Here’s the Opening Ceremony Tribute to Terrorism Victims NBC Doesn’t Want You to See

Scottish singer Emeli Sandé sang “Abide With Me,” and a memorial wall featured images of spectators’ deceased loved ones.

July 28, 2012 | deadspin

The major transitional element of today’s London Olympics opening ceremony was a downtempo performance of adoptive sporting anthem “Abide With Me” by Scottish singer Emeli Sandé. The song and accompanying dance were a tribute to the victims of the 7/7 terror attacks in London that claimed 52 victims days after the 2012 Summer Olympic hosts were named. (It’s also been suggested the performance was a memorial to the war dead.)

Moving montage: The faces of spectators’ loved ones who have passed away, including the victims of 7/7, were flashed up on big screens around the Olympic Stadium and on TV

Regardless, it was a rather significant and emotional moment in the opening ceremony, coming just before the parade of nations—and it wasn’t aired in the United States. Instead, viewers were treated to a lengthy and meaningless Ryan Seacrest interview of Michael Phelps. NBC regularly excises small portions of the opening ceremony to make room for commercials, but we’ve never heard of them censoring out an entire performance—especially to air an inane interview. We’ve asked NBC why they didn’t air the tribute, and if they get back to us we’ll let you know what they say. In the meantime, enjoy the performance everyone else in the world saw. [BBC]

Click here to view video.

Update (12:25 a.m.): Some readers have commented the official media guide to the opening ceremony makes no reference to 7/7. The sheer number of news stories that cite the performance as a tribute to its victims (as well as the performance itself) gives us pretty good confidence that the memorial was its theme. Here’s the prepared BBC remarks as aired:

Ladies and gentlemen, please pause silent for our memorial wall for friends and family who can’t be here tonight. The excitement of that moment in Singapore seven years ago when England won the games was tempered the next day with sorrow from the events of July 7th that year. A wall of remembrance for those no longer here to share in this event.

Metro reporter Cassandra Garrison told me the segment’s choreographer Akram Khan did not mention 7/7 in his press conference on the performance, explaining it instead to be about “mortality.”

SEE ALSO: Opening Ceremony Choreographer “Disheartened And Disappointed” NBC Cut His Entire Performance Out Of Their Broadcast

For a handy master schedule of every Olympic event, click here.


About Pat Donworth, D.Min.

I express myself as teacher, writer, and consciousness explorer. These driving interests have manifested in my work/service as a university and hospital chaplain; a book and magazine writer/editor, and teacher and workshop leader. I designed this blog to be a portal that points to and assists awakening souls to implement, and make practical, the changes that will usher in a new world based on unity, compassion, and collaboration.
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