Welcome to London 2012

A special welcome awaits athletes at the Olympic Village entrance


On the occasion of the official opening of the Olympic Village, the first Team Welcome Ceremonies have been held, a show that will be repeated every day until the start of the Olympic Games. The ceremonies were created, produced and choreographed by The National Youth Theatre of Great Britain (NYT), which will also take center stage with live exhibitions of all the shows celebrating the athletes' strength, determination and courage. In order to get all athletes involved in the ceremony, the artists will be singing, dancing and performing around them, creating a thrilling and engaging atmosphere. Aside from the more theatrical part, the Team Welcome Ceremonies also include more institutional moments, such as the national anthem singing and flag hoisting carried out by the Armed Forces. In preparation for the Olympic Games, over 200 national anthems have been arranged by the British composer, conductor and cellist Philip Sheppard, and recorded by the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the world-famous Abbey Road Studios. The process required 36 musicians and 50 recording hours. The anthems, aside from accompanying the over 100 welcome ceremonies, will also be played during the 805 award ceremonies of the Games.
“Teams from all over the world are coming to London and the Athletes' Village will be their home during the Games. Some of them will be visiting London for the first time, for others this will be their first Olympic experience and therefore their first impressions will be very important. I have no doubt that the  NYT will ensure that athletes receive the warmest possible welcome to London and will help set the tone for what might be the most important time in the sporting career of some of those athletes”, remarked Seb Coe, LOCOG President. “The performance of the anthems is one of the most emotional moments of every Olympiad and it was an incredible experience for me as well in Moscow and Los Angeles. I am delighted to have worked with the London Philharmonic Orchestra to achieve this pivotal moment of the ceremonies during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games”.