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London 2012: Musical Beginnings

The sounds of the Olympics' opening weekend.

Monday, July 30, 2012 - 01:04 PM

The 2012 London Olympics officially kicked off with Friday’s opening ceremonies - which, in addition to featuring a terrifyingly large baby and the delightful sulphur smell of factory smoke, also featured a heck of a lot of music. Highlights included the performance by deaf Scottish percussionist Evelyn Glennie, who led the thundering Underworld piece “And I Will Kiss”; Rowan Atkinson's "Chariots of Fire" one-note solo; Great Britain’s Parade of Nations entrance to David Bowie’s “Heroes”; and Paul McCartney’s £1 closing performance of "Hey Jude." The soundtrack to the Danny Boyle creation, called Isles of Wonder, was released digitally on Friday and has already risen to the top of the iTunes album charts in much of Europe (it’s currently at #8 on the iTunes album chart in the U.S.).

But the Olympics’ musical weekend didn’t end there! Onto Saturday - and into swimmer Ryan Lochte’s mouth. After winning the gold in the 400-meter Individual Medley, Lochte quickly popped in a red, white and blue diamond grill - a luxurious dental accessory more commonly associated with Lil’ Jon videos than international sports competitions. Although he was reportedly told by IOC officials to de-ice before stepping onto the podium, his panache was quickly commended on Twitter by hip hop legend DJ Funkmaster Flex and rapper and bling-teeth entrepreneur Paul Wall. By the way, victory grills are nothing new for Lochte - you can peruse a gallery of his mouthwear here.

The music-filled weekend was rounded out on Sunday by the qualification round of the women’s gymnastics competition - when the five U.S. team members showed off their skills on the balance beam, uneven bars, vault and the floor. Although men generally don’t use music during their floor exercises, women do - and last night, to the tune of the rousing Jewish folk song “Hava Nagila,” team captain Aly Raisman beat out her teammate and reigning world champion Jordyn Wieber for an all-around competition spot. You can catch the routine (and the "Hava Nagila") again during the floor exercise final on Tuesday, August 7.

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