Welcome to the 2012 Olympics!

FLOTUS Michelle Obama addresses U.S. athletes at London Olympics

LONDON – It’s doubtful that Barbara Hutton, the former Countess of Reventlow, envisioned this when she donated her London mansion to the U.S. government after World War II.

On the day of opening ceremonies for the Summer Olympic Games here, the vast green of stately Winfield House was transformed into a giant Olympic-themed playground whereFirst Lady Michelle Obama brought her campaign for healthy living and offered her support for the U.S. team.

Before jogging into the backyard of what is now the U.S. ambassador’s residence, Obama at a breakfast for American Olympians urged them to “have fun.”

“I’m so inspired by you and am in awe of what you all have achieved,” Obama said. “Try to have fun; try to breathe a little.”

The first lady said the London games marked her first trip to the Olympics, adding that she brought greetings from a nation “that will be rooting for you every day.”  Obama, who is leading the U.S. delegation to opening ceremonies, said she’ll spend the next two days as a spectator, cheering on the U.S. team in person at venues across the city. Read full article here…

Olympic Athlete banned over racist tweet? Do you think that’s harsh?

The banned Greek triple jumper was ‘bitter and upset’ after racist tweet got her kicked out of the Olympics. The Greek triple jumper expelled from the Olympics for sending a racist tweet about African immigrants and the West Nile virus is speaking out against the decision to ban her from competition in London.

Voula Papachristou was left in Athens by the Hellenic Olympic Committee after sending a tweet that read:

With so many Africans in Greece … at least the West Nile mosquitos will eat homemade food!!!

Her comment generated a minor uproar in Greece, then became an international story when Greek officials decided to kick her off the Olympic team. The triple jumper issued a wide-ranging apology after the ruling was announced. Her tone turned defiant on Thursday when she spoke with Reuters about the decision:

“I have not slept at all and to be honest I am still trying to come to terms with what has happened. I am trying to stay calm otherwise I would lose control.

“I am thankful to my coach and family and so many other people who have stuck by me…. After so many years of hurt and sacrifices to try and get to my first Olympics I am very bitter and upset. But what has upset me the most is the excessive reaction and speed of the disciplinary decision.”

Though it’s probably not best to talk about how you may “lose control” — I don’t think that’s taught in Crisis Management 101 — Papachristou has a point. Read full story here

Personally, I agree her tweet was disrespectful but I think fining her would have done more than enough justice. However, her apology is mingled with pride and arrogance so maybe it is best to leave the original punishment. Like I will continue to say, the things you tweet about can either make you or break you. Be careful what you tweet…someone somewhere is watching.

The best 9 2012 Olympic commercials…

And the number 1 spot goes to the US Olympic Swim Team. This is their take on the Carly Rae Jepsen’s ‘Call Me Maybe’ (my new favorite song btw). I laughed out loud at this video.

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Olympics 2012…”Spice Up Your Life”…

Are you a following of the “Girl Power?” If you are, you’ll be glad to know that the Spice Girls are reuniting to perform alongside artists such as George Michael, The Who and Jessie J during the Olympics 2012 Closing Ceremony. Make sure you’re in London on August 12, 2012 to witness the happenings.

Williams sisters willing to forgo mixed doubles…

It appears that the Williams sisters are not overly concerned about being selected to play mixed doubles at the London Olympics. The U.S. can only have two parings in the 16-team draw, and potential teams of Mike Bryan and Lisa Raymond, as well as Bob Bryan and Liezel Huber have already indicated they would like to play together. Serena and Venus are both scheduled to play singles and doubles.

Serena, who is contending with a bad back, has entertained thoughts of playing mixed with Andy Roddick, John Isner, or one of the Bryans. However, she is already committed to playing singles, as well as doubles with her sister Venus. Playing mixed could potentially mean playing 15 matches in nine days. It’s also questionable if Roddick would want to play mixed, as he’s playing singles, doubles with Isner, and has been complaining of a “dead” shoulder. Read more here…

4 Queen Elizabeth II and James Bond join forces at the Olympics…

Who knew James Bond and Queen Elizabeth were such good friends? The two teamed up and made a grand entrance at the opening ceremony of the Olympics on July 27.

James, played by Daniel Craig, picked up Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace and together they rode in a helicopter all over London. Then they JUMPED out of the Queencopter and arrived at the Olympics!

Of course, this was all just an act, but it was pretty hilarious! We’re sure Prince William, Prince Harry and Kate Middleton got a kick out of it!

Chinese Clothing Multimillionaire puzzled by outrage over U.S. Olympic Uniforms…

Li Guilian runs Dayang Trands, a Chinese clothing company that is manufacturing the U.S. Olympic uniforms that the American team will be wearing at the opening ceremony in London on Friday. But she is reportedly puzzled by the outrage many Americans feel about the fact that Ralph Lauren, the designer of the U.S. Olympic uniform, had the uniforms made in China rather than in the U.S.

“Pay attention to the performances of the U.S. athletes and not their clothes,” Li was quoted as saying in a Los Angeles Times report by David Pierson. “Don’t you think we deserve credit?… We’ve made so many customers happy over the years,” she added.

Since a report aired July 11 on ABC about where the uniforms were made, a controversy has ensued over whether it’s appropriate for American athletes to be donning outfits manufactured in China, especially at a time when the U.S. is grappling with a struggling economy and stagnant job growth. Read full story here…

4 Olympic Athletes who stepped up for Child Nutrition…

Few people grasp the importance of good nutrition as well as Olympic Athletes. No matter how talented, they can’t give their best without it. Here are four renowned Olympic athletes who say nutrition is just as important to children, especially those who risk not getting enough.

ROME—Athletes headed to the Olympic Games in London have more in common than talent and hard work. Whether they’re sprinting the 100 metres or diving off a springboard, they know that without eating the right foods, they can’t give their best.

Nutrition is just as important to children. They need it so that their minds and bodies can grow, and so that they can learn in school and reach their full potential.

As excitement builds around the Olympic Games in London, here are four renowned athletes who’ve seen first-hand the difference nutrition can make in the lives of hungry children.

Dayron Robles – Hurdler

As a child, Cuban hurdler Dayron Robles suffered from anaemia, a form of malnutrition that left him tired and weak. Thanks in part to meals provided to him at school, he overcame the problem and became one of the fastest hurdlers in the world. Robles won a gold medal in the 100-metre hurdles at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and then another at the 2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships. Read more

Paul Tergat – Marathon Runner

WFP Ambassador Paul Tergat says he came to school as much for the meals as for the lessons. Growing up in impoverished rural Kenya, he remembers what it was like to go to bed hungry. But with help from those meals, he was able to become one of the greatest long-distance runners of all time, winning two silver medals at the Olympics and breaking the world record for fastest marathon in 2003. Read more

Li Ning – Gymnast

“As an athlete, I know how important good nutrition is for healthy growth,” said Chinese gymnast Li Ning,

who was dubbed The Prince of Gymnastics after winning 6 medals at the 1984 Summer Olympics. Li Ning says living in a country where hunger was once widespread, but that now contributes to WFP’s work around the world helped him understand the long-term impact nutrition can have. Read more

Robert Korzeniowski – Racewalker

One of the most successful racewalkers of all time, Robert Korzeniowski won three consecutive Olympic gold medals for the 50 km walk between 1996 and 2004, and a fourth gold medal in the 20 km walk in 2000. He said that his memories of receiving international aid as a child in Communist Poland were behind his decision to support WFP school meals programmes. Read more

Michelle Obama DAZZLES With AMERICAN PRIDE At 2012 London Olympics, Hangs With David Beckham And GREETS The Queen..

First Lady Michelle Obama is currently in London for the 2012 Olympics where she met with British Football star David Beckham before greeting the Queen at Buckingham Palace. Mrs. Obama is using her time in London to promote her “Let’s Move!” initiative.   Mrs. Obama  is serving as the head of the US Delegates for the 2012 Olympics.

Mrs. Obama hosted an exercise session the morning of the Olympic opening in London (attended by sexy soccer star David Beckham) as part of her ‘Let’s Move!’ anti-obesity campaign.

During the breakfast event, she was quoted as saying:

“Wow – I’m going to be saying that a lot over the next few days. Wow! I can’t believe I am here, I am beyond proud. Some of my fondest memories growing up and even as an adult for that matter involved watching the Olympics on TV.”

“I know each of you probably were in that position. Being here is otherworldly for me, you know. I am still so inspired by all of you. I am still in awe of everything you have achieved.”

The Royal Family were out in force last night for a full-scale charm offensive on global leaders attending London’s Olympic Games. Led by the Queen and Prince Philip, 19 senior royals were rounded up for a champagne reception – well, English sparkling wine – at Buckingham Palace hours before the official opening ceremony as part of the nation’s push to strengthen its diplomatic, political and economic ties.

The younger members were led by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, with Kate flying the flag in an ice blue coat dress by cutting-edge Scottish fashion designer Christopher Kane, who bases himself in London.

She warmly greeted US First Lady, Michelle Obama, who was invited in her role as head of her country’s Olympic delegation.

The two women first met just over a year ago when the Obamas flew to the UK on a state visit. Other young royals present included Prince Harry and the Duke of York’s daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. Harry chatted animatedly to leaders from the Caribbean including Jamaica’s republican-leaning Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, whom he met on an official tour of her island earlier this year.

Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Andrew, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke and Duchess of Kent and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent also exchanged pleasantries in the palace ballroom for the hour and a half long event.

More than 190 guests were present – including 95 heads of state and government and their spouses – ranging from Mongolia to the Marshall Islands, in the northern Pacific. Among the first to arrive was the Fijian President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, resplendent in a suit jacket, sarong and sandals. Adding glamour to the proceedings were Princess Charlene of Monaco, looking statuesque in a white trouser suit, and her husband, His Serene Highness Prince Albert 11.

She was in attendance for the Queen’s lunch which consisted of a very British menu:

  • British sparkling wine
  • Canapes
  • Quail’s Eggs sprinkled with celery salt
  • Cornet of Smoked Duck
  • Rosette of Smoked Salmon

The Queen of England Elizabeth II addressed her guests before the Olympic’s opening and said:

‘This will be the third London Olympiad; my great-grandfather opened the 1908 Games at White City; my father opened the 1948 Games at Wembley Stadium, and later this evening I will take pleasure in declaring open the 2012 London Olympic Games at Stratford in the east of London.

‘To me the spirit of togetherness is a most important part of the Olympic ideal, and the British people can be proud of the part they have played in keeping the spirit alive. Many sports played in these Games have their historic roots in this country; and as a nation we have an abiding passion for sport, as well as a tradition of fair play and a good-natured sense of fun.

‘In all our national Olympic teams there is so much of which we can be proud; groups of young men and women dedicated to excellence and achievement across numerous sporting disciplines. And these teams are ably supported by thousands of organisers, volunteers and supporters who will be following the action not just at the Olympic venues here in the United Kingdom but throughout the world.

‘For all these reasons, I wish you and your countries a successful, enjoyable and memorable Games.’

After her speech the Queen walked forward to meet some of her guests and, in a rare public mishap, dropped her glasses case as she shook hands with Brazil’s President, Dilma Rousseff. Both bent down to pick them up and the Queen carefully popped them away in her handbag.

The reception was due to end at 7pm on the dot as all of those present were due at the hugely-anticipated opening ceremony of the 2012 Games. Despite being dropped off by a fleet of black limousines, Rolls Royces and luxury diplomatic cars, most were picked up by bus to make the journey into East London – quite a novel experience for many, no doubt.

Special relationship: The Duchess of Cambridge greets Michelle Obama during a reception at Buckingham Palace for Heads of State and Government attending the Olympics Opening Ceremony

Queen Elizabeth II meets US First Lady Michelle Obama and US Ambassador Louis Susman at a reception at Buckingham Palace

The Duchess of Cambridge poses with President of Mongolia Elbegdorj Tsakhia

First Lady Michelle Obama and US Ambassador Louis Susman attend a reception at Buckingham Palace for Heads of State and Government

US First Lady Michelle Obama speaks to Prince Albert of Monaco

Princess Beatrice (right) speaks to the Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Omurbek Babanov (left) and Rita Birbaeva

Prince Harry meets with the President of Gabon Ali Bongo Ondimba and his wife Sylvia

State Councillor Dai Bingguo of China arrives

Saudi Arabia's Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al Saud arrives

Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina waves as she arrives

Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov

Prime Minister of Denmark Helle Thorning-Schmidt

Governor General of Saint Lucia Dame Pearlette Louisy

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev

Prime Minister of St Luica Kenny Davis Anthony and wife

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault of France

Victor-Viorel Ponta, the Prime Minister of Romania and his wife Daciana Sarbu

President of Turkey Abdullah G¸l and his wife Hayrunnisa Gul

United States fans pose with their national flag outside the Olympic stadium

Ethiopia fans enjoy the atmosphere

Click here to view more photographs…

2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony Photo Album

The Summer Games, officially the Games of the XXX Olympiad, will feature 302 events in 26 sports as well as 10,902 athletes from 204 countries, including tennis star Serena Williams, champion swimmer Michael Phelps, decathlete Ashton Eaton, Claressa Shields (boxing), Jordyn Wieber (gymnastics) and Missy Franklin (swimming)! The opening ceremony features performances by Sir Paul McCartney and is directed by Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle!

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – JULY 27: Simon LeBon of Duran Duran performs at BT London Live Olympic Opening Ceremony Celebration Concert at Hyde Park on July 27, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Joseph Okpako/WireImage)

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 27: David Beckham passes under Tower Bridge driving a speedboat named ‘Max Power’ which carries the Olympic Torch with its torchbearer on July 27, 2012 in London, England. Athletes, heads of state and dignitaries from around the world have gathered in the Olympic Stadium for the opening ceremony of the 30th Olympiad. London plays host to the 2012 Olympic Games which will see 26 sports contested by 10,500 athletes over 17 days of competition. (Photo by Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images)

Actors perform during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 27, 2012 at the Olympic stadium in London. (LEON NEAL/AFP/GettyImages)

Actors perform during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in London on July 27, 2012. (SAEED KHAN/AFP/GettyImages)

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 27: Performers dressed as Mary Poppins characters pay tribute to children’s literature during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 27: Lauren Jackson of the Australia Olympic basketball team carries her country’s flag during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 27: Fireworks are displayed at Tower Bridge on July 27, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Queen Elizabeth II

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Mr. Bean

The Olympic flame, formed from dozens of torches, burns bright in the centre of the stadium

The Olympic flame, formed from dozens of torches, burns bright in the centre of the stadium

The flame is passed to five times gold medal winner Sir Steve Redgrave

The flame is passed to five times gold medal winner Sir Steve Redgrave

Former British rower and five times Olympic gold medalist, Steve Redgrave, passes the Torch to seven children, nominated to light the flame

Former British rower and five times Olympic gold medalist, Steve Redgrave, passes the Torch to seven children, nominated to light the flame

Young athletes carry the Olympic flame around the stadium

Young athletes carry the Olympic flame around the stadium, a symbol of the Games’ legacy

The athletes then lit copper metals, one to represent each nation taking part

The athletes then lit copper metals, one to represent each nation taking part

A mass of torches converge, to create a huge ball of fire

A mass of torches converge, to create a huge ball of fire

An incredible burst of fireworks exploded into life above the stadium

An incredible burst of fireworks exploded into life above the stadium

A huge torch burns bright in the centre of the arena, as the athletes look on

A huge torch burns bright in the centre of the arena, as the athletes look on

Fireworks lit up the night sky as the Stadium anxiously awaited the arrival of the Olympic Flame

Fireworks lit up the night sky as the Stadium anxiously awaited the arrival of the Olympic Flame

A group of flagbearers including Muhammad Ali bring the Olympic Flag into the stadium

A group of flagbearers including Muhammad Ali bring the Olympic Flag into the stadium

Usain Bolt carries the flag

Flying the flag: Usain Bolt of Jamaica

Russia's Maria Sharapova carries the flag during the Opening Ceremony

Flying the flag: Maria Sharapova of Russia carry their nations’ flags into the Stadium

Argentina's flag bearer Luciana Aymar leads her team into the Olympic StadiumArgentina's flag bearer Luciana Aymar leads her team into the Olympic Stadium

Argentina’s flag bearer Luciana Aymar leads her team into the Olympic Stadium

Australian competitors pass on messages to loved ones back home during their nation's parade

Australian competitors pass on messages to loved ones back home during their nation’s parade

Performers pay silent tribute to war dead and the victims of the 7/7 terrorist attacks

Performers pay silent tribute to war dead and the victims of the 7/7 terrorist attacks

The silent tribute added a sombre touch to the ceremony

The silent tribute added a sombre touch to the ceremony#

Atkinson cheated his way to victory in a mock up of the famous Chariots of Fire scene

Atkinson cheated his way to victory in a mock up of the famous Chariots of Fire scene

Actresses dressed as Mary Poppins float above the stadium, clinging onto umbrellas

Actresses dressed as Mary Poppins float above the stadium, clinging onto umbrellas

Children perform on trampolines as dancers play Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital staff

Children perform on trampolines as dancers play Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital staff

What better way to end a great night than a sing-along with Sir Paul McCartney…

Encouraging a sing-alongThe crowd inside the Olympic stadium were swaying and singing tonight as Sir Paul McCartney closed the Opening Ceremony.
Smiling widely as he sat playing the piano, the British singer sang the famous Beatles hit Hey Jude. Towards the end of the performance he stood up and clapped his hands in the air, encouraging the audience to sing-along.
He asked the men to join in – and then asked the women to get involved, before the whole stadium sang together.

As the singer took centre stage everyone from athletes to the spectators sang along.

Alex Turner and his band played one of their early hits I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor as well as performing The Beatles song Come Together as bikers with wings cycled around the stadium.Dancing shoes: The Arctic Monkeys played one of their early hits I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor

As the band performed fireworks shot up around the stadium

Part of the ceremony involved a piece by the staff and patients of the NHS, in particular, from Great Ormand Street Hospital for Children

As they played to thousands of people in the stadium and millions around the world, fireworks surrounding the East London arena lit up the sky.

Stand out: Bright neon colours on the dancers’ costumes made an effective scene.Stand out: Bright neon colours on the dancers costumes made an effective scene

Dancing feet: A montage of songs were played as brightly-coloured dancers took to the stage

Dancing feet: A montage of songs were played as brightly-coloured dancers took to the stage

Emeli Sande who sang the hymn Abide With Me said:

‘I am extremely proud and humbled to be part of the amazing ceremony which will allow the world to see some of the best up-and-coming and established talent the UK has produced.’

It was written by Henry Fancis Lyte in 1847 and he died three weeks after completing it. The hymn has been sung at every FA Cup final since 1927.
It is also a regular tune heard at Rugby League internationals.

Emeli Sande

Muhammad Ali and his wife 

For a complete list of artists that performed at the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony, visit Daily Mail. I hope you’ve enjoyed Welcome to the 2012 Olympics!

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2 thoughts on “Welcome to the 2012 Olympics!

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