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What Is The Purpose Of The Opening Ceremonies?


BanzaiB
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I've been watching the older OC and have noticed that they are a lot more modest than the more recent ones. Provided that technology has changed a lot over the last 30 years but it seems that we are in a grey area. Isn't the OC's purpose to be a welcome for the athletes? Now it has become a big extravaganza which people bicker about who had the better OC. And people are even talking about taking away the Parade of Nations. Do you think that the recent OCs are going the right way or should we change our focus to the athletes themselves?

And another unrelated question. How much do you think the hosting countries' culture affect the overall quality of the games? I personally prefer the Athens and the Beijing OCs way more than any other simply because of the massive history and culture that the two countries have. I believe that having a distinctive culture is very important to the success of an OC. That's why I didn't like the Sydney OC or the Atlanta OC very much.

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The OCs are 'rites' to open the Games. It's a welcoming; it's a celebration; it's a 'show-off' piece.

Per the IOC Charter, the host city/nation is allowed/encouraged to show off its culture at the Opening Ceremony. And there are the 'Protocol" portions which must be fulfilled.

Very simply, it's a great show to get the competition going in a great way, and to announce to one and all that a VERY IMPORTANT EVENT is about to happen.

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Well, I guess everything evolves. True, ceremonies used to be simple, but at the same time, athletes used to bring their own lil shovel to dig their sprints starts mark in the 20s.

It was always gonna get bigger, just like the Olympics themselves.

I dont think they've got out of hand, it is a nations biggest calling card, brings a huge amount of urban and national pride to the host - we have seen that in the last few decades.

And we must remember that the Olympics have always been based on the tripod cornerstones of sport, culture and environment.

It is the cultural outlet.

Over 10000 more people can be involved in the movement through culture, aside from the sports competitions.

And Id say the athletes love them. Truckloads of them I have heard comment that it is their favourite part of the experience.

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In the Ancient Olympics, there were also artistic and ceremonial components of the Games. Some of that is represented in the Opening Ceremony.

The 1980 Moscow Games changed the way the Opening Ceremony is presented. Before that, they were modest ceremonies that mostly focused on the Athlete's Parade and protocol activities (opening, flag, oaths, flame). But it is the single most popular event at the Games, likely because it is entertaining, colourful, and full of wonder and mystery (who will light the flame?, will they be as good as the last ones?, how will country X present itself?, etc.). They also attract a lot of interest in the Games. My first Olympic experience was in 1984. If it weren't for 84 pianos playing Rhapsody in Blue, Rafer Johnson climbing those stairs with torch in hand, and the Rocket Man kicking it all off, I probably wouldn't have been as glued to the TV as I was those 24 years ago and every Olympiad since.

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  • 2 weeks later...
In the Ancient Olympics, there were also artistic and ceremonial components of the Games. Some of that is represented in the Opening Ceremony.

The 1980 Moscow Games changed the way the Opening Ceremony is presented. Before that, they were modest ceremonies that mostly focused on the Athlete's Parade and protocol activities (opening, flag, oaths, flame). But it is the single most popular event at the Games, likely because it is entertaining, colourful, and full of wonder and mystery (who will light the flame?, will they be as good as the last ones?, how will country X present itself?, etc.). They also attract a lot of interest in the Games. My first Olympic experience was in 1984. If it weren't for 84 pianos playing Rhapsody in Blue, Rafer Johnson climbing those stairs with torch in hand, and the Rocket Man kicking it all off, I probably wouldn't have been as glued to the TV as I was those 24 years ago and every Olympiad since.

I agree with you. If it wasn't for LA I wouldn't have been interested in the Olympics at all. I was too young to watch the Moscow Games and probably also because the local channel didn't carry it. Our country boycotted them. But if it weren't for Moscow, there wouldn't have been such great expositions of culture. However, except for the torch lighting, the formal protocols have begun to bore current television viewers. The challenge has been to make the athletes parade faster without diminishing the athletes' (especially those who have little chance in winning) chance to shine even for less than a minute.

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