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I guess that we had something like that already before -- but I think it's not wrong to re-discuss some topics, especially when meanwhile, there have accrued new aspects. Remember: We have two Olympic-free years to fill!  :;):

OK, I'd like to know which moments in Olympic opening and/or closing ceremonies stick the most in your minds -- in a positive as well as in a negative sense. Or to cut a long story short: What were your personal ceremony tops and flops?

Here are mine:

Tops:

1. The lighting of the Sydney cauldron by Cathy Freeman -- actually, the complete opening ceremony of Sydney 2000 was "top" but the cauldron lighting was, of course, the climax.

2. Not to forget, of course: The burning arrow in Barcelona.

3. The musical orchestration of the parade of nations at Munich's opening ceremony -- almost every country was greeted by a typical folk song, arranged by the marvellous (and late) Kurt Edelhagen. That concept was copied in Sydney, but it just didn't reach Edelhagen's level.

4. The moment they carried the WTC flag into Salt Lake's Rice Eccles Stadium. It still makes my eyes wet whenever I watch the tape.

5. The segment with the Cycladic head and the projections made on it and also the display of the DNA strand -- both at Athens' opening ceremony. Highly emotional, highly impressive.

6. Pavarotti's performance at Turin's opening.

Flops:

1. The "dove barbecue" in Seoul (although, on the other hand, it's kind of funny again)

2. Moscow's presentation of the Olympic Flag during the opening ceremony -- the flag was carried into the stadium by some guys doing goose steps ( :oo: ) followed by other goose-stepping guys ( :suspect: ) who clenched, if I've seen it correctly, living doves in their hands ( :cry: ). What a pervy presentation!

3. The lighting of Atlanta's cauldron -- and I just mean the actual lighting process with the lame wire and that burning fries container, not the great performance of Muhammad Ali.

4. Such quirky and/or bad performers like Björk (Athens opening), Yoko Ono (Turin opening) and Ricky Martin (Turin closing). In Germany, we call such people "Stimmungskiller" (mood killers).

5. The use of a "light dome" at Berlin's closing ceremony -- only a few years later those spotlights were used to scan the sky for bombers. Very macabre.

6. The streaker during Turin's closing ceremony.

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Best

1. Sydney cauldron

2.slc opening

Worst:

munich terrorism

Lilihamer cauldron, even though i was a day old

dove barbeque :laughlong:

french fry cauldron, which i still remember vidily at the age of 2

atlanta terrorism

Nagono opening cerimony, esspesily that woman in the red dress that sang that pop song.

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How was the Olympic flag handed to LA at the Moscow closing ceremony - was there any American there at all?

In that times the Olympic Flag was not handed to the next Olympic host in the Closing Ceremony, but at the begin of the next Olympic Games...

Therefore this question would be right: were the Russians in the Opening Ceremony of Los Angeles?

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Therefore this question would be right: were the Russians in the Opening Ceremony of Los Angeles?

I believe the Russian IOC members were.  However, as a matter of fact, in the Moscow Closing, it was the California flag that was raised in place of the Stars & Stripes.  

4 days before the Games opened in LA, an Olympic flag was presented to Mayor Tom Bradley by the old Falangist (JAS) at the Opening of the 88th IOC Session at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.   That flag stayed in the LA City Hall until LA's Closing Ceremony when it was handed to the mayor of Seoul.  This was the shortest stay of the Olympic flag (but it wasn't the Antwerp flag) in any host city.

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I believe the Russian IOC members were.  However, as a matter of fact, in the Moscow Closing, it was the California flag that was raised in place of the Stars & Stripes.  

4 days before the Games opened in LA, an Olympic flag was presented to Mayor Tom Bradley by the old Falangist (JAS) at the Opening of the 88th IOC Session at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.   That flag stayed in the LA City Hall until LA's Closing Ceremony when it was handed to the mayor of Seoul.  This was the shortest stay of the Olympic flag (but it wasn't the Antwerp flag) in any host city.

That's not completely true. According to the official report of the LA Games, Samaranch handed the flag to Bradley not earlier than at the opening ceremony. But it's true -- no Russian representative (especially the mayor of Moscow) was present at the flag exchange.

And it was still the original Antwerp flag Bradley received. If I remember it correctly (we had that topic discussed before somewhere in this forum), the Antwerp flag was so worn-out that it was decided to replace it after it had been handed to the mayor of Seoul at LA's closing ceremony. I remember having read somewhere that Hollywood prop masters made a new Olympic Flag (with the same design of the original Antwerp flag) which was given to the Seoul organisers and is handed from host city to host city ever since.

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Sorry -- forget what I said about the Hollywood prop masters. I had that info from an obviously false text in an IOC pdf file about the Olympic opening ceremonies. The same text also claimed that the Russians had kept the original Antwerp flag as a reaction to the previous US boycott. But that's obviously not true, as it is confirmed by the following text at the Vancouver 2010 website:

Vancouver 2010 info about the Olympic Flag

The Antwerp flag was presented to the IOC at the 1920 Olympic Games by the City of Antwerp, Belgium. At the Closing Ceremony of the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games, the flag was passed on to the next Olympic Games city, Seoul, and then retired. The Antwerp Flag is now on display at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland. (...) The successor to the Antwerp Flag, the Seoul flag was presented to the IOC at the 1988 Olympic Games by the city of Seoul, South Korea, and is passed on to the next organizing city of the Olympic Games.
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OK, I won't rank, but here are some of my faves that haven't been mentioned as of yet...

The "druid" choir of Olympic Rings at Calgary.

The burning rings in SLC and Athens.

LA's pianos.

Planets at Barcelona's closing.

Sohn Kee Chung in Seoul...he just looked so happy!

Midori Ito in Nagano...so graceful.

The Call of Nations, the Shadow and Jessye Norman in Atlanta.

Some not so faves...

The talking dinosaurs at SLC's closing.

The Seoul parade of athletes...so messy.

The space station clip in Athens.

The overly happy children and crazy singing lady in Nagano.

Atlanta's cheerleading squad with pick up trucks.

The really original ideas...

The Barcelona and Sydney cauldron lightings - mentioned above, but the were just brilliant!

The wierd little fairy that blew out the Albertville flame - along with Sydney the only games that put a unique idea into the flame's death.

The ski jump in Lillehammer.

The water in Athens.

Moscow - they completely reinvented the Olympic ceremony.

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.....thanks CAF, Baron and Olympian, I've wondered what had happened about the handover 1980/84 for a while.

I really liked both ceremonies at the Barcelona Games and also the Albertville opening always sticks in my mind.  Torino was good I thought.  Early memories of LA and Seoul are good too - even enjoyed the doves!  Liked much of Athens, Atlanta and Sydney.

There isn't really a ceremony that I hated all the way through but the part of Atlanta opening where the "Dream Team" entered the stadium last as if THEY were the host nation was a little sickening.  Also the march of the athletes music is often annoying - obviously Torino was awful and remembered because it was so recent but also Sydney was annoying with bits of pre-recorded rubbish to try and represent some of the larger countries (this part of the ceremony was something that Atlanta was better at - they kept to a limited number of similar tunes if I remember correctly) - live music rather than recorded is better in my opinion though - as in the Melbourne CWG.

It's not exactly an Opening Ceremony but the Olympic Anthem in Singapore 2005 was truly awful - sang by two women and a man it was totally off key and actually rather painful to listen to - like a dying cat in a mangle! (also lasted too long as I was anxious to know the election results).

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@Stu:

Also the march of the athletes music is often annoying - obviously Torino was awful and remembered because it was so recent
Well, that's your opinion. For me, it was the best parade of nations music since Munich '72 -- really joyous and catchy. And the athletes seemed to like it, too (the Swedish team, for example, danced into the stadium).
but also Sydney was annoying with bits of pre-recorded rubbish to try and represent some of the larger countries

Sydney didn't have pre-recorded music during the parade! Don't you remember the huge "Sydney 2000 Marching Band"? They played all the time live. But as I said, the way they presented the music was rather lame in comparison to Edelhagen's arrangement in Munich.

(this part of the ceremony was something that Atlanta was better at - they kept to a limited number of similar tunes if I remember correctly) - live music rather than recorded is better in my opinion though - as in the Melbourne CWG.
IIRC, Atlanta did have recorded music -- just like Salt Lake City which was pretty similar to Atlanta's opening ceremony in certain parts. However, I remember the music during Atlanta's parade as rather dull.
It's not exactly an Opening Ceremony but the Olympic Anthem in Singapore 2005 was truly awful - sang by two women and a man it was totally off key and actually rather painful to listen to - like a dying cat in a mangle! (also lasted too long as I was anxious to know the election results).

Absolutely true -- that was by far the worst rendition of the Olympic Anthem my poor ears ever had to listen to.

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were the Russians in the Opening Ceremony of Los Angeles?

Since I got corrected by O2004, let me rephrase my reply to the presence of Russians in LA.

- I imagine the big Russians names on the IOC roster like Vitaly Smirnov were present at the time.

- However, I can also add that there were Russians on the judging panels and referee ranks.  I remember that one of the grande dames of Russian gymnastics, Ludmilla Tereshova /Terschova(?) was a judge at the Gymnastics competition at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion.  So, if she appeared, then it is not inconceivable that other Soviets high up in the other federations also came to do their officiating duties.

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According to the official report of the LA Games, Samaranch handed the flag to Bradley not earlier than at the opening ceremony.

Unless we misunderstand each other, then we are looking at 2 different versions of the Official Report of the LA Games, because that is where I picked up the info about JAS handing AN Olympic flag to Bradley at the Dorothy Chandler pavilion.  

I can quote you the page, and chapter #, but my worker is here to install the kitchen cabs -- so I will defer on that later.

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According to the official report of the LA Games, Samaranch handed the flag to Bradley not earlier than at the opening ceremony.

Unless we misunderstand each other, then we are looking at 2 different versions of the Official Report of the LA Games, because that is where I picked up the info about JAS handing AN Olympic flag to Bradley at the Dorothy Chandler pavilion.  

I can quote you the page, and chapter #, but my worker is here to install the kitchen cabs -- so I will defer on that later.

Samaranch handed it to Tom Bradley who handed it to Paul Zifren who handed it to Harry Usher at the OC.  

Since the Russians weren't there,  the Antwerp flag was brought in by Alice Lord Landon and another lady whose name I don't remember, who both competed in Antwerp in 1920.  They both wore reproductions of their 1920 team uniform.

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According to the official report of the LA Games, Samaranch handed the flag to Bradley not earlier than at the opening ceremony.

Unless we misunderstand each other, then we are looking at 2 different versions of the Official Report of the LA Games, because that is where I picked up the info about JAS handing AN Olympic flag to Bradley at the Dorothy Chandler pavilion.  

I can quote you the page, and chapter #, but my worker is here to install the kitchen cabs -- so I will defer on that later.

You're right in terms of the flag given to Bradley during the IOC session -- but you said that it was the flag which Bradley passed on later to the mayor of Seoul. And that's not correct. You can see it at page 423 (445 in your Adobe Reader) of the first volume of the Official Report. Juan Antonio Samaranch said in his speech at the session:

"This is why, as a mark of recognition to the city and the citizens of Los Angeles in thanks for the Games and the time and effort they have devoted to the Olympic Movement, I should like to present an Olympic Flag, as a token of our respect, to remain forever in the City Hall."

The picture on that page also shows that Samaranch gave Bradley a simple Olympic Flag, without the multi-coloured fringe on its edges which we know of the Antwerp respectively the Seoul flag.

The ceremonial flag which went on to Seoul -- and it was still the Antwerp flag -- was presented to Bradley no earlier than at the opening ceremony. See page 210 (232 in the Adobe Reader) of volume 1.

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Samaranch handed it to Tom Bradley who handed it to Paul Zifren who handed it to Harry Usher at the OC.  

Since the Russians weren't there,  the Antwerp flag was brought in by Alice Lord Landon and another lady whose name I don't remember, who both competed in Antwerp in 1920.  They both wore reproductions of their 1920 team uniform.

The other lady was the former diver Aileen Riggin Soule.

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Samaranch handed it to Tom Bradley who handed it to Paul Zifren who handed it to Harry Usher at the OC.  

Since the Russians weren't there,  the Antwerp flag was brought in by Alice Lord Landon and another lady whose name I don't remember, who both competed in Antwerp in 1920.  They both wore reproductions of their 1920 team uniform.

The other lady was the former diver Aileen Riggin Soule.

Yes - thank you! It was driving me nuts that I couldn't remember her name  :blush:

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Samaranch handed it to Tom Bradley who handed it to Paul Zifren who handed it to Harry Usher at the OC.  

Since the Russians weren't there,  the Antwerp flag was brought in by Alice Lord Landon and another lady whose name I don't remember, who both competed in Antwerp in 1920.  They both wore reproductions of their 1920 team uniform.

The other lady was the former diver Aileen Riggin Soule.

OK, but did she wear the skirt with the multi-colored fringes; or was it ALice Lord Landon who presented her plain-white panties with the 5 colored rings to Samaranch, who then sniffed it, smiled, passed it on to Bradley, who then waved it, then passed it on to Ziffren, then to Harry Usher -- thus passing the 4-party sniff test?  

Do you wonder whey Peter Ueberroth passed on this moment?   :wwww:

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Samaranch handed it to Tom Bradley who handed it to Paul Zifren who handed it to Harry Usher at the OC.  

Since the Russians weren't there,  the Antwerp flag was brought in by Alice Lord Landon and another lady whose name I don't remember, who both competed in Antwerp in 1920.  They both wore reproductions of their 1920 team uniform.

The other lady was the former diver Aileen Riggin Soule.

OK, but did she wear the skirt with the multi-colored fringes; or was it ALice Lord Landon who presented her plain-white panties with the 5 colored rings to Samaranch, who then sniffed it, smiled, passed it on to Bradley, who then waved it, then passed it on to Ziffren, then to Harry Usher -- thus passing the 4-party sniff test?  

Do you wonder whey Peter Ueberroth passed on this moment?   :wwww:

Hmmmm - I need to rewatch the ceremony.  I don't recall Ms. Landon whipping off her panties for a pass-around sniff but I could be wrong  :P

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for me the wrost part is Gloria Estefan having to sing at the closing ceremony instead of the opening ceremony in 1996. Reach was simply the "Olympic Theme Song", not Power of the Dream. Reach had everything to it and for it to be sang in the closing ceremony is an insult to Gloria Estefan. Reach was simply and inspirational song and even received a Grammy nomination.
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for me the wrost part is Gloria Estefan having to sing at the closing ceremony instead of the opening ceremony in 1996. Reach was simply the "Olympic Theme Song", not Power of the Dream. Reach had everything to it and for it to be sang in the closing ceremony is an insult to Gloria Estefan. Reach was simply and inspirational song and even received a Grammy nomination.

That's true -- it will always be incomprehensible how the organisers could decide to present such an Olympic theme song not earlier than at the closing ceremony. And how Gloria Estefan could agree on that.

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for me the wrost part is Gloria Estefan having to sing at the closing ceremony instead of the opening ceremony in 1996. Reach was simply the "Olympic Theme Song", not Power of the Dream. Reach had everything to it and for it to be sang in the closing ceremony is an insult to Gloria Estefan. Reach was simply and inspirational song and even received a Grammy nomination.

That's true -- it will always be incomprehensible how the organisers could decide to present such an Olympic theme song not earlier than at the closing ceremony. And how Gloria Estefan could agree on that.

Because Gloria is a lousy, mediocre, 3-note warbler -- that's why.  Uhmmm..Gloria could NOT reach the high notes.  The woman CANNOT sing.  I had no problem with POWER OF THE DREAM coming at Opening.  It seemed appropriate.  Gloria's appearance at Closing was a mere postscript.

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The ski jump of Lillehammer

Barcelona's Arrow

Pavarotti in Torino - AMAZING (and i predicted it about 2 years ago - with everyone saying he was too old and Bocelli would be doing it!)

Sydney's Advance Australia Fair

Sydney's Triplicate of Songs, followed by the whole torch relay and lighting.

Salt Lake City's Rings of Fire

Athen's Rings of Fire

The Moment the Rings swung into place in Torino

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Oh what the hell - I'll bite.

In this order:

(1) Moscows card trick to get the flame to the top of the stadium

(2) LA's 84 Grand Pianos rolling out into the peristyle

(3) Barcelona's Arrow "lighting" the cauldron

(4) Ron Clarke running in with what was essentially a cherry bomb in the torch to light the cauldron at Melbourne

(5) Lillehammers ski jumper with the flame

(6) "Advance Australia Fair."  Need I say more?

(7) The athletes coming in over the top of the stadium in a mist in Atlanta

(8) Rings of Fire in LA/Salt Lake City/Athens

(9) Sydney's Lighting of the cauldron

(10) "Oh Canada" sung by the Calgary Boys Choir to a jazz beat in Calgary

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