Asian Games 2010: Asian Games Kicks off with Spectacular Opening Ceremony

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By Victor DSouza, Doha
From various sources
Bellevision Media Network

Guangzhou, China, 12 November 2010: The 16th edition of Asian Games officially opened with a glitzy gala ceremony on Friday, culminating years of planning for a massive event that is set to reinforce China`s regional sporting dominance. Tens of thousands of Guangzhou residents welcomed the Asian Games to their city and played their part in a spectacular interactive "Festival of Harmony" with the athletes and officials from the Games’ 45 National Olympic Committees as they sailed along the Pearl River.


The opening ceremony began with a spectacular light and fireworks show with Chinese music building up the tempo. The 650 feet high tower of fireworks illuminated the entire sky, announcing to the world that the Asian games had arrived in the biggest part of the continent. For the first time in the history of sports, the mega-ceremony was not held inside a stadium, instead it was held along the Pearl River in Haixinsha Island.


Prior to the ceremony, Chen Weiya, the director of the ceremony, who was also the assistant director of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, revealed in a special interview that the ceremony "will surprise the world". He was not off the mark by even a whisker as the water/light theme was something no one else in the world had thought of, and its seamless execution took the level of the Asian Games one notch above.


The ceremony was attended by State Council of China Wen Jiabao, President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari, Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and Chief Secretary for Administration of Hong Kong Henry Tang. Organisers promised the largest lighting show ever seen at a major sports event, based around a theme prominently featuring the local Lingnan culture and they kept their promise.




Film starlet Zhang Ziyi and world-renowned pianist Lang Lang performed together in one of the highlights of the show, while athletes arrived by a convoy of pleasure boats. The extravaganza heralds the most ambitious Asiad so far with more than 14,000 athletes and officials from 45 countries and territories angling for gold in 42 sports.


With a riot of colorful flowers as a backdrop, dancers and models showed off modern Guangzhou fashion and dance to reveal an energetic, happy and harmonious outlook for the future. Dances of lions, dragons and "qilin" legendary animals, combined with martial arts performances, percussion and opera, all merged into a rollicking, unforgettable celebration of the Asian Games, the athletes and the people of Guangzhou.


The Games run until November 27, with hosts China heavily favoured to top the medal table, with South Korea and Japan battling for second place. Just as Beijing did before the 2008 Olympics, Guangzhou has poured billions of dollars into getting this sprawling southern metropolis ready. Other than the opening ceremony, no events were held on Friday with the competition starting off on Saturday.



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Comments on this Article
Philip Mudartha, Qatar Sat, November-13-2010, 11:55
As usual, you work very hard to compile reports with photographs, Victor. I salute you. I am sure you will come up with a daily summery.
Eugene DSouza, Moodubelle Sat, November-13-2010, 8:42
Wonderful coverage of the opening ceremony by Victor.
anmol garg, ambala Sat, November-13-2010, 1:07
NICE game
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