I should have commented or posted something about this earlier right after the opening ceremonies I suppose. But I didn't really see what to say until I read this quote justifying the reasoning behind why "bicycle doves" were "released" rather than real doves.
The releasing of doves became a traditional part of the Olympics opening ceremony after the end of the First World War.I couldn't agree more with the statement that "bicycling is the nearest approximation to the flight of birds." On a good day I certainly feel like I'm flying.
But the spectacle has undergone some changes since the 1988 games in Seoul, when several birds were inadvertently burned alive in the Olympic flame.
Danny Boyle steered clear of any similar hazards by substituting the birds for 75 riders on “dove bikes” who performed a circuit of the stadium at Friday night’s ceremony.
According to the organisers, the “magical bike-bird hybrids” were inspired by the words of Louis Helle, an American naturalist: “Bicycling is the nearest approximation I know to the flight of birds.
"The airplane simply carries a man on its back like an obedient Pegasus; it gives him no wings of his own.”