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SBD Global/July 27, 2012/Olympics

Footage Of Opening Ceremony Rehearsal Removed From YouTube

Workers prepare Olympic Stadium for the Opening Ceremony on Thursday.
Rehearsal footage of the Olympic Opening Ceremony was removed from YouTube on Thursday as organisers "stepped up efforts to keep details of Friday's eagerly awaited curtain-raiser under wraps," according to David Mercer of the PA. Some spectators published video online of Thursday night's sneak preview of the £27M ($42.4M) spectacular despite an appeal from the show's Artistic Dir Danny Boyle not to spoil the surprise. One video on YouTube -- entitled "Olympic 2012 opening ceremony snapshot from rehearsal" -- was replaced with a message stating: "This video contains content from International Olympic Committee, who has blocked it on copyright grounds." Another video, named "Olympic Opening Ceremony Rehearsal," was "removed by the user", according to the site. Boyle and his creative team "have done their best to keep details of the Opening Ceremony secret," and it seemed that most spectators have followed their wishes by not revealing any of the show's big surprises (PA, 7/26).

TIME CRUNCH: In Abu Dhabi, Paul Oberjuerge reported the UAE Football Association President Yousuf Al Serkal said that "the UAE football team will not march" in the Opening Ceremony Friday, citing the length of the event and how late it will finish. The football team accounts for 75% of the Emirati athletes at the London Games, but they will have played the previous night, in Manchester, traveled to London on Friday morning and have a crucial match with Team Great Britain looming on Sunday. Al Serkal expects that "the Emirati athletes entered in individual competitions will march in the parade of nations at the opening gala" (THE NATIONAL, 7/26).

EMPTY SEATS: In London, Booth & Gibson reported that the Opening Ceremony "has not sold out, raising the prospect of empty seats" when the London Games begin. Tickets remain on sale to the general public on the website of the LOCOG, and a telephone salesman working for the organizers confirmed  to the Guardian that "tickets are available in groups of up to four." Tickets for the ceremony "have been considered among the most desirable" of the Games, and even people who would seem to have a strong claim to attend have been denied tickets (GUARDIAN, 7/26).
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