BT London Live celebrates a triumphant weekend for Britain
We’ve had a tremendous opening weekend at BT London Live here in Hyde Park. More than 50,000 of you came to soak up the Opening Ceremony atmosphere and watch Danny Boyle’s spectacular show on our giant screens on Friday evening.
Has London ever looked so good? And David Beckham as 007 – inspired! The fireworks were every bit as dramatic as we hoped for, as was the beautiful cauldron.
And of course we had fantastic music performances on the BT London Live main stage on the night featuring Snow Patrol, Stereophonics Duran Duran and Paolo Nutini to represent their four nations (Northern Ireland, Wales, England and Scotland respectively).
The Red Arrows wowed the crowd with their dramatic fly over.
And our more intimate BT Vision stage next to BT House opened on Saturday where we’ve so far showcased Conor Maynard, Britain’s answer to Justin Bieber, and British rapper Roots Manuva.
Look out for clips of all our BT Vision stage acts later in the week. And check out all our videos so far on our BT London Live site.
But first we want to share the thoughts from a couple of our BT Ambassadors. First up, former Olympic Gold medal winner in athletics Dame Kelly Holmes.
Dame Kelly Holmes Q&A
By Kerry Gulloch
We heard that Seb Coe was your inspiration growing up. How does it feel to be working alongside him as part of the bid and London 2012?
Yes he was somebody who I was inspired by when I was 14. He won the 1500m gold and I remember getting goose bumps watching it. And thinking that’s what I want to do when I grow up. So it was really weird getting to know him as I got older. When I first got to know him he was a politician and I didn’t like him then. Haha. Then he transformed of course and has done a fantastic job of getting us the Games.
What do you think of the BT House?
It’s really great having TVs there to watch all the sport with music in the background. It’s also great for the kids coming to do all the interactive games. For me it’s really nice to be able to go on stage and speak with Richard Arnold and people on the floor to be able to ask questions and hopefully feel a bit more connected to me. Most people see me on television these days but I actually like to chat with people personally so it’s been a really nice environment in there.
Who have you got your eye on for a GB Gold medal?
I think you can never tell in sport. I just want to see the surprise moments when somebody who is young and under the radar gets a medal. It’s not just about winning a gold for me. Anyone performing and achieving a Personal Best and seeing their reactions – that’s what the Olympics is about!
You were army Judo champion, what made you change to 800m and 1500m?
Well I was a junior international athlete first for 800 and 1500 metres but I gave up my athletic career to join the army. I then started judo in the army and became a champion but my dream was always to become an Olympic champion. I used to run against a girl from my barracks who had competed in the 92 Olympics and I used to beat her. So I used my leave from the army to train and compete in athletics again. I had two dreams when I was 14 – one was to be in the army as a physical training instructor and one was to be an Olympic champion. And I’ve done them both.
If you hadn’t gone into athletics do you think you’d still be in the army?
I would’ve been out by now as I’m too old, but if I hadn’t gone back to my athletics career I wanted to do 22 years in the army. I left as a sergeant but I’d have loved to have gone through the ranks and then transferred to an officer.
Who is your inspiration now?
I am just inspired by people that are driven to make their own lives better. People I meet who have done well in their lives no matter where they are from.
Any more dreams that you still want to realise?
I want to become successful in business in some way because it’s a challenge to me. I wasn’t academic at school whatsoever so if I could start a business from scratch it’s the same analogy as sport for me. If you start at the bottom, if you learn about your sport, you learn about what you’re doing then you’ll have failures, you’ll have barriers, setbacks, but they are learning curves and you get more knowledge by the things that don’t go right as you have to ask more and find out more. And the progress you make inspires you.
Find out more about what Kelly thinks of the Olympics here:
We also put some of your Facebook questions to Paralympics bronze medal winner in wheelchair basketball Ade Adepitan.
Bernard White asks: describe the feeling of representing your country?
It is the greatest feeling you will ever have as an athlete. I’ve retired now and I still envy today’s athletes because that feeling is spine tingling. I say to these guys to enjoy every moment of their sporting career because they’ll never feel anything like this again on their home ground. I work in live TV and I’ve done some tremendous things, but nothing comes close to coming out on the basketball court with a GB vest on about to play the USA in the semi-finals or in a final. It’s the greatest.
Moira Mizon asks: will this heat wave affect team GB?
Trust me, if you want to win a gold medal, you will win it if it’s minus 10 degrees, or if its 110 degrees because it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Natasha Dunnakey asks: is there anything specific you would do the night before to get ready for a big event like this and get rid of the nerves?
I was a bit of a routine person, so funny enough, the night before and the day before I never played and video games even though I’m a big fan. I tried to keep my mind, my brain as mentally loose and relaxed as possible – I didn’t want it filled with any sort of tension or pressure. So I would mong out in front of the TV – something where I didn’t have to use my brain – like Made in Chelsea!
Christopher Perrett asks: what do you think drives people like you and other athlete to dedicate your life up to an event like this. It must be all consuming?
For me personally it was that I wanted to be the best that I could be. It’s just exhilarating. It’s that feeling of power when everything’s going right. You don’t even have to think it becomes instinct. It’s an awesome, awesome feeling. Maybe the closest someone who hasn’t played sport gets to it, is if they are maybe playing a computer game and everything is going right for them. Imagine that feeling but against the best person in the world. Or the best team in the world.
What did you think of the Opening Ceremony? What have you enjoyed about the Olympics so far? Let us know below
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