Its almost game time in Rio, but first theres the pageantry of the Olympic opening ceremony.Always splashy affairs, the parade of athletes this time around will take place Friday night at Maracana Stadium with a country-by-country show of fashion, along with speeches, flag-raising and the lighting of the Olympic cauldron.For now, enjoy these moments from opening ceremonies of Olympics past:---LONDON 2012First there was the green of the English countryside, then along came the queen.Queen Elizabeth II parachuted into the stadium with James Bond, the one thats Daniel Craig. Craig played himself after a fictional trip from Buckingham Palace to the stadium. The queen did not actually take flight, FYI.More slapstick ensued when Mr. Bean actor Rowan Atkinson performed the theme from Chariots of Fire with the London Symphony Orchestra.Oh, and who lit the cauldron? Not David Beckham. He bowed out after failing to make the soccer squad.---BEIJING 2008Dazzling doesnt begin to cover it.First, more than 2,000 drummers played the Fou, a traditional Chinese instrument. They were followed by 10,000 highly rehearsed performers after giant Olympic rings sprang from the floor of the stadium. In all, there were more than 18,000 performers.There were fireworks, and more fireworks, and still more fireworks, including some that were computer simulated. Lots of openers have fireworks, but they were invented in China some 2,000 years ago, so theres that.Everything from the silk road to chanting disciples of Confucius was represented in this ceremony.OK, that was more than one moment, but this was a BIG opening ceremony.---SYDNEY 2000Well, the Man from Snowy River scared his horse with the crack of a whip to open this opening ceremony, followed by a little girl who conked out in the middle of the stadium to introduce a dream sequence featuring huge jellyfish and other sea life.But the best part was the last torchbearer, who waded into water and seemingly lit a soggy, spaceship-like cauldron on fire as she stood in the center. It was then airlifted up and up on a set of tracks amid waterfalls and fireworks.Did I mention there were people on horses? Lots of them, including some who galloped into circles to form the Olympic rings.---LOS ANGELES 1984A dude arrived by jet pack. `nuf said. The Jetsons generation had been patient.---MOSCOW 1980This was the year of the U.S.-led Olympic boycott, reducing the number of participating countries to 80.It was also the year of the stackable human. Pyramids of gymnasts and dancers constructed towers, including one with participants all in white surrounded by a circle of other participants on the ground in pink.Another human construction came in yellow, with mad respect for the performers in the middle who had to lean out and hang upside down as the shape of the bodies fanned out.A childrens show featured legions of other humans dressed as brown bears dancing and prancing before even more legions of humans in white shorts danced and pranced on white-headed hobbyhorses.It wasnt real, kids, but you might want to NOT look at it on YouTube. Sean Wotherspoon Air Max 97 1
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. - Chris Tierney snapped a tie with a power-play goal late in the third period as the London Knights rallied from a 3-0 deficit to beat the Erie Otters 5-3 in Ontario Hockey League action on Wednesday. OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Thunder showed no lingering effects from their emotional loss at Golden State.Russell Westbrook scored 28 points to help Oklahoma City beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 112-92 on Saturday night.Enes Kanter had 20 points and 10 rebounds, Steven Adams scored 14 points and Victor Oladipo added 12 for the Thunder in their first game since being blown out by Golden State and former teammate Kevin Durant on Thursday.Well take something from that game to help us learn going forward, Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. And it was all about us tonight. It was all about what we need to do, how we needed to play defensively, how we needed to play offensively.Westbrook also had eight assists and six rebounds. The Thunder improved to 5-1 on the season, matching their best six-game start since moving to Oklahoma City for the 2008-09 season.The Thunder shot 52 percent from the field and held the Timberwolves to 39 percent shooting.You have to make plays, Minnesota coach Tom Thibodeau said. You have to move the ball side to side, and when we did that, we got good looks at the basket.Karl-Anthony Towns scored 33 points for the Timberwolves after scoring 32 Thursday night against Denver. He scored 25 points in the first half, but Westbrook countered with 18 to help the Thunder take a 59-53 lead into the break.Towns, he really played exceptionally well in the first half, and he made a lot of shots, Donovan said. He did it in a lot of different ways. He made 3s, he had post moves, he had face-ups. He had everything. Hes a terrific offensive player.No Minnesota player other than Towns reached double figures until the fourth quarter.The Timberwolves hung close for the early part of the third before the Thunder took over.An 11-0 run, sparked by a 3-pointer by Westbrook, then a steal and dunk by Westbrook, made it 79-61 and led to a Minnesota timeout. Jerami Grants two-handed dunk put Oklahoma City up 83-62, and the Thunder led 90-72 at the end of the third quarter.The Thunder held the Timberwolves to 30 percent shooting in the third quarter.dddddddddddd.We just turned it up a notch, Oladipo said. Now, we have to do that for four quarters. When we play like that defensively, we give ourselves a great chance to win.The long runs by opponents have been a recurring issue for the Timberwolves.Its a problem, Thibodeau said. The only thing we can do is take a look at the film, try to get some work in, try to make the corrections.---TIP-INSTimberwolves: Towns scored 13 points on 6-for-9 shooting in the first quarter, while his teammates shot 5 for 15 and scored 12. ... Rookie point guard Kris Dunn, who started in place of the injured Ricky Rubio, finished with seven points, four rebounds and three assists in 29 minutes. Rubio is out indefinitely with a sprained right elbow.Thunder: Shot 63.6 percent in the first quarter to lead 32-25. ... Westbrook had six assists in the first quarter. ... Westbrook was called for a technical foul early in the third quarter.SHUTDOWN DEFENSEMinnesotas top two scorers got nowhere. Andrew Wiggins, who entered the game averaging 24 points, scored seven points on 3-for-13 shooting. Zach LaVine, who was averaging 21.3 points, finished with just four on 1-for-6 shooting. Andre Roberson and Oladipo were largely responsible for defending them.LONG DISTANCETony Juarez of Oklahoma City won $20,000 from Mid-First Bank when he made a halfcourt shot during a timeout in the third quarter. According to the Thunder, it was the 10th time someone made the shot since the team moved to Oklahoma City in 2008, and the first since Dec. 13, 2015.The 22-year-old Juarez told a Thunder spokesman he would use the money for school. He called his mother in El Paso right after stepping off the court.UP NEXTThe Timberwolves play at the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night.The Thunder host the Miami Heat on Monday night.---Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter (at)CliffBruntAP. Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys China Jerseys Wholesale Cheap NFL Autographed Jerseys Wholesale Authentic Jerseys Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys 2019
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