As you all probably know, yesterday 08/08/08 marks the opening of the Beijing Olympics Games, the 24th Olympiad where you can witness sports like that which include a bow string. I just watched the opening ceremony on TV today, and it was so stunning that I thought I might compile a list of things that really really amazed me and to create some debate. Even if it was on TV, it was still a great ceremony in my opinion. Extravaganza yes, but amazing, YES!
Here goes the countdown:
#10: The participation of the audience
The Opening Ceremony (OC) was one of the rare events in which the audience really got to participate. Most of the show was at night (for fireworks, light effects, etc…) and this gave the audience an opportunity to play with multi-colored light gizmos. You could see the audience terraces literally lit up by tiny specks of colored lights that really added to the general magical feeling of the show. I recall the coming in of the flying fairies in their multi-colored costumes. The lights from the audience made it look as if there were a lot more fairies. Indirect participation, but the overall effect was awesome. Even in the picture above, you see how the colored dots make it look as if there are stars in the background.
#9: The synchronisation and speed of execution
This stunned me. The shows chained with just games of less than 1-2 minutes between. Mind you, the participants had to leave the scene, the new participants come onto and decors re-adjusted and they did all this in a matter of minutes. This feat seemed so inhuman, but it was accomplished with surprising ease by the Chinese participants.
Another marveling feat. The synchronization with which the various acts were executed. Take for example, one of the first perfomances: the drummers. The way they slammed their “drums” which looked like wooden tablets, their movements, their dances… it was in great synchrony. There was not one guy that missed a beat. Not one head raised when all the others were lowered. Synchrony yes, but keeping so many people in synchrony deserves a real hats’ off.
#8: The Bird’s Nest stadium
The Bird’s Nest stadium is just huge but nonetheless magnificent. The design really impressed me, and it does look like a bird’s nest. What is more amazing is its 100,000 something capacity and still retain its full beauty. It deserves its price tag in my opinion. Let’s see more about the Bird’s Nest again in the Olympic game events. By the way, The Bird’s Nest reminds me of the hatches in Lost TV series. Something like The Looking Glass.
#7: The 4.6% fact
According to a commentator, only 4.6% out of all the people who wanted to attend to the OC got tickets. If we assume the stadium to have 100k people, then that means that around 2 million people wanted to attend the OC!
#6: The costumes
China is the king when it comes to marvelous costume designs. The show with all the various ethnic groups of China dressed in their traditional costumes was superb. Such vibrant colors, such detail! Very worthy of China indeed.
#5: The organization & creativity
Without organization, none of this spectacular show would be possible. So, the people behind the scenes actually managing and organizing the show deserve all of our appreciation. They did a flawless job to create a perfect opening ceremony, down to the tiny details.
Also, they came up with some pretty sweet ideas, like the running on the wall for the lighting of the torch, or the light-effects scroll. Nice going folks!
#4: The HUGE number of participants
Each of the performances had at least 1000 participants! Some people say there were 1008 for luck. Anyways, 1000 persons performing at once, and in perfect synchrony? It’s probably never seen before.
#3: The shows
These were awesome. All of them were awesome. I particularly appreciated the drums at the start, the scroll and the inventions part where the various inventions of China were depicted. Among these, the part about marine exploration was simply magnificent. This goes without counting the frogmen all in light! I dunno! All of them were really really cool, so I don’t know where to begin. I’ll just say it was all awesome! And yeah, all the participating girls were cute too! 😛
#2: The breath-taking shows and pyrotechnics
All the shows were really really well made
I can’t find any proper adjective to qualify how stunning the fireworks were. So I’m inventing my own: SuperUberTooWickedlyMassivelyAwesome! Even on TV, I lost my breath and would simply say “Wow!”. Now for the people actually at the Bird’s Nest at the moment of Pyrotechnics, I suppose it was a truly superb sight. Don’t mess with China when it comes to Pyrotechnics! They are the inventors, and they do know how to manipulate their creations! Cheers!
#1: USD$ 42 BILLION!
That was the total amount of money invested in the Beijing Olympic Games. For the facilities, organization, and other expenses. Many people said it was inconsiderate extravaganza and that it would be better to spend that money in Sichuan for example. Hell, I can accept Sichuan needs help, but the Olympics come once in 4 years, and China will not be hosting for a while. And they were eager to show the whole world how competent a country China can be. And they did remarkably well with the OC. I just hope the rest of the games will go as smoothly.
China may have a bad image when it comes to human rights and repression, but as far as Olympic Games go, they are unmatched till now. They offered the world a truly unique and stunning performance that I’m sure no other country will be able to match for quite a while. London in 2012 will have to surpass that level, and it would be really tough in my opinion. We can just wait and see.
For now, let’s sit back and enjoy the outstanding performance of the athletes from all around the Earth.
Pictures from Reuters and the Beijing Olympics Official Gallery – Where you will find other great pictures.
Tags: Beijing Olympics, Events, Games, Olympiads