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Take 2 — London Calling

Seattle Times readers who are traveling to London for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games are taking over our Take 2 blog to share their Olympic experiences from the United Kingdom.

July 26, 2012 at 2:36 PM

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A sneak peak at the London 2012 opening ceremony

Contributor Denise Omelia attended a technical rehearsal of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games opening ceremony in London on July 25.

Omelia's daughter Kristin, who is working behind-the-scenes at the the ExCel Centre where the boxing, wrestling and weightlifting events will take place, organized tickets to the rehearsal for herself and Omelia.

"After seven years it's finally here! To say we are excited is an understatement. The Olympics are here and THE only story in London right now," says Omelia in an email.

Omelia traveled from Stanmore to Stratford, which took 26 stops on the London Underground, or "the Tube," in order to get to Olympic Stadium where the opening ceremony will take place.

"The tube is ... quite hot and a bit crowded through the Central London stops, but that's de rigueur!" says Omelia.

When Omelia arrived at Olympic Park, which she describes as "impressive," she says she "whizzed through security" and the "military [is] doing a stellar job!"

She also described the atmosphere as "bubbly and friendly."

Omelia was unable to provide details of the rehearsal because officials want to keep the show a surprise. According to Omelia, they called it #savethesurprise.

"I will say this, Danny Boyle and co. have done an amazing job," says Omelia. "I feel that they've covered everything that the world considers British, whether it be historical or cliche! Great music, plenty of pageantry, lots of interactivity and copious amounts of fun!"

When the evening was over, Omelia once again braved the London Underground.

"Leaving the stadium took a while — large crowds all wanting a train meant human grid-lock!" says Omelia. "There were friendly, informed volunteers with mega-phones all along the walkway to Stratford station."

Eventually, she was able to catch a train on the Jubilee Line.

"And 26 stops later," she says, "I was back in Stanmore."

The official opening ceremony will be held on Friday, July 27 at 9 p.m. in London (that's 1 p.m in Seattle) and will be broadcast six-and-a-half hours later on NBC.


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