So London Opening Ceremony happened! There was quite a debate among journos whether or not it was a great ceremony. I am very much a fan of these festival-like parades, so I am leaning towards yes. I don’t think Danny Boyle’s London ceremony was “the greatest ever” (that award goes to Beijing in ’08), but I enjoyed it all the same. There was Bond man Daniel Craig and his Bond “girl” (Queen Elizabeth) with her corgies!
And Mr. Bean playing along to Chariots of Fire. Mr. Bean really knows how to move his eyebrows. Beckham appeared steering a boat! The ceremony had a great sountrack with many British pop/rock songs, and a few historical references that went over my head.
After a good hour, it was finally time for the athletes to do their walk around the stadium. Luckily, Argentina comes near the top of the alphabet, so we were treated to their delegation’s walk early on:
The athletes’ procession was quite chaotic, so I couldn’t see DelPo amid the other Argentinean athletes. However, this photo proves he was there! He looks calmly amazed, taking in all the sights:
DelPo waves to the crowd, as he walks alongside Argentina’s flag-bearer for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Manu Ginobli:
There a total of eight tennis players who were flag-bearers for their countries. After Argentina and Belarus, it seemed to take half an hour to get through each letter of the alphabet. So I turned away until the procession reached the letter “S.” As Novak carried Serbia’s flag, the TV cameras suddenly turned to DelPo, who was inside the stadium. He gave a little wave:
Then, finally, DelPo took quite possibly the best photo ever of a mixed doubles pair. There is no doubt about it, DelPo & Dulko (DePulko) are the most attractive — not that it’s a contest but they totally win it, if you know what I mean:
There were other tennistical highlights to the ceremony, including the Czech team walking through with umbrellas and Wellies, Team France with Gasquet and Jo-Willy looking very handsome, and Team Spain looking very dapper in their outfits!
One of the highlights at the tail-end of the ceremony was watching Stanislas the Manislas Wawrinka carry the flag for Switzerland. Stan rightfully took this duty very seriously and he was live-tweeting photos like the world was going to end in the next two minutes. I half wondered if he would be carrying the flag while snapping photos as he walked around the stadium. Thankfully, he played it cool, and it was amazing to see!
I’m a cycling fan and one of my favorite riders is a Swiss guy named Fabian Cancellara. Cancellara had been a top candidate for flag-bearing duties, but to the early start of his road race the next day, he could not attend the ceremony. Instead, Fabu tweeted his support for Stan and they had a lovely chat:
Stanislas Wawrinka (@stanwawrinka) July 27, 2012
**Unfortunately, Cancellara had a nasty crash during his road race and he ended the race with a likely injury to his clavicle. He was pretty distraught and crying very hard at the end — it was tough to watch. It was a very sad moment for him and his fans, especially given how he was so enthusiastic about defending his bronze and gold medals from Beijing. That’s the Olympics — heartbreaks, thrills and surprises in overload.
First Day of Action:
On the tennis side of things, the first day saw Berdych lose early to Steve Darcis of Belgium. Berdy slipped and fell on Centre Court many times during this match, which left many wondering if the grass had grown properly after the beating it took at Wimbledon a few weeks ago.
Unfortunately, Nalby’s Olympics ended on the day it began. He lost in straight sets to Tipsy (ugh) and then him and Edu lost in dubs to Tsonga-Llodra in straights as well. It’s a shame that Nalby couldn’t attend the Opening Ceremony due to the early start time of his match — in any case, may the Davis Cup dream continue to live on. There’s less than two months to prepare for the SF against the Czech Republic.
Berlocq’s Olympics run ended as well, as he lost to Alex Bogomolov Jr. I guess Bogo Jr. can revel in his victory for Russia, as he’d encountered so many problems playing for that country after changing his citizenship from American to Russian.
Fortunately, DelPo played well in his debut match against Ivan Dodig and he safely made his way to R2, with a 6-4 6-1 win. Although the match stats don’t show this, I watched DelPo’s entire match (only taking a 3 minute break to catch the men’s 400m freestyle final), and DelPo was playing very well.
He had a clean match where he kept his UFE count down, but what impressed me was his pinpoint winners. He was hitting hard and hitting well, and he managed to throw in a few volleys and a very pretty dropshot winner on the line. His movement on the grass was excellent too! He faces Seppi in R2.
It’s DelPo at the Olympics! Four years ago, DelPo won his first four tournaments at Stuttgart-Kitzbuhel-LA-DC (tournaments that nobody is really watching this year, due to the Olympics). In 2012, DelPo has finally made his Olympics debut (as a Slam champion, and a finalist at a Masters and the WTF). It’s very nice to see all the strides he’s made in four years.
Hope everyone is enjoying the Olympics this weekend!