Skip to main content

It's customary for a host nation to celebrate what they take pride in and to showcase it for the rest of the world in their opening and closing ceremonies. In this case, in one memorable segment their National Health Service, and their world-renowned children's hospital, the Great Ormond Street Hospital, which was funded in large part by the proceeds from the rights to the play Peter Pan, or the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

And how did such an event occur? Artistic director Danny Boyle (via The Guardian):

Hours before risking his hard-won reputation with a daring, spectacular Olympics opening ceremony, the director Danny Boyle revealed how his late father had inspired him to take it on.

"When I took this job, I took it for lots of reasons. I live locally and I thought I had the confidence and the status to carry a job like this," he said. "But I also took it because my dad was a mad Olympics fan. He was seriously lunatic, sitting up all night watching grainy footage from Mexico. He introduced me to the Olympics."

His father died 18 months ago when the project was still in the planning stages, and Boyle said Friday would have been his birthday.

Asked whether he was trying to make a political point by including a lengthy sequence paying tribute to the NHS, featuring hundreds of real nurses, Boyle said free universal healthcare was "an amazing thing to celebrate".

"The sensibility of the show is very personal," he said. "We had no agenda other than values we feel are true. Not everybody will love that but everyone will recognise it's true. There's no bullshit in it and there's no point-making either."

And more, via The Telegraph:
To a live performance of his classic album Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield, 600 NHS nurses and patients from London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital for children were due to take over the arena.

Boyle had decided to use his global platform to give the watching David Cameron a clear message: Hands Off Our NHS, and his decision to make such a bold statement about public services had caused nervousness at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

To their credit, however, ministers did not try to interfere, and the result was expected to be the most splendidly surreal section of the entire evening.

As children bounced on 320 beds in their pyjamas, the nurses manoeuvred them into position to make the Great Ormond Street logo and to spell out NHS, with each bed appearing to be magically lit from under its sheets.

Doctors and nurses jived around the beds and partied with the children, before bedtime approached, and a little boy read Peter Pan by torchlight under the covers, its words spoken by Harry Potter author JK Rowling.

But his sleep was troubled as the stuff of nightmares: Captain Hook, the child catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Cruella de Vil and Harry Potter’s nemesis, Lord Voldemort, all invaded the stadium.

Would evil win out? Not when Mary Poppins is about. Children in the stadium squealed with excitement as dozens of Poppinses flew down from the roof to shoo away the nightmares with illuminated brollies.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Meteor Blades, thirdparty, davej, cslewis, Sylv, TXdem, Chi, itsbenj, murphy, copymark, glitterscale, Gooserock, Danno11, NYmom, madmsf, Emerson, LynChi, mlharges, eeff, SallyCat, geordie, Delilah, susans, litho, pmcmscot, nyceve, Rona, splashy, Cedwyn, antirove, Lilyvt, RLF, tidalwave1, hangingchad, pat bunny, Steven Payne, defluxion10, riverlover, lonespark, Marianne Benz, lyvwyr101, vacantlook, rapala, ExStr8, historys mysteries, ichibon, yuriwho, caul, YucatanMan, Pam from Calif, chancew, kaliope, Tool, Savvy813, nieman, Rogneid, kathny, begone, Mother Mags, snazzzybird, BachFan, chicagoblueohio, KenBee, Magnifico, Son of a Cat, luckydog, blueoasis, gpoutney, tommyfocus2003, TayTay, BlueMississippi, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, Dreaming of Better Days, blueoregon, Quicklund, cpresley, BentLiberal, One Pissed Off Liberal, pgm 01, Deadicated Marxist, gloriana, Via Chicago, terabytes, davehouck, bnasley, rantsposition, theChild, jnhobbs, TDDVandy, TomP, VA Breeze, jwinIL14, rogerdaddy, bkamr, AnnieJo, wayoutinthestix, ScottyUrb, elwior, lineatus, Cassandra Waites, smartdemmg, pademocrat, bluesheep, Jeff Y, alnep, mofembot, Liberal Of Limeyland, petulans, Karl Rover, ekyprogressive, dmhlt 66, DavidW, shortgirl, statsone, LaFeminista, maggiejean, prettygirlxoxoxo, Bule Betawi, greengemini, CanyonWren, rem123, WakeUpNeo, War on Error, elziax, histOries Marko, nancat357, Livvy5, Larsstephens, dtruth, Mokurai, p gorden lippy, estreya, gramofsam1, jethrock, stunzeed, Polly Syllabic, tb mare, sharonsz, melfunction, rja, MsGrin, ericlewis0, ZedMont, soaglow, casals, Onomastic, Mike08, kerflooey, StateofEuphoria, spooks51, kirbybruno, asterkitty, princesspat, PorridgeGun, cyberpuggy, IllanoyGal, thomask, ShowMeMoBlue, BarackStarObama, muddy boots, Yogurt721, MRA NY, worldlotus, sound of progress, Jamie Sanderson, bluck, DRo, Lucy2009, ArtemisBSG, Only Needs a Beat, pistolSO, Siri, ahumbleopinion, a2nite, congenitalefty, Mr Robert, peachcreek, belinda ridgewood, radical simplicity, Olkate, MartyM, james321, arizonablue, Glen The Plumber, corpsechorus, nomandates, Herodotus Prime, remembrance, howabout, BelloBass, Jacoby Jonze

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site