Fourth-Place Medal

Queen Elizabeth and James Bond parachute into the Olympic Opening Ceremony — sort of

(Reuters)

The Queen of England made her film debut in style, getting escorted to the Olympics by James Bond and parachuting into Olympic Stadium from a helicopter in a short film shown at Friday night's Opening Ceremony.

Movie magic was responsible for the death-defying jump -- both Bond actor Daniel Craig and the 86-year-old monarch were portrayed by stunt doubles for the live shot, of course. But that was indeed Queen Elizabeth sitting in her quarters, welcoming James Bond and accepting his invitation to the Olympics in Danny Boyle's three-minute film.

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It was believed to be the queen's first-ever appearance in a movie. Boyle and his crew were given unprecedented access to her quarters for the one-day shoot in April.

(Getty Images)

Nitpickers will point out that the film showed Bond and the queen leaving in daylight and arriving at nightfall. And you'll notice that the queen never was shown in the helicopter, only in Buckingham Palace with her corgis in tow. But, come on. The queen parachuted out of a helicopter! They could have left in a Mini Cooper and arrived in a rickshaw and it wouldn't have mattered.

Bond wasn't the only character of film and literature to make an appearance at the Opening Ceremony. Mary Poppins, Lord Voldemort and Mr. Bean were all featured prominently in Danny Boyle's abstract salute to England.

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Medal Count

Rank Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 United States 46 29 29 104
2 China 38 27 23 88
3 Great Britain 29 17 19 65
4 Russia 24 26 32 82
5 South Korea 13 8 7 28
6 Germany 11 19 14 44
7 France 11 11 12 34
8 Italy 8 9 11 28