The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has announced that the Olympic Stadium will be transformed into the British countryside for the opening ceremony.

Work has already begun on the set in the Olympic Stadium and will will include meadows, fields and rivers, and feature families taking picnics, sport being played on the village green and farmers tilling the soil whilst real farmyard animals graze – including 12 horses, three cows, two goats, 10 chickens, 10 ducks, nine geese, 70 sheep, and three sheep dogs.

Each of the four nations will be represented by their national flower – the rose of England, the thistle of Scotland, the daffodil of Wales and flax from Northern Ireland.

Seb Coe, LOCOG chairman, said: “With only 45 days to go to the London 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony one of the biggest sets ever built for a show is beginning to develop in the Olympic Stadium.

“With a worldwide TV audience of a billion people and a cast of over 10,000 talented volunteers, I’m sure that Danny’s ceremony will be a fantastic celebration that will welcome the 10,500 athletes from around the world and make our nation proud.”

To coincide with the announcement Danny Boyle, artistic director of the London 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony, paid tribute to the ceremony’s 10,000 volunteers, cast and crew rehearsing.

He said: “The ceremony is an attempt to capture a picture of ourselves as a nation, where we have come from and where we want to be.

“The best part of telling that story has been working with our 10,000 volunteers.

“I’ve been astounded by the selfless dedication of the volunteers, they are the purest embodiment of the Olympic spirit and represent the best of who we are as a nation.”

Posted on 12/06/2012