Team Welcome Ceremonies traditionally take place before the Opening Ceremony of the Games.
They extend a formal welcome to the athletes – for some this may be the only time they hear their national anthem and see their home flag raised.
Team Welcome Ceremonies don’t occur just once: they are repeated throughout several days for each nation. The 25-minute programme to welcome athletes to the Games has been created by London 2012, and involves members of the National Youth Theatre.
The Truce Wall
The Truce Wall is a backdrop for the Team Welcome Ceremonies in London . The Wall was developed with architect Eleanor Rennie and features quotes and images from schoolchildren reflecting their feelings about the Olympic Truce.
The National Youth Theatre
The National Youth Theatre (NYT) will create, write, stage and perform the Team Welcome Ceremonies. The NYT inspires and trains diverse young talent from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It works with approximately 20,000 of Britain’s most talented young people every year and specialises in epic ensemble performances.
The concept of the Team Welcome Ceremonies will be announced closer to the Games but the aim is to engage the athletes in a fun and interactive experience they won’t forget! Inspired by the key themes of London’s bid, the Ceremonies will ‘shine the light’ on the United Kingdom’s emerging directing, producing, performing and creative talent through the National Youth Theatre’s programme.
The national anthems
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Ltd (LOCOG) has recorded more than 200 national anthems required for the London 2012 Victory Ceremonies and Team Welcome Ceremonies.
British composer, conductor and cellist Philip Sheppard created the arrangements for the anthems. A Professor at the Royal Academy of Music, he specialises in film and television soundtracks, large-scale theatre and events.
The London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) recorded the anthems with a 36-piece orchestra at the world-famous Abbey Road Studios in May 2011. It took 60-plus hours to achieve this monumental task.