Drumroll, please for the opening ceremony

The opening ceremony of the Olympics is just days away, with excitement reaching fever pitch for what is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the games – with one Longford woman set to be in the middle of it all.

The opening ceremony of the Olympics is just days away, with excitement reaching fever pitch for what is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the games – with one Longford woman set to be in the middle of it all.

Billions across the globe are expected to tune into the celebrations to mark the opening this Friday at 9pm, with a further 80,000 people looking on in the city’s new Olympic Stadium. The man tasked with masterminding the ceremony, Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle, has promised an amazing spectacle.

As reported by the Leader earlier this year, Ballymahon woman Gráinne Kavanagh will be playing the drums during the ceremony, which is titled ‘Isles of Wonder’ in reference to a speech given in Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

Speaking to the Leader from London, Gráinne said the intensity of rehearsals was growing all the time. “It’s been very tense, with the last fortnight particularly hectic. Yesterday I was away from home for 12 hours, working away solidly.

“It’s all coming together now and it’s hard to describe the scale of the whole project. Being a part of it is an amazing experience. It’s going to be incredible,” the friendly 24-year-old said.

Given the enormity of the audience, one would be forgiven for being nervous, but the former Mercy Convent Ballymahon student admits there is no time for nerves. “There’s such a large team all working towards the same thing that there’s no need, or time, for individual nerves,” she laughed.

The first full dress rehearsal took place on Monday, with the £27 million ceremony set to feature CGI and two short films produced by the BBC. The show will conclude with a live set from Beatles legend, Sir Paul McCartney and the traditional parade of the athletes.