Proud Palau – Olympic Opening Ceremony
By Gemma Martin of The Reporters’ Academy
London 2012’s Opening Ceremony celebrated England’s past, present and future, showing the change of time through the industrial and digital revolutions. Engaging the English audience and providing a unique history lesson for the rest of the world. The London Olympic Games are the thirtieth Olympiad and are the third time for London to be hosting the games.
The Opening Ceremony welcomed 204 countries to the Games, all united by the Olympic Oath. Walking into the stadium, people were overwhelmed by the countryside sight that they were presented with. The same rural English landscape, the Palauan athletes who were based at the North West training camps such as the Kendal Dojo would have been familiar with. The Opening Ceremony also included the celebration of Britain’s best writers including Shakespeare, J. M. Barrie and J K Rowling.
Palau entered the stadium led by the flag bearer Rodman Teltull, who was dressed in his ceremonial clothing similar to that of Prince Lee Boo’s English suit. The audience cheered as they were announced whilst the athletes and team members waved to the crowd and waved their flags. After walking the whole way round the stadium, Rodman took the Palauan flag up to the hill, which was one of the only parts of the country setting that remained, where it blew in the breeze underneath the Olympic flag.
The team then went into the centre of the stadium joining the big crowd of athletes showing just how many Olympians compete in the games. Each country also brought a copper petal in with their flag, with the name of their country on it. These were laid down creating a circle which would later form the Olympic flame, meaning each country will now have their own part of the Olympic Flame to take home.
The torch entered the stadium where it was carried by nominees of Olympic greats, who took it around the stadium and then into the centre where they lit the copper petals. Each petal then sparked the next until all were lit. These were then lifted up to create a flower and further the Olympic flame that will burn brightly for the duration of the Games.
It was a great gesture and story to bring to these Games. The story of Prince Lee Boo linking England and the proud Pacific nation of Palau is a unique connection, making Palau stand out, they embraced and shared their heritage on this world stage.
You can learn the full story about Prince Lee Boo and the link between Palau and England at: http://youtu.be/JyxFxCdZSSc