Trafalgar Square was a playground of social-media excitement on Friday night, as people from all over the world sang, danced and posed with their nation’s flags, all the while clicking pics with their phones.
The brief spell of rain did little to dampen the party as crowds of partying Olympic fans just popped open umbrellas decked in Union Jacks or huddled together under the large trees that surround the square.
It was a sea of live broadcast camera crews in different languages, capturing the spontaneous gatherings of people from different nations, friendly dance-offs and chant-offs between pockets of people carrying different flags. Jets blazed by overhead streaming out red and blue smoke while security helicopters constantly watched overhead. A man dressed in a blue Union Jack leotard brought a case containing dozens of different flags for photo-posing possibilities.
The clock counting down the minutes to the opening ceremonies ticked down in the corner of the square, nestled between Canada House and the National Gallery.
Smart phones clicked away in unison as the clock hit zero to the chorus of voices counting down. For a moment it was like New Year’s in July as fans kissed and hugged to celebrate the moment.
But there was a little disappointment, too, as people wandered around asking where the big screen was, muttering aloud about why an iconic gathering such as Trafalgar Square didn’t have a proper large screen set up to show the opening ceremony. Instead they scurried off in search of pubs with televisions or tried to huddle up outside the windows of Canada House, where friends and family of Canadian Olympians were cozied inside watching.