Saturday, 9 August 2008

The OLYMPIC Opening Ceremony

Were you one of the estimated 4 billion people who watched the Olympic opening ceremony on television. I was.

The artistic display at the start was remarkable – as these things always are. I suspect, however, that it was far more impressive for those 91,000 in the stadium. The truly inspiring part for me and in no way boring, despite the suggestion by the commentators that it might be, is the entry of the athletes. Not all the athletes take part, some preparing for their events and some being in ‘holding camps’ abroad. Nevertheless, the 204 countries taking part all bring as many athletes as they can to this magnificent ceremony and follow their flagholder around the stadium. The entry of the Athletes was introduced by the London Games of 1908 and usually follows the alphabetical order of the countries. Because of Chinese text being entirely different it followed ‘stroke’ order and therefore was, in Western script, entirely random – a welcome change. Many countries come in national costumes or blazers in their national colours.

As if to get their own back on the crowds and cameras, half the athletes were carrying their own digital cameras and taping the crowds as they walked!

I’m doing this posting at some ridiculous hour of the morning before going off to the flea market so I’ll perhaps blog more about the Olympic Opening at a future date.. Suffice it to say, if you missed it, make sure you see the next one in London, 2012!

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