2nd Summer Youth Olympic Games, Nanjing 2014 opened with a wonderful opening ceremony!


China never fails to disappoint the world in terms of delivering their opening or closing ceremonies for a particular global sporting event. Beijing 2008 Summer Olympic Games’ ceremonies stunned the world. Same goes to Guangzhou 2010 Asian Games two years later. And now, we witnessed another successful and wonderful opening ceremony,…this time for Nanjing 2014, the 2nd Summer Youth Olympic Games that will take place from 16th to 28th August 2014.

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The first (inaugural) Summer Youth Olympic Games was held in Singapore four years ago. This games organized by the International Olympic Committee, held once in every four years (similarly in Olympics’ tradition), is for athletes of age 14-18. The idea for this games is in response to growing global concern on childhood obesity and dropping participation of youth in sport activities. A youth version of the Olympic Games would be beneficial to help foster participations in the Olympic Games too. Singapore 2010. Then now, Nanjing 2014. And then Buenos Aires 2018.

Now, let’s get back to the opening ceremony of Nanjing 2014 which was held yesterday at the Nanjing Olympic Sports Center. It was watched not only by the over 60 000 people in the stadium, but also by millions of people across the globe. I’m glad that I could watch it online the next day (today). I must say that the ceremony is wonderful. I am very impressed. China delivered again. An important lesson to the West on how an opening or closing ceremony should be. I couldn’t resist from criticizing again the ceremonies that I have watched from London 2012 (Summer Olympic Games) and most recently Glasgow 2014 (Commonwealth Games). They are bad with lack of creativity or effort, not memorable, meaningless and only focus on singing. Time to learn from China (eventhough there are many other things you shouldn’t learn from China too).

The first half of the over two-hours long ceremony is dedicated to those formal stuff; singing of Olympic and China’s national anthem, athletes’ parade, oath-taking, speeches and official opening by China’s President Xi Jinping. Once the performances started, I’m thrilled despite the downpour during the ceremony that didn’t dampen the spirit of the performers and the audiences. It features a mix of China history, tradition and pop culture while not running away from the ‘youth’ theme for this games. The performances that involve amazing synchronization were done beautifully. Wonderful choreography and sequences. Eventhough delivered in a bit smaller scale or proportion compared to Beijing 2008 (should be since Olympic Games is a much bigger games), but still Nanjing 2014 offered us memorable show in its opening ceremony. The most striking segment would be the ‘aerobatics-in-the-air’. Breathtaking and creativity at its best.

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The visual effects are also stunning. Incredible light projections and technology helped to add extra dimensions to this opening ceremony. The only slight disappointment is that the lighting of the exterior and the surrounding of the stadium are not enough to pull us into the grand mood. I’m also very happy that the singing segment only took the minimum part of the show as it should be. The ceremony with the lighting of Olympic cauldron as usual. I’m quite surprised and disappointed by the very little amount of fireworks set off during the ceremony. I’m expecting a lot. China always delivered massive pyrotechnics display, but surprisingly not for Nanjing 2014. Not counting that, then the ceremony was near perfect. Fantastic, artistic, brilliant, and energetic. Looking forward to its closing ceremony to be held on 28th August 2014.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

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