Mood: Olympic Fever!
It’s taken me a few days, and after scouring the internet, I have found, in my opinion, the best pictures of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games Opening Ceremony held on 8 August 2008.
I loved every minute of the artistic part of the ceremony.
Starting off with the 2008 Fou drummers, who beat the LED-embedded drums to light up the digits in the countdown to the official commencement of the proceedings. These guys were just amazing – they were perfectly synchronised throughout their entire routine.
The dancers performing a contemporary routine while painting the scroll were awesome. The floor of the Beijing National Stadium (aka the Bird’s Nest) opened up to reveal the he set of movable type blocks, surrounded by the beautifully costumed Han Dynasty-era performers representing the 3000 Disciples of Confucius wearing feathered headgears and carrying bamboo slips.
The movable type blocks were made up of 897 characters in the Chinese alphabet, and these blocks moved up and down to form different words and pictures – amongst those were the character 和 (harmony) and the Great Wall of China. I was sure that the blocks were moving via a series of hydraulic lifts and other mechanics set to a program, and J was certain that human performers were inside the blocks. And even when flowers sprouted from the blocks, I was still adamant that machines were moving the blocks. Imagine my surprise and delight when J turned out to be right and 897 heads popped out of the top of the blocks and 1794 arms started waving madly at the audience!
The Chinese opera was gorgeously choreographed, with sensational costumes and a myriad of performers littering the stadium floor. Then there were the little men in green suits dotted with fairy lights who formed the human version of the Bird’s Nest as well as the peace dove that flew for a time along the floor. Then came the 2008 Tai Chi masters who performed mass Tai Chi.
The fireworks were spectacular – the Chinese showed the world that they not only invented the fireworks, but they are second to none in how to use them. No words can describe how good the fireworks were and I was all set to enjoy the spectacular, if only stupid Channel 7 would let me!
The idiot official Australian broadcaster kept cutting to ads throughout the ceremony! I didn’t need to be reminded that Coles and Red Rooster were broadcast sponsors, nor do I care! And don’t get me started on how poorly they have performed so far.
Anyway, back to happier thoughts. My favourite parts were definitely the drums and the movable type blocks. I was quite moved by the entrance of the Chinese team, led by basketballer Yao Ming and Lin Hao, the 9-year-old primary school student who had rescued two schoolmates during the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake. And I watched in absolute utter amazement as Li Ning (gymnastics, China’s most decorated athlete at its first Olympics in 1984), suspended by wires, was lifted to the top of the stadium. Once in position, Li Ning then appeared to run horizontally along the walls of the stadium through to the Olympic cauldron, with images from the Olympic torch relay projected on to the walls. The cauldron was lit and a flurry of spectacular fireworks ensued.
Poor London – how can you top that???
Enjoy these wonderful pictures!