The Opening Ceremonies of Games of the 29th Olympiad were simply majestic! My colleague, Michael Redfearn and billions around the world were captivated by the spectacle, and even though I can't do justice to the event, I've decided to share a few moments that moved both my heart and my mind.
It all began at 8:08 p.m. on the 8th day of the 8th month of the year 2008... Fittingly, here are my 8 Opening Ceremonies highlights:
1] 2008 'Fou' drummers herald the opening in flawless synchronization including a 60 second countdown;
2] 29 Pyrotechnic footprints march to the 'Bird's Nest' stadium, a foreshadow of the thousands of colourful explosions that will punctuate the event;
3] a 9 year old Chinese girl provides entrance music for 56 children representing the diversity of the People's Republic;
4] Recitations from 3000 followers of Confucius bring to life a machine of 897 movable cubes;
5] While a famed Chinese pianist tinkled 88 keys, hundreds of youth form both dove and bird's nest;
6] In seeming defiance of the laws of physics, dozens of performers bound across the surface of an animated globe;
7] The parade of 204 countries includes 7' 6" Yao Ming carrying the flag of the People's Republic of China alongside a 9 year old earthquake survivor/hero;
8] A torch relay of 137,000 km culminates in one incredible mid-air running performance by gymnast and 6 time Olympic medalist Li Ning.
This prelude to the 29th Summer Olympic Games was indeed a memorable spectacle... one that will be long-remembered. Though political storms continue to brew around the world, in contrast to Pierre de Coubertin's vision, it is time to bring on the games... all 28 sports/302 events!
Photo Credit: Ken Yee