Fact Check: 2012 Ceremony At London Olympics Did NOT Feature 'Figure Of Death' Holding Syringe -- It's Voldemort Character From 'Harry Potter'

Fact Check

  • by: Marlo Lee
Fact Check: 2012 Ceremony At London Olympics Did NOT Feature 'Figure Of Death' Holding Syringe -- It's Voldemort Character From 'Harry Potter' Lord Voldemort

Did the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony feature a "figure of death holding a NEEDLE"? No, that's not true: The "figure of death" was actually a puppet of Lord Voldemort, the villain from the "Harry Potter" book series. Lord Voldemort is holding a magic wand, not a needle. Lead Stories could not find any evidence that the London Olympics had included a "figure of death."

The claim appeared in a post (archived here) on Facebook on April 26, 2024. The caption read:

🗣️ The opening ceremony of the #Olympics in #London featured a giant figure of death holding a NEEDLE, with doctors and nurses dancing like zombies around children in hospital beds. But don't worry it's all one big coincidence. Carry on people Nothing to see here...

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tue Apr 30 13:16:18 2024 UTC)

The post implies that the COVID-19 pandemic, although years away from 2012, was known in advance, along with the subsequent advent of COVID hospitalizations and vaccines.

Lead Stories did a search using keywords on Google News, visible here, which found no credible documents or reporting to corroborate the Facebook claim (archived here).

According to the Olympic website, the figure was Lord Voldemort from the "Harry Potter" fantasy series of books and movies:

The ceremony then paid tribute to Britain's National Health Service and its amazing body of children's literature ... a scene of children in hospital beds was overrun by literary villains including ... Voldemort ...

A YouTube video showing a broadcast of the 2012 ceremony showed the character of Lord Voldemort, animated by puppeteers, rising while holding an object that appears to be its magic wand, at 50:23. Evidence of this can be seen in the screenshot below:

Screenshot 2024-04-30 at 10.10.02 AM.png

(Source: YouTube screenshot taken on Tue Apr 30 14:10:20 2024 UTC)

Here is a closer look at Lord Voldemort's wand from the "official" online shop for Harry Potter merchandise.

Other Lead Stories fact checks on claims related to COVID-19 are here.

Want to inform others about the accuracy of this story?

See who is sharing it (it might even be your friends...) and leave the link in the comments.:

Lead Stories is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.

Marlo Lee is a fact checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Howard University with a B.S. in Biology. Her interest in fact checking started in college, when she realized how important it became in American politics. She lives in Maryland.

Read more about or contact

About Us

International Fact-Checking Organization Meta Third-Party Fact Checker

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate stories, videos or images going viral on the internet.
Spotted something? Let us know!.

Lead Stories is a:


Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Lead Stories LLC:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Most Read

Most Recent

Share your opinion