LONDON, England (BRAIN) Monday July 30 2012 3:39 PM MT—During NBC's coverage of the Olympic opening ceremony Friday, a commentator noted that a flying dove bicycle segment reminded him of the iconic image of a flying bike from the 1980s movie classic, ET, the Extra Terrestrial.
Besides the resemblance, there was another connection: BMX pioneer Bob Haro, who was one of the stunt riders in ET and who helped choreograph the dove bikes in London.
Haro, who founded Haro Bicycles and later sold the brand, also designed the U.S. Olympic BMX team's uniforms.
Haro told BRAIN that the opening ceremony was originally supposed to feature a longer BMX performance, and he shared photos of the quarterpipe ramps set up during rehearsals. At the last minute that section was cut out because of time constraints, but the flying dove segment remained.
Haro worked with Toby Sedgwick, who won an Olivier Award in 2008 for his choreography on the play War Horse, to choreograph the segment.
According to an article in the London Telegraph, the riders used speedometers to maintain a steady 9 mph while riding around the track.
Their wings were attached to the rider's backs and the handlebars so that the wings gently flapped as the riders moved. The one flying rider had wings that were attached to his drivetrain so that they flapped as he pedaled. The bikes were reportedly supplied by British bike maker Dawes.