No.4 2008 Summer Olympics opening ceremony

7 Mar

 (available athttp://image.baidu.com/i?ct=503316480&z=&tn=baiduimagedetail&word=beijing+2008%BF%AA%C4%BB%CA%BD&in=24393&cl=2&lm=-1&pn=15&rn=1&di=18828216525&ln=1573&fr=&fmq=&ic=0&s=0&se=1&sme=0&tab=&width=&height=&face=0&is=&istype=2) The opening ceremony officially began at 8:00 pm on August 8, 2008 inthe Beijing National Stadium. The number 8 is associated with prosperity and confidence in Chinese culture, and here it was a triple eight for the date and one extra for time (close to 08:08:08 pm). The ceremony was co-directed by Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou and Chinese choreographer Zhang Jigang and featured a cast of over 15,000 performers. The ceremony lasted over four hours and was reported to have cost over US$100 million to produce.

A rich assembly of ancient Chinese art and culture dominated the ceremony. It opened with the beating of Fou drums for the countdown. Subsequently, a giant scroll was unveiled and became the show’s centerpiece. The official song of the 2008 Olympics, titled “You and Me“, was performed by Britain’s Sarah Brightman and China’s Liu Huan, on a large spinning rendition of the globe. The last recipient in the Olympic Torch relay, former Chinese gymnastLi Ning ignited the cauldron, after being suspended into the air by wires and completing a lap of the National Stadium at Stadium roof height in the air.

The opening ceremony was lauded by spectators and various international presses as spectacular and spellbinding. Hein Verbruggen, chairman of the IOC Coordination Commission for the XXIX Olympiad, called the ceremony “a grand, unprecedented success.”

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