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Opening Ceremony Details


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President Bush and president Darkozy are going to attend the OC.

I think before the OC there's a part only for the spectators in the stadium, from 18:00 to 19:30. The last half hour is the final countdown to the Games. The actual OC will begin at 20:00 and will end at 23:30. That's only 3,5 hours. In Athens the OC was 3 hours and 20 minutes. In Sydney it was 4 hours and 10 minutes.

I think 3 hours and an half hour is something short for the Beijing OC. The athletes parade will last 1 hours and 50 minutes or something. So there is only 1 hour and 40 minutes for the rest of the OC. I think some 40 minutes after the athletes parade (speeches, songs, oaths, opening, olympic flag and anthem, flame etc) and 1 hour for the creative part. The creative part in Sydney was 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Is this right according to you?

about 80 world leaders will attend the opening ceremony, which means there will be more heads of state in Beijing than there were in Sydney.

I'm qutie confused why the OC of Beijing has been shortened by no major reasons. Is that because the entire show is too huge to be handled from the perspective of security control or...Don't know.

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I have a list with the leaders from the European Union.

Belgium Crown Prince Filip will attend the opening ceremony. In Athens the King and Queen attended (probably because Greece was an European country??)

Bulgaria Hig level representation, not clear who is going. In Athens the Prime Minister attended.

Cyprus No information available.

Denmark Crown Prince Frederik will attend, there will be some governmental representation. It's not clear now who. In Athens the queen represented Denmark during the OC.

Germany No representation during the OC. The minister of home affairs will be at some sporting events. The minister of defence at the CC. In Athens the German president was at the OC, he now will attend the OC of the Paralympic Games.

Estia Culture minister will attend the opening ceremony, the prime minister will attend some sporting events.

Finland Prime minister will attend the OC, the president will attend the CC. In Athens the sports minister attended the OC.

France President Sarkozy will attend the OC and the minister of sports. In Athens the foreign affairs minister attended the OC.

Greece The president was on State visit this June, it's not expected he is also going to the opening ceremony. The sports minister will attend the OC. Four years ago, because it was the host, the whole government and president etc attended ;)

Hungaria Sports minister will attend, maybe the president some evenets were Hungaria could win some medals. In Athens the president was attending the OC.

Ireland Sports minister, same as Athens.

Italy Sports minister will attend. In Athens the president attended. Berlusconi was prime minister during Athens (and now again), I think he doesn't like sports, he's again not attending any events.

Latvia The president is attending the OC, the CC the sports minister will be there. In Athens the president and the prime minister attended the OC.

Lithuania There will be some governmental representation, it's not clear who. In Athens the prime minister attended the OC.

Luxemburg Sports minister, like Athens.

Malta Not clear now, in Athens there was no representation.

Austria The sports minister will attend OC, defence minister some sporting events. Never the president or prime minister of Austria attended the OC of an olympic games.

Poland The sports minister will attend, in Athens the president and the prime minister attended.

Portugal Probably a minister will attend. In Athens the president and a minister attended.

Rumania The president will attend.

Slovenia Sports minister will attend. The president and the prime minister made not their decisions yet.

Slovakia Big chance the President will attend. In Athens only the sports minister attended.

Spain Crown Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia and the minister of foreign affairs will attend the OC. In Athens also the Queen and the two sisters of the crown prince attended the OC.

Chech It's not clear if there will be some governmental representation. In Athens the president attended.

United Kingdom Sports minister will attend the opening ceremony, prime minister will attend the closing ceremony. In Athens the prime minister was at the opening ceremony.

Sweden The sports minister will attend the opening ceremony. Same as Athens. The king and queen will attend sporting evenets, just like they always do. Great Royal couple!!!

Netherlands Prime minister and the minister of sports will attend. Same as Athens.

Information is from a letter by the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Some countries have still to make their decisions. Some countries have less representation (probably because Greece was an EU member). Some have more representation (better communication with China??). Some have the same level of representation.

4 heads of state (until now) from EU Member States, 2 heads of government. Most of the countries have sports minister. Some countries also Royal representation. Not only the four on this list, but also the countries with IOC members from royal blood.

The Grand Duke of Luxemburg, Crown prince of the Netherlands, The Princess Royal of the United Kingdom.

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President Bush and president Darkozy are going to attend the OC.

I think before the OC there's a part only for the spectators in the stadium, from 18:00 to 19:30. The last half hour is the final countdown to the Games. The actual OC will begin at 20:00 and will end at 23:30. That's only 3,5 hours. In Athens the OC was 3 hours and 20 minutes. In Sydney it was 4 hours and 10 minutes.

I think 3 hours and an half hour is something short for the Beijing OC. The athletes parade will last 1 hours and 50 minutes or something. So there is only 1 hour and 40 minutes for the rest of the OC. I think some 40 minutes after the athletes parade (speeches, songs, oaths, opening, olympic flag and anthem, flame etc) and 1 hour for the creative part. The creative part in Sydney was 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Is this right according to you?

3h and 20min is the hypothetic timing... But there is always delays, the parade is always slower than planned... So will not surprise at the end that the OC will be as long as the one in Athens.

From my memories, in Sydney, they had also a technical delay due to a problem with the cauldron that staid in its lower position during minutes and minutes...

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3h and 20min is the hypothetic timing... But there is always delays, the parade is always slower than planned... So will not surprise at the end that the OC will be as long as the one in Athens.

From my memories, in Sydney, they had also a technical delay due to a problem with the cauldron that staid in its lower position during minutes and minutes...

Sydney had indeed problems with the cauldron. It was not moving up. I remeber that the orchestra was just playing and playing. But it was not so long. And still it is my favourite ceremony! Sydney mixed the creative part with all the official things.

i think that the OC in Beijing will follow the same procedure and the same order. So 1 hour before the official part and 40 minutes afterwards including lighting the flame sames ok to me.

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Sydney had indeed problems with the cauldron. It was not moving up. I remeber that the orchestra was just playing and playing. But it was not so long.

That is not correct. The music being played was 'Tibi Omnes' - composed by Hector Berlioz. The cauldron disc was meant to hit the main cauldron 'stand' at the main cresecendo of the piece. However the disc was delayed for about 3 minutes and reached the 'stand' at the end when the bells chime in to conclude the eight minute piece.

No additional music was played - the cauldron finished it's climb just as the music was ending it's original running time. The fireworks were queued for the main musical crescendo as well - thus we had the fireworks going off when the disc was still rising.

So there ya go!

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That is not correct. The music being played was 'Tibi Omnes' - composed by Hector Berlioz. The cauldron disc was meant to hit the main cauldron 'stand' at the main cresecendo of the piece. However the disc was delayed for about 3 minutes and reached the 'stand' at the end when the bells chime in to conclude the eight minute piece.

No additional music was played - the cauldron finished it's climb just as the music was ending it's original running time. The fireworks were queued for the main musical crescendo as well - thus we had the fireworks going off when the disc was still rising.

So there ya go!

whatever the problems - still the most dramatic lighting of the cauldron ever IMO!

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That is not correct. The music being played was 'Tibi Omnes' - composed by Hector Berlioz. The cauldron disc was meant to hit the main cauldron 'stand' at the main cresecendo of the piece. However the disc was delayed for about 3 minutes and reached the 'stand' at the end when the bells chime in to conclude the eight minute piece.

No additional music was played - the cauldron finished it's climb just as the music was ending it's original running time. The fireworks were queued for the main musical crescendo as well - thus we had the fireworks going off when the disc was still rising.

So there ya go!

Not completely correct. It's true that "Tibi Omnes" ended too early because of the cauldron's delay. But immediately after the end of "Tibi Omnes", there was one additional piece of music played. Someone here on the board once said that that piece was called "Olympic Fireworks" by David Stanhope, but that's actually another piece which was played at the beginning of the closing ceremony's fireworks, I believe.

But you can hear the "nameless" opening ceremony's fireworks music starting at 7:05 in this clip:

Sydney 2000 cauldron lighting ceremony

And the orchestration seemed so perfect to me back then (when I saw it live on TV), that I didn't notice at all that it was actually the wrong music for the cauldron's "slide" to the top of the stand.

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I've always had the impression that the cauldron disk was suppose to climb the grandstand and then be lifted into its final position on the mast, all to "Tibi Omnes". Then that second piece of music would begin to play to the fireworks. What ended up happening was that disk's delay caused the second piece of music and fireworks to play when it was still climbing the grandstand, as well as the night's final announcements to play when the disk was still being lifted up by the mast. So the entire disk/music/fireworks/ synchronization was thrown off.

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There was an aditional piece of music played, however I believe it was always a planned piece of the ceremony. It just so happened that while that piece of music was playing, the *mast* of the cauldron was still rising up, when this function should have taken place by tibi omnes was playing.\

David Stanhope composed a number of fanfare pieces for the ceremonies - I think the piece played after Tibi Omnes was *Skyline Firedance*, can't remember where I read that though.

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Actually, the cauldron disk started moving exactly when the final crescendo of "Tibi Omnes" was ending. It didn't sounded too out of synchro after all, since "Skyline Firedance" started being played as the disk went up and was assembled at it's position.

BTW, Sydney and Athens had incredible cauldron-lighting musical pieces.

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I was always curious how the Sydney cauldron ceremony would have looked (or rather sounded) like if everything had proceeded as scheduled. So I've just played the clip mentioned above with the Tibi Omnes recording from the official Sydney 2000 opening ceremony CD in such a way that the cauldron had fully risen by the end of the tune. And frankly, I didn't like it. It appeared too grave in large parts while the cauldron climbed up the grandstand. Since it's a contemplative and even sacred moment when the flame is being carried around the stadium and when the cauldron is finally being ignited, the mostly meditative Tibi Omnes was a great tune for that first part of the cauldron ceremony. But when the cauldron climbed up the grandstand, only a few feet away from the spectators (an astonishing technical feat) and since the Games were definitely kicked off with those final ceremonial moments, I think it was absolutely appropriate to have a more joyous and prouder, almost triumphant tune, namely that "Skyline Firedance" (or whatever it was called).

So I'm actually very glad that the glitch happened and Tibi Omnes didn't play for the whole cauldron ceremony.

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From what i know, and i know it from people working for SOCOG and who were backstage in the stadium at the Opening Ceremony, they had, for sure, a problem with the cauldron and had some delays.

I will ask again and will come back with details to you.

That is not correct. The music being played was 'Tibi Omnes' - composed by Hector Berlioz. The cauldron disc was meant to hit the main cauldron 'stand' at the main cresecendo of the piece. However the disc was delayed for about 3 minutes and reached the 'stand' at the end when the bells chime in to conclude the eight minute piece.

No additional music was played - the cauldron finished it's climb just as the music was ending it's original running time. The fireworks were queued for the main musical crescendo as well - thus we had the fireworks going off when the disc was still rising.

So there ya go!

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From what i know, and i know it from people working for SOCOG and who were backstage in the stadium at the Opening Ceremony, they had, for sure, a problem with the cauldron and had some delays.

I will ask again and will come back with details to you.

Ric Birch already confirmed the cauldron glitch a couple of years ago in his Olympic book. If I recall correctly, it was a hydraulic problem. And it was a very critical situation, since the disc's gas tank could only provide supply for a couple of minutes -- and if the disc wouldn't have reached the cauldron stem on top of the grandstand soon enough, the flame would have gone out. Now imagine that, in front of an audience of billions of people around the world!

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Ric Birch already confirmed the cauldron glitch a couple of years ago in his Olympic book. If I recall correctly, it was a hydraulic problem. And it was a very critical situation, since the disc's gas tank could only provide supply for a couple of minutes -- and if the disc wouldn't have reached the cauldron stem on top of the grandstand soon enough, the flame would have gone out. Now imagine that, in front of an audience of billions of people around the world!

And which is why I think, starting with Athens, they have now filmed the Lighting in the Final Dress Rehearsal (as they tape the rest of the Ceremony w/o the Athletes' March) as a back-up visual in the event of such glitches! And they also did it for Torino.

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Sorry, I jumbled the story a little bit. Here's the real story, as it has been told by Ric Birch on an Australian radio show one day after Sydney's closing ceremony:

TONY JONES: Can I get you to settle one urban myth for us.

When the flame got stuck during the opening ceremony there is a myth -- whether it's a myth or not you can settle for us right now -- that the flame would have gone out.

It had a limited amount of gas and it would have gone out had it not started moving very quickly?

RIC BIRCH: The myth has a little bit of truth behind it, like all great myths.

But there was 35 minutes worth of gas on board.

Before we did the final design, I asked the tech director, "What happens if the cauldron does have to stop somewhere along its journey?"

The reason it stopped on the night was a faulty switch.

Nothing got stuck, nothing got jammed.

It was just a switch that said it wasn't locked in position.

Once the guys checked it and found it was OK, they overrode the switch and the thing moved on.

TONY JONES: What did it feel like, watching that at the time?

RIC BIRCH: It felt kind of, as though time was standing still.

TONY JONES: The flame wouldn't have gone out, though?

RIC BIRCH: No, what happened was we had 35 minutes of gas bottles on board the cradle that lifted the whole thing and had it not stopped, the whole journey was only -- from the moment that Cathy lit it to its final lift on the cauldron pedestal was under 6 minutes, so 35 minutes was more than enough to take care of any temporary stops and we had an umbilical cord -- had we had to connect it up, we could have.

But it would have been difficult.

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/stories/s194745.htm

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And which is why I think, starting with Athens, they have now filmed the Lighting in the Final Dress Rehearsal (as they tape the rest of the Ceremony w/o the Athletes' March) as a back-up visual in the event of such glitches! And they also did it for Torino.

Really? I didn't know that the cauldron lighting is also a part of the final dress rehearsal. And I didn't know that they film it for contingency. So then we should actually know one day in advance how that lighting mechanism in Beijing works.

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Really? I didn't know that the cauldron lighting is also a part of the final dress rehearsal. And I didn't know that they film it for contingency. So then we should actually know one day in advance how that lighting mechanism in Beijing works.

If they want to have a back-up in case a 'Sydney' happens on the actual night -- and NOT lose 'face' in front of the whole world.

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If they want to have a back-up in case a 'Sydney' happens on the actual night -- and NOT lose 'face' in front of the whole world.

But in fact, how shall that contingency plan work? Even the stupidest viewer would notice the cut between the live pictures of the actual ceremony and the footage of the dress rehearsal. Or they had to use a time delay for the live picture to make a smooth cut. And what about the final torch bearer? I suppose that they only use an extra for the final dress rehearsal. So everyone would notice by the different face/stature/haircut etc. that it's not the live picture.

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But in fact, how shall that contingency plan work? Even the stupidest viewer would notice the cut between the live pictures of the actual ceremony and the footage of the dress rehearsal. Or they had to use a time delay for the live picture to make a smooth cut. And what about the final torch bearer? I suppose that they only use an extra for the final dress rehearsal. So everyone would notice by the different face/stature/haircut etc. that it's not the live picture.

They are not going to have any time delay this time, at least BOB claims.

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But in fact, how shall that contingency plan work? Even the stupidest viewer would notice the cut between the live pictures of the actual ceremony and the footage of the dress rehearsal. Or they had to use a time delay for the live picture to make a smooth cut. And what about the final torch bearer? I suppose that they only use an extra for the final dress rehearsal. So everyone would notice by the different face/stature/haircut etc. that it's not the live picture.

I think it can be done very skillfully.

Like, say, in Sydney, if it had been taped going smoothly, then they would just eventually switch to the 'cauldron' smoothly rising to the top -- during which Cathy Freeman's face and form were no longer part of the frame. They they could send workguys out there to maybe un-hook the thing or whatever. Cut away to commercials or something else. I'm sure with great planning, even in the framing of the shots, a 'seamless' switch can be made -- I'm NOT saying they will -- and then just return to 'live' once the glitch is fixed.

I think there will be less chances for Beijing to go wrong because a lot of the roof will be in darkness, so stage crews up there, dressed in ninja black, could quickly fix any bugs. And I imagine any roof-level shots of the cauldron will be via a camera or 2 installed roof-level or extra-strong cameras from the Broadcast Tower.

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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