IOC President Jacques Rogge said in his speech, “We have written a new chapter of Olympic history that began in ancient Olympia 3,000 years ago. Through your commitment to fair play, respect for opponents and your grace in defeat as well as in victory you have earned the right to be called Olympians.”
Competing with honesty and integrity is what it’s really about. There were athletes who were disqualified for dropping games and steroid usage because of their obsession with medals and winning.
Filipinos even without taking home a single medal can hold their head up high in this respect. The Philippine team is composed of: Jessie Lacuna (Men’s Swimming), Jasmine Alkhaldi (Swimming), Rene Herrera (Athletics Men’s 5000m), Marestella Torres (Women’s Long Jump), Brian Rosario (Men’s Skeet Shooting), Daniel Caluag (Men’s BMX), Mark Javier (Men’s Individual Archery), Rachelle Anne Cabral (women’s Individual Archery), Hidilyn Diaz (Weightlifting) and Tomohoko Toshina (Judo). They are not any less Olympians than the victors.
It is this Olympic spirit and love for sport that motivated TV5 Chairman Manuel V Pangilinan to show the spectacle in the Philippines through Sports 5 Production. Sports 5 aired its coverage on free TV in AKTV, while the cable component of the Olympics was aired on Hyper, Hyper HD and also on SOLAR Sports. Lia Cruz and Derek Ramsay were sent to London to give that unique Filipino perspective on the games. Derek was already wearing a Rio De Janeiro t shirt at the closing to help promote the next host of the Olympics.
Being able to create a show that embodies that spirit of the games held at London in this time period is a great challenge. Conceptually the opening was one of the most memorable but the closing ceremony exceeded everyone’s expectation. Calling it a spectacle is an understatement. The biggest British music acts of the last 50 years were part of the ceremony in one way or another. The late Freddie Mercury sang opera on vertical screens a hundred feet high. John Lennon sang “Imagine” on a screen while a 3D model of his face was assembled by dancers in seconds.
The production was incredible; Annie Lennox came in a mobile wooden ship rolling into the huge stage shaped with stripes based on the union Jack. Fat Boy Slim emerged in a huge plastic Octopus with tentacles stretching 50 feet. It started with Ray Davies from the 1960’s, 70’s, 90’s to current stars of British pop.
David Bowie’s hit “Fashion” which reached no. 5 in the U.K. charts in 1980 was the soundtrack to a fashion show. Illuminated horizontal billboards on trucks showed black and white photos of the top Brit ramp models. They are the biggest names in modeling: Naomi Campbell, Lily Cole, Lily Donaldson, David Gandy, Karen Elson, Jourdan Dunn, Georgia May Jagger and Stella Tennant.
The Spice Girls emerged from London’s iconic black Taxicabs. Each Spice girl even stood on the roof while singing. Jessie J, rapper Tinie Tempah and Taio Cruz came in convertible Bentleys. George Michael sang “Freedom.” Former OASIS Liam Gallagher sang their old hit “Wonderwall” with his new band Beady Eye. Take That, The Who, Ray Davies, Eric Idle and many more also performed.
One of the last performers to come out was a true legend of rock. Sports arena anthems around the world have played Queen songs like “We are the Champions”. Queen’s Legendary Guitarist Brian May screeched his guitars for “We Will Rock You” sung by Jessie J and Roger Taylor on drums.