The Olympic Games in London 2012 have started! Just before the beginning of the opening ceremony, Swiss band Pegasus had set the mood just right with their final concert in the square of the Red Zone at the House of Switzerland, where the crowd was singing along to the official Swiss Olympic Song “Skyline”. For the public screening of the opening ceremony, the square was packed with fans, talking in Swiss German, English, French and many other Olympic languages. It was a fantastic crowd that attended the public viewing at the House yesterday night, cheering with every joke Danny Boyle wove into his show that was bursting with colours, fun and esprit.
Accompanied by a beer from Appenzell, a raclette and a Rösti from Berne, our audience went wild with every new idea the Brits had come up with. In the beginning, the beautiful green meadows, a small village and the animals in the middle of the stadium reminded many Swiss here in London of home, somewhere in an idyllic Swiss alpine place: well done Danny! But there was no time for nostalgia with the fast storytelling that took the spectators through the Industrial Age, out of which the Olympic Rings were forged and right into our modern age, but only after an amazing dance through every great British Pop and Rock anthem of the last decades. Also we Swiss showed that we’ve got rhythm and clapped and danced along in the Red Zone.
A first highlight was Her Majesty the Queen, accompanied by James Bond alias Daniel Craig himself. The two parachuted out of a helicopter into the stadium and declared the Olympic Games of 2012 to be open, followed by president of the IOC Jacques Rogge and a moving ceremony of the lighting of the Olympic fire, merged out of the 204 brass bowls carried in by every country. Now the show will be played by the athletes in presence of Swiss Federal President Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf. She was also part of the second highlight of the evening, happily waving a little Swiss flag in Stratford, at the same time as the audience at the House gave a warm and long lasting applause for the Swiss delegation, led by tennis player Stanislas Wawrinka. What a great moment this was, seeing 102 Swiss athletes marching after the Swiss flag into the Olympic Stadium at Stratford. Good luck guys, we are counting on you!