Oh, what a night with performances of excellence and humor, only the British can deliver. With Queen Elizabeth appearing in a video, “The Queen” and James Bond parachuting in for the occasion, Mr. Bean at his best bringing laughter to the seated crowd of 62,000 and millions of TV viewers. A very strange, but entertaining version of Peter Pan, and …. I have never seen so many “Mary Poppins” to protect the children from the nightmarish figures! David Beckman in a beautiful boat at top speed with the Olympic torch bringing it’s journey over 70 days and 6000 mile relay to an end. As “an Australian TV commentator described the show … “brilliant but bonkers” ~ pretty much sums it up.
It has been reported that there are 204 “countries” participating in the games. However, in actuality, there are only 196 independent countries around the world. A bit confusing? ~ yes. Technically, save 3, there are 193 independent counties that have athletes in London for the games. There are 11 territories, or other entities, that have been permitted by the International Olympic Committee to have their own National Olympic Committee (NOC). Thus, 204 stated “countries”. The three independent countries not represented are South Sudan, Kosovo, and Vatican City/Holy See.
Interestingly enough ~ South Sudan declared their independence from Sudan in July, 2011. Quickly being accepted into the United Nations, the war-torn country is working to get theirs lives and country back in order. Unfortunately, for the few athletes they do have, creating a NOC has not moved its way up the priority list.
Kosovo is our second newest independent country, officially as of 2008. With continuing status issues with Serbia, has not obtained international recognition. Even though they created their own Olympic Committee of Kosovo ~ their athletes are unable to participate without a NOC in their country.
Vatican City/Holy See ~ which is recognized as an independent country, does not have a NOC. Nor does the Vatican City have any aspirations to have a committee in the future.
For the 204 “countries”, there is an approximate total of 10,690 (and one report was 17,000 ~ so somewhere in between!) athletes participating in 26 sport categories, 36 disciplines (Defined event within the category. Exp: Swimming category ~ breaststroke, free style, relay, etc. are “disciplines”.) equaling approx. 300 events for one to choose from. Per individual “country”, representation ranges from 5 to 557 members. Great Britain (557), United States (534), and Russia (441) topping the list.
So for the next 17 days ~ we will be entertained and watch with enthusiasm as athletes from around the world compete for the Gold, Silver and Bronze. GOOOOO USA!!
Everyone, enjoy your events of choice ~ and, maybe watch some new ones. Unfortunately… baseball, nor softball, is included in this year’s Olympics. ~ Have a great day!
Always ~ Elichap