Olympic Opening Ceremony

30 Jul 2012
"Newly forged" Olympic rings

The long-awaited Olympics opening ceremony took place on
Friday 27 July and here at IOM3 we were particularly impressed with the
spectacular metallurgical element of the event, including the “forging” of the
Olympic rings during the Industrial Revolution sequence, and the beautiful
copper petals which composed the ingenious Olympic cauldron.

As part of his statement of intent for the ceremony, Danny
Boyle wrote, ‘In 1709 Abraham Darby smelted iron in a blast furnace, using
coke. And so began the Industrial Revolution. Out of Abraham’s Shropshire
furnace flowed molten metals. Out of his genius flowed the mills, looms,
engines, weapons, railways, ships, cities, conflicts and prosperity that built the world we live

Without a doubt, Darby’s invention of smelting iron with
coke rather than charcoal freed the iron industry from the limitations imposed
by charcoal supply and allowed iron products to be made in the greater
quantities required to meet the demands of the industrial revolution.

This ceremony championed UK metallurgy and materials
science. “Boyle’s representation graphically demonstrated the vital role of
materials in the development of our nation,” said Nuna Staniaszek, Director of
Communications at IOM3. “The glowing, floating “forged” rings at the heart of
the Olympic opening spectacle, emerging from the “dark satanic mills”, will
remain imprinted on our memories for many years to come.”

The London Olympics opening ceremony is now one of the top
20 most-watched programmes in history with a peak of 26.9m viewers.

Further information:

Telegraph article, How the Might of the Industrial Revolution Was Created on Stage

Video of the Olympic rings

Olympic couldron by Thomas Heatherwick