Olympics opening ceremony slashed by 30mins following security farce

Last Updated: Jul 18, 2012, 14:59 PM IST

London: The grand opening ceremony for the Olympic Games has been slashed by thirty minutes after an astonishing failure by a private security firm to provide enough guards, which forced the government to call in the army.

“The show has been cut because of fears that the checkpoints couldn’t cope with the huge rush in and out of the stadium,” a London 2012 source said.

According to a leading daily, the ceremony would have transformed the Olympic stadium into rolling British countryside, complete with live farmyard animals.

“It’s not just crowds of fans, athletes and performers G4S and our soldiers will have to cope with — it’s dozens of live animals as well,” the source added.

“All will have to be checked and searched before being allowed into the secure area. It’s a huge logistical challenge,” the source said.

The latest blow follows bungles in which athletes’ buses got lost on the way to the athletes’ village from Heathrow and huge traffic jams were caused by Olympic Lane VIP routes in the capital.

But a 2012 spokeswoman said: “It’s not a question of shortening the show — we’re just trimming segments to keep them tight and concise so it all runs smoothly”. “It’s a perfectly normal way to proceed when managing a production of this size. We’re not aware of any problems with security,” the source added.

ANI