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Queen Elizabeth wanted speaking role with James Bond in Olympic skit

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Queen Elizabeth II stipulated that she deliver the line, “Good evening, Mr. Bond,” in her famous 2012 Olympic skit with Daniel Craig, playing James Bond, according to a new book.

Angela Kelly, who has worked with the Queen for 25 years as a dresser, personal adviser, curator and designer, reportedly relayed the story in “The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe.”

“There are few occasions on which Her Majesty will agree to break protocol, but in 2011 when film director Danny Boyle approached the Royal Household, he had a request to make that we simply could not refuse,” Kelly wrote, according to “Hello!” magazine. “She was very amused by the idea and agreed immediately. I asked then if she would like a speaking part. Without hesitation, Her Majesty replied: ‘Of course I must say something. After all, he is coming to rescue me.’

“I asked whether she would like to say: ‘Good evening, James,’ or ‘Good evening, Mr Bond,’ and she chose the latter, knowing the Bond films. Within minutes, I was back in [private secretary] Edward [Young]‘s office delivering the good news to Danny – I think he almost fell off his chair when I said that the Queen’s only stipulation was that she could deliver that iconic line: ‘Good evening, Mr Bond.'”

In earlier interviews, the Oscar-winning director Boyle said the London Olympic Opening Ceremony team first asked for permission from the royals to assure them they wouldn’t be embarrassed by the skit. Boyle thought they would use an actress to play the Queen, perhaps Helen Mirren.

“They came back and said, ‘We’re delighted for you to do it, and Her Majesty would like to be in it herself,'” Boyle said in 2013. “And this surreal thing, she would like to play herself.”

Boyle remembered filming the skit in a room where the Queen greets prime ministers. She was not in a good mood after spending the morning with the dentist. At the time, Boyle did not have her down for a speaking role.

“She said, ‘Don’t you think I should say something?'” Boyle remembered. The director obliged and asked what she preferred. “She said, ‘Oh, I’ll do something,’ and we started shooting, and she turned around and she said her lines, beautifully.”

Boyle, in multiple interviews, has cited one part of the five-minute skit as being particularly memorable.

“[The Queen] passes [Bond],” he said on NBC immediately after the Opening Ceremony. “He gives a look as he says, ‘Good evening, your Majesty.’ She walks past him. He does this thing where he thinks I’m a fictional character, she’s a real queen, she’s passing me by and these two worlds are joining. What’s that mean? I’m not sure, but I’m carrying on.”

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Joey Mantia extends U.S. medal streak at speed skating worlds; Dutch dominance returns

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Joey Mantia ensured the host U.S. finished with a medal at the world single distances championships. Ireen WüstKjeld Nuis and Jorrit Bergsma ensured the Netherlands finished atop the medal standings.

Mantia joined Shani Davis as the only U.S. men to earn individual medals at three different editions of the championships, taking bronze in the 1500m on the last day of the speed skating meet at the 2002 Olympic oval outside Salt Lake City.

Mantia won the mass start at the last two worlds in 2017 and 2019 (and finished fifth on Sunday, after the 1500m bronze).

Mantia clocked a personal best 1:42.16 in the fifth of 12 pairs of the 1500m. It held up until Nuis (1:41.66) and countryman Thomas Krol (1:41.73) in the last two pairs.

“Was starting to think that I’m so old that I can’t time trial anymore,” Mantia, a 34-year-old whose last 1500m personal best came in 2015, told media in Utah. “Maybe there’s a little bit of hope left.”

Mantia’s medal extended the U.S. streak of making the podium at every world championships this millennium — 16 straight. The single bronze is the smallest medal output since 2000.

Full results are here.

Wüst and Nuis gave the Dutch a sweep of the men’s and women’s 1500m titles, two years after they did the same at the PyeongChang Olympics. Bergsma, an Olympic and world 10,000m champion, earned his first global medal of any color — gold — in the 16-lap mass start.

The Netherlands failed to earn any golds on the first two days of the four-day competition. The dominant Dutch, who topped the medal standings at every Olympics and worlds dating to the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games, entered Sunday trailing Russia.

But Wüst began the day by clocking 1:50.92 to win the 1500m by .21 over Russian Yevgenia Lalenkova. American medal hope Brittany Bowe, the 2015 World champion who took bronze last year, finished 14th a day after taking eighth in her world-record 1000m distance.

Nuis and Krol went one-two in the men’s 1500m to tie Russia’s medal total. Then Irene Schouten took bronze in the women’s mass start to put the Netherlands ahead for good, followed by Bergsma’s capper.

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Netherlands on the board; more world records at speed skating worlds

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It took four world records from other countries before the Netherlands won its first title in an Olympic program event at the world single distances speed skating championships.

Jutta Leerdam got the dominant skating nation on the board on the third day of the four-day competition and in the ninth Olympic program event. Leerdam scored an upset over defending champion and world-record holder Brittany Bowe, the American who ended up eighth.

Leerdam, 21, prevailed despite having zero World Cup podiums to her name. She clocked 1:11.84, just .23 slower than Bowe’s world record set on the same Utah Olympic Oval last year. Bowe, who recently had her yearlong win streak snapped in the 1000m, finished in 1:12.92.

“It’s a nightmare,” Bowe said, according to media on site.

Later, the Netherlands won the men’s team pursuit in a world record 3:34.68, the fifth world record in Olympic events the last two days on the world’s fastest ice at the 2002 Olympic oval outside Salt Lake City.

Full results are here.

The world championships conclude Sunday, highlighted by American Joey Mantia defending his world title in the mass start.

In other Saturday events, both the men’s 1000m and women’s 5000m world records fell. On Friday, world records were lowered in the men’s 10,000m and women’s team pursuit.

Pavel Kulizhnikov followed his Friday world 500m title with the 1000m crown, repeating his double gold from 2016. Kulizhnikov was one of the Russians banned from the PyeongChang Olympics after he served a prior doping ban.

On Saturday, Kulizhnikov clocked 1:05.69 to take .49 off Dutchman Kjeld Nuis‘ record from last March, also set at Salt Lake City. Nuis, the Olympic 1000m and 1500m champion, took silver, 1.03 seconds behind.

Russian Natalya Voronina and Czech Martina Sablikova both went under Sablikova’s world record in the 5000m. Voronina came out on top in 6:39.02, 2.99 seconds faster than Sablikova’s record from a year ago and 2.16 seconds faster than Sablikova on Saturday.

Voronina’s time would have been the men’s world record as recently as 1993. Sablikova won the previous 10 world titles in the event dating to 2007.

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