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Most memorable moment from all Opening Ceremonies (opinion)

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I'm sure it would be influenced a lot by your emotional attachment or connection to particular games. Mine would have to be Cathy Freeman standing under the water flowing cauldron - but, of course, I would think that.

Not the bird bbq in Seoul? :lol: :lol:

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I have 3 lol if that is allowed.

The flaming arrow lighting the Barcelona Cauldron

The Temple of Zeus light projection segment in Atlanta - my first opening ceremony watching and that has stuck in my mind ever since

The Sydney 2000 water cauldron lighting, when the flame rose from the water - simply stunning

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My memorable moment from the Commonwealth Games was the card stunt during the parade of nations at Kuala Lumpur 1998

My memorable moment from the Asian Games Doha 2006 was the lighting of the cauldron when the final torch bearer and his horse ran up the steps with the flame.

My memorable moment from the Winter Olympics was the ski jumper from Lillehammer 94 with the flame

My memorable moment from the Paralympics was Athens 2004 with the tree and the lighting of the cauldron, the only pyrotechnic lighting i have liked.

Edited by Scotguy
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Hmm, a tough one.

I think the Barcelona archer would be number 1, it manages to cross the boundary of being memorable in the context of artistic merit, aswell as being a real major moment of the Olympic Games fullstop.

Other Olympic moments

* The milky way/glowing belly/double helix moment from the Athens opening ceremony. I also thought the opening stanza welcome from that ceremony was a real memorable moment

* The magic lantern temple from Atlanta

From other sports events

* The Common wealth strands of energy from the Manchester 2002 closing ceremony

* The bmx/ballerina section of the Melbourne 2006 opening ceremony

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Hmm Let's see:

From the ones actually watched through history (i.e on TV):

Barcelona: The flaming arrow fired at the cauldron.

Atlanta: The appearance of Muhammad Ali as the final torchbearer and cauldron lighter.

Nagano: No recollections, but I guess from YouTube it has to be Beethoven's 5th Symphony on the 5 continents and Nagano stadium.

Sydney: Cathy Freeman and the ring of fire cauldron over water.

Salt Lake City:

Athens: The flaming Olympic Rings OR The brief appearance of the 2 International Space Station crew members on the video screens.

Torino: The Olympic Rings and Dove segment.

Beijing: Sarah Brightman singing "You and Me", a portion of it in Mandarin and getting a huge response from the audience.

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Hands down, the cauldron lighting from Barcelona. I was seven years old, and it is actually my earliest memory of the Olympics.

I forgot Athens' flaming rings!

How can you forget, it is in my signature "Athens" fan. :lol:

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Hands down, the cauldron lighting from Barcelona. I was seven years old, and it is actually my earliest memory of the Olympics.

How can you forget, it is in my signature "Athens" fan. :lol:

I know! Embarrassing. It was late at night and I'm usually on my iPhone where the signatures dont display, but still!

Now for some honorable mentions...

I liked the jet pack guy too from LA. I still think about all those grand pianos at the LA Coliseum for Rhapsody in Blue as well.

I liked Seoul's Olympic ring sky divers. And their giant charging war things -- can't remember what those are called, but they were cool.

Barcelonas whole ceremony was beautiful. At that time the blue carpet was quite striking and creative.

I didn't really like anything about Atlanta. Summertime and the shadow figures were ok, but not great.

Sydney didn't really thrill me either. The cauldron was cool, but quite overwrought. The jerkiness and the delay diminished the intended effect and it became clunky. The underwater portion was kind of cool.

Athens was pretty stunning all the way through. The boy in the boat. The fragmenting Cycladic head. The double helix. The art history parade. Beautifully conceived.

Beijing was overwhelming because of the scale and precision rather than the content. Other highlights were the drummers, the naval scene, the floating rings, the guys running in circles, the people running around the globe during You and Me and the cauldron lighting.

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My two pennies:


GOLD: Sydney 2000 - how Cathy Freeman hold the torch down to the water and slowly a ring of fire appeared in the "pond"

​SILVER: Barcelona 1992 - the battle with the creatures of the sea

BRONZE: Beijing 2008 - the stunning "confucius' 3,000 principles" segment with its amazing costumes and the movable type press


GOLD: Salt Lake City 2002 - the star spangled banner of the WTC is hoisted in the stadium

​SILVER: Lillehammer 1994 - how the fairy tale was read and suddenly the Trolls appeared from everywhere - even out of the ground

BRONZE: Torino 2006 - the girl singing the Italian anthem together with a choir of the carabinieri

Edited by Citius Altius Fortius
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Of course you can't compare this opening ceremony with of the ceremony of today, but as a German I would like to add my favourite parts of the 1972 opening ceremony:

After Joachim Fuchsberger (the stadium speaker) explained that Greece has the honour to start the entrance of the athletes it becomes silent in the stadium - than a fanfare and the music start - the camera is zooming to the marathon gate of the track - a person in white appears out of the dark - the first officials entered the track - then Joachim Fuchsberger announced: GRIECHELAND - this simplicity and beauty give me still goosebumps

The music during the entrance of the athletes - in those times it was habit that the athletes marched like soldiers into the stadium and normally march music was played - that was changed: Kurt Edelhagen (the conductor of the orchestra) arranged some music to which it was simple to walk in a special speed, but what I love most is that he used some "typical" ingredients for the music during the entrance of some teams: e.g. when the United Kingdom entered you have the impression that Big Ben is ringing or when the USA entered the stadium you hear "When the Saints Go Marchin' In" and finally when FR Germany entered the stadium you hear three very popular German folk songs, which every German knows...

Wonderful idea that the Olympic Flag is carried into the stadium by athletes and not from soldiers anymore.

And my favourite part of the 1972 opening ceremony is the "Gruss der Jugend" with the dancing boys and girls - it is so is simple, but it is just wonderful colorful and breathtaking - of course the music "Sumer is icemen in" is one of the secrets of success of this segment - the arrangement is by Carl Orff (who wrote the Carmina Burana) - the canon is an Old English Kanon out of the 13th century.

Edited by Citius Altius Fortius
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GOLD: Athens 2004 : DNA segment- i love the music background + the mist effect and hologram just rising from no where..it just epic!

​SILVER: Athens 2004 : CYCLDIC HEAD- the first to do that, simply stunning, i get jaw drop when look at it,and

BRONZE: Sydney 2000 : UNDER SOUTHERN SKIES-perform by nikki


GOLD: vancouver 2010- white-clad high school students with snowboards flocked out

​SILVER: torino 2006- Carla Bruni, at theOpening Ceremony

BRONZE: vancouver 2010- olympic cauldron rise at the beginning at the closing ceremony


GOLD: MELBOURNE 2006 -together we are one by delta goodrem

​SILVER: KUALA LUMPUR 1998- card formation

BRONZE: ASIAN GAMES DOHA 2006- countdown

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Sydney 2000 - The whole ceremony was enjoyable

Athens 2004 - The drummers, the flame rings

Beijing 2008 - The opening ceremony soundtrack

Lillehammer 1994 - Setting it at the ski jump venue was unique

Vancouver 2010 - The whales on the floor of BC Place, flag at half-mast to honor a fallen athlete, and the flame lighting which was concluded at the beginning of the closing ceremony. Oh, and Gretzky almost slipping on the back of the pick-up truck.

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Sydney was my first OC that I saw, from that my favourite segments would have to be:

  1. The multicultural segment and the climax at the end of the segment where the performers stood in an outline of Australia.
  2. The entire cauldron lighting segment (celebrating women at the Olympics, i think)
  3. The national anthem, I know I am biased, but i reckon its up there as one of the best renditions of any anthem performance.

For Athens:

  1. The costumes in the historical parade. I particularly liked the hydra puppet.
  2. The giant head appearing from the centre of the ground and the DNA helix structure.
  3. I like the cauldron, simple and clean.

On a side note, at the closing ceremony.... the handover to Beijing (with those girls playing "Mo Li Hua") and the giant red lanturn were also memorable for me. Oh, and the millions of fake wheat planted into the stadium floor.

The Beijing ceremony was a grande experience, my most memorable segments would have to include:

  1. Sarah Brightman and Liu Huan performance of "You and Me", the smiley face fireworks and the kids on the umbrellas.
  2. The dream like music during the illumination of the rings on the floor and as they rise into the air.
  3. The dragon pillar segment, all those ladies in those costumes dancing. The giant scroll was great as well!

Vancouver was interesting.... at the opening: the failure of the 4th cauldron arm and how they turned it into something humourous at the closing ceremony. The welcome by the indigenous nations (plus, the guy in the wolf costume, was hot). Alanis Morisette's performance of "Wunderkind".

I can't wait to see what London has coming up. :)

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My vote is for the cauldron lighting in Sydney. Still consider that OC 1 of my favorite Olympics television watching experiences of all time because I got to watch it live starting at 3:45am ET while the majority of the United States had to wait another 16 hours. Sad to say I dosed off a couple of times during the telecast, but fortunately I was smart enough to tape it so I was able to watch the parts I missed the next morning.

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