Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! Incredible! Superb!
I had been watching many opening ceremonies before (Olympic; Athens 2004, Beijing 2008), (Commonwealth; Manchester 2002, Melbourne 2006, Delhi 2010), (World Games; Kaohsiung 2009), (Youth Olympic; Singapore 2010), (Asian Games; Doha 2006, Guangzhou 2010).
And I have to say that the opening ceremony of Guangzhou 2010 Asian Games is the best out of all, even better than the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympic Games eventhough the scale is smaller (a bit). Every parts of the ceremony is interesting, exciting and well surprising. The most important is that I was like awed in every minute of the performances, never ever get bored at all which is typical in other opening ceremonies.
This is definitely the best, I have to say it again! Everything is impressive, amazing, fantastic and wonderful! The setting is so beautiful that it attracted me the most. I wished I can go to Guangzhou now and check out all the beautiful landmarks and lightings there with perfect skyline I love to see. There are musical, fountain, lighting, cultural and fireworks performances, all combined to create the most memorable ceremony ever in history of sporting event.
The 45 boats representing the 45 participating Asian nations sailed their way along the Pearl River to Haixinsha Island, venue for the opening ceremony, ferrying the organizing members and athletes to the venue. The boats decorated with replicas of iconic landmarks and lightings began sailing from around 6.30pm and reached the destination around 7.30pm along the beautiful night scenes of Guangzhou.
The interesting part here is that as the boats sailed passing the river, there are cultural performances at both sides of the river (lion dance, dragon dance, drum performance, latin dance, wushu, kung fu, qi gong, fashion, skating performances and many others). This is something that I had never seen before! Even before the ceremony began, all these already impressed me a lot! My first ‘Oh my God!’ given to this!
Ceremony began at 8pm with surprising countdown by fireworks shooting out from the iconic Guangzhou TV Tower illuminated with lights of changing colours and from surrounding areas. The venue, 27,000-capacity stadium stood as the cabin; four towering pillars in front of it unfurled eight video screens that doubled as sails would be the stage for performances all related to ‘water’ which is the main theme of the ceremony, directed by Chen Weiya, deputy of Zhang Yimou whom directed the successful Beijing 2008 opening ceremony.
Performances, all related to water began, depicting of how essential water is to all people and to the earth. Next, it’s time to introduce Guangzhou, the host city as the city of flowers, a green city, The Garden City of China. The much challenging and impressive performance is the flying acrobatic performances at around 80m above ground, forming interesting allignments, synchronized with the backdrop screens of the stage. They must have been trained a lot for this. This is what made me say ‘Oh my God!’ for the second time.
As usual, parade of athletes representing their nations, beautiful and romantic songs performances by famous artists (Zhang Ziyi, David Tao, Joey Yung, etc), flag raising ceremony and speech giving ceremony by the Governor of Guangzhou, Chairman of Guangzhou Olympic Organizing Committee, and President of Council of Asia before the official declaration by the Premier of China, Wen Jiabao. The ceremony is also attended by Thai Prime Minister, Pakistan’s President, President of International Olympic Committee (Jacques Rogge) and many other VIPs.
Luckily, the speeches are short, simple and not boring. As soon as the games declared opened, cheered by all audiences, it’s time for fireworks again! Amazing! The gigantic-scale fireworks have created smoky environment at the venue eventhough it is an open area, but yet it created beautiful effect. It must be smelly and dusty at the venue It’s not over yet.
It’s time for oath taking sessions by representative of athletes and judges which is made short and simple too as many people had not much interest in this. Ahh, it’s time for the torch to came into the venue from the river, carried by five superstar athletes, whom had been gold medalists in Olympic and Asian Games. The torch lighting ceremony is unique, with the torch carrier guided by two small kids, on lighting the firecrackers on the ground. Then, the sparks shoot upwards onto a giant plate-like structure at the top, holded by four standing legs. The giant flame bursts out of it, representing the high spirit of the athletes of the games.
The finale part is another musical performances before the ceremony officially ended at around 11pm. The ceremony, of course ended with fireworks performances again. The fireworks shoot out from the bridge, the waterfront, the Guangzhou TV Tower and around the Haixinsha Island where the ceremony is held. It’s a bit too much for me, the scale is similar to that of Beijing 2008 and Shanghai 2010 World Expo, or even bigger. I wonder how much they have spent on all these! Anyway, it’s spectacular, and that is what my third ‘Oh my God!’ is dedicated to.
The fireworks is so much until television also doesn’t continue boradcasting it. However, actually I wished to see the full fireworks display since I like to watch fireworks display a lot! It’s so beautiful, eventhough it lasted for only few minutes, but the lights, colours, orders and sound of it really attracted me a lot especially at such beautiful place, Guangzhou.
Guangzhou is now transformed into a modern city of lights and haze (due to excessive fireworks performance last night). Haha…it will be a hazy night and early morning today. Time to clean those air, say no to air pollution, the organizers have to really think of improving air quality for the athletes last night. I’m sure they had planned actions for that. They are so well-prepared and organized to make this event the most successful ever.
Thumbs up to Guangzhou 2010, especially to the fantastic opening ceremony concluded last night. It leaves me with a great impression, I would definitely kept this as a wonderful memory in terms of opening ceremony of sporting event. How I wish I could be there in the venue watching all these, not from TV but at real. The atmosphere is stunning! Now, the world largest Asian Games is declared open, the games began, until 27th November, when the closing ceremony would be held at the same venue at the same time, 8pm. I would be anticipating for that too.
Great job, Guangzhou 2010! Awesome opening ceremony, it’s seem to be like first of its kind of ceremony themed on ‘water’!
(All pictures are from www.boston.com, www.denverpost.com, www.coolfwdsport.blogspot.com)