The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Chinese Director Zhang Yimou Presents Dazzling Opening Ceremony at The Olympic Games
Gymnast Li Ning, who won the first medals for China at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984, "flies" over the National Stadium to light the Olympic flame during the inauguration. Photo: EFE / Kay Nietfeld.

BEIJING.-The Beijing Olympic Games got underway with a dazzling opening ceremony planned by China's most successful film director, Zhang Yimou. It included a display of fireworks, acrobatics and music. The event started at 8.08 p.m. on August 8, or 8/08/08 in the Bird's Nest, China's national stadium. An army of 2,008 drummers pounded out the countdown to the Games. Thirty-five thousand fireworks lit up the sky above 10,000 dancers and performers in the stunning stadium. Twenty-nine colossal "footprints of fire" shot into the sky and "marched" through the city to Tiananmen Square in a dazzling, rolling display of pyrotechnics. The large cast sang the words of a famous Confucian greeting: "Friends have come from afar, how happy we are."

There were eighty world leaders, among them US President George W Bush and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Around one billion people were expected to watch the ceremony on television. The show was a celebration of ancient Chinese history. Performers wore lavish costumes from different imperial dynasties.

The 204 national teams paraded in a sequence based on the number of strokes it takes to write their names in Chinese, not in the traditional alphabetical order. The games officially started when former Chinese gymnast Li Ning used the Olympic torch to light the Olympic flame.

Chinese President Hu Jintao said: “The Beijing Olympic Games is an opportunity not only for China but also for the whole world. We should carry forward the Olympic spirit of solidarity, friendship and peace, facilitate sincere exchanges among people from all countries, deepen mutual understanding, enhance friendship and rise above differences, and promote the building of a harmonious world featuring lasting peace and common prosperity."

The time of the ceremony was selected based on the number eight, a lucky number in China. The time was 8.08pm on the eighth day of the eighth month of the eighth year.

Jacques Rogge, President, International Olympic Committee, said: “That was spectacular. Tonight, the world was able to join in a magnificent tribute to the athletes and the Olympic spirit. It was an unforgettable and moving ceremony that celebrated the imagination, originality and energy of the Beijing Games.”

“We saw 204 national delegations march into the beautiful new National Stadium in the age-old tradition of the Games. Millions of people around the world were able to experience the thrill of seeing their heroes in a sea of team colours and national flags.”

“We witnessed athletes from these 204 countries and territories united in peace in one place. And for the next 16 days, they will be a part of one of the most thrilling competitions in history. As an Olympian, I can tell you that they will carry this memory with them forever. ”

“This iconic stadium is one of the world’s new wonders. It was a fitting setting for an amazing Opening Ceremony, I look forward to an equally exciting and unforgettable 16 days.”

Hein Verbruggen, IOC Member and Chairman of the Coordination Commission for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, said: “Opening ceremonies have always been a way for host cities to welcome the world and for the world to gather and share the Olympic spirit. This ceremony to open the Beijing Olympic Games was a breathtaking culmination of seven years of planning and preparation. The world will remember this for a long time.”

“Tonight wasn’t the end of a journey, but the fantastic beginning of 16 days of outstanding sport competition. This was a night to remember — for the Chinese people, and for the world.”

“As I watched the rehearsals for this ceremony, I knew this night would be absolutely astonishing. However, the actual event exceeded all my expectations. This was an unprecedented and grand success.”

Today's News

August 9, 2008

Chinese Director Zhang Yimou Presents Dazzling Opening Ceremony at The Olympic Games

Oskar Kokoschka - A Vagabond in Linz. Wild, Denigrated, Celebrated at the Art Museum in Linz

Let the Games Begin - 08-08-08 - at the Norton Museum of Art!

Full Spectrum Dominance Simon Norfolk To Open at Michael Hoppen Contemporary

Exhibition to Celebrate the 125th Anniversary of the Dutch Rembrandt Association

The Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art Presents Mary Ellen Mark: The Prom Series

Chris Drury Creates Giant Whirlwind Etched in Winnemucca Lake

The Akron Art Museum Presents Unveiled: Recent Acquisitions from the Museum's Collection

DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park Presents Cal Lane: Crude

Larry Rivers: Early Major Works Opens at The Guild Hall Museum

Aspen Art Museum Presents Unknown Pleasures - Nine Artist Group Exhibition

Auckland Art Gallery Announces Catherine David Will Judge Walters Prize

Notorious UK Crime Family Convicted in Britain's Largest Ever Domestic Burglary

Impressionist and Modern Masters for Established and New Collectors for Sale at Christie's

Colorful Textile Art of Mola Making from Kuna Yala at The Hood

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Apple releases Spring 2019 iPhone cases and watch bands with 'Delft Blue' color in the lead

2.- Star Trek: Year Five #1 original cover art by Greg Hildebrandt Surfaces at Heritage Auctions

3.- Guitars of the greats rock halls of New York's Met museum

4.- Historic jewels and exceptional gemstones highlight Christie's Geneva Magnificent Jewels Auction

5.- French museum renames masterpieces after black subjects

6.- Heathrow Terminal 5 exhibits skeleton of new species of dinosaur

7.- Missing Rubens sketch goes for $1.4 mn at auction

8.- The Museo del Prado opens 'Giacometti in the Museo del Prado'

9.- Inrap archaeologists discover an Etruscan tomb in a hypogeum in Aleria

10.- Picasso in Ivory Coast? A village tells of its brush with the artist

Related Stories

Important Judaica and Israeli & international art bring a combined $7.9 million at Sotheby's New York

Tunisia to auction ousted despot's treasures

Andy Warhol's Mao portraits excluded from the Beijing and Shanghai shows next year

China criticises French Qing dynasty seal auction

Christie's announces auction marking the first half century of the popular and luxurious interiors shop Guinevere

Nine new exhibits debut at San Diego International Airport

Rembrandt masterpiece "Portrait of Catrina Hooghsaet" back on display at National Museum Cardiff

Amber: 40-million-year-old fossilised tree resin is Baltic gold

Egyptian artist Iman Issa wins the Ist FHN Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona Award

The main chapel of the Basilica of Santa Croce open for visits after five year restoration

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful