Friday, August 8, 2008

One World, One Dream... by the Numbers

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