Olympic officials are banking on local enthusiasm to make the games that start today in London a success after economic difficulties curbed spending on the event.
The games officially get underway with Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle showcasing Britain’s history to an estimated television audience of more than a billion. The show portrays the U.K. as a green and pleasant land before moving through its industrial revolution in front of public figures, such as U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney, at the Olympic Stadium. London is a fitting host, according to IOC President Jacques Rogge, whose group wouldn’t allow a moment’s silence at the opening ceremony to mark the 40th anniversary of the 1972 Olympics, when 11 members of the Israeli team were killed in Munich by terrorists.
“Going to London, it’s going to the country that invented modern sport in the second half of the 19th century, included sport in its school curriculum, loves sport, knows sport well,” Rogge told reporters July 21.