Every four years sports lovers from all over the world gear up to watch the Olympics, and the first thing that they watch is the opening ceremony of the event. Vox reported that over 40 million Americans tuned in to watch the opening ceremony at Rio this time and no-one could blamed them for it. The opening ceremony of the Olympics has become more and more exciting, eye-popping and artistic over the course of many years.
The television coverage of the opening ceremony of the Olympics started from the 1984 Summer Olympics that took place in Los Angeles. However, it was the 2000 Sydney Olympics that began the trend of elaborate opening ceremonies that we witness these days. For the opening ceremony, each host country tries to portray their cultural heritage, while at the same time seeking to bring the whole sporting community together.
The 1984 Los Angeles Olympics saw the USA showcase the cowboys and the Indians along with performances on Hollywood music. There was synchronized dance and a live performance of Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin. Los Angeles was followed by the Seoul Olympics in 1988 and it depicted the traditional dance and music of South Korea.
Barcelona carried forward the tradition of the Olympic opening ceremony and brought in an archer to shoot a flaming arrow to light up the cauldron. This moment has been witnessed on numerous occasions since then. With the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, television viewers got to see the moving cameras and the joy of lighting. There were fireworks as well as a performance by Celine Dion.
Sydney Olympics brought in the best from the ceremonies held in Atlanta and Barcelona. The Australian culture was the focus of attention with artists suspended from the air, stilt walkers and native dancers.
Athens then stunned the world with their take on the opening ceremony of the Olympics. No one had thought that Athens would be able to pull it off but they proved everyone wrong right from the word go.
The 2008 Beijing Olympics was all about digital projection and set pieces, and the two-part opening ceremony that showcased both ancient and modern China captivated the audience. The 2012 London Olympics was a trip down Britain’s history lane, directed by Danny Boyle. Instead of world famous athletes lighting up the cauldron, London got young Olympians to come together to light it up.
The opening ceremony of the Rio Olympics saw marathon runner Vanderlei Lima lighting the flame. While many had thought that Pele was going to be tasked with the job, it was surprising to see that the little-known athlete was given the task. The Olympics opening ceremony saw a huge round of applause for the members of the refugee team, which is going to change how the Games are perceived.
The Olympic Games 2016 were declared open by the interim President of Brazil, Michel Temer. He is serving as the acting President after President Dilma Rousseff was suspended and is waiting for her impeachment trials. Brazil is going through troubling times, but it’s nice to see that there was such a lot of positive energy among the crowd at Maracana.
The Olympic Games has dealt out a bad blow for the fans of social media. According to The Guardian, the International Olympic Committee has stopped the news agencies from sharing short clips from the Rio Olympics. The IOC has laid down a guideline that bans Olympic Games materials from being turned into GIFs, memes, and animated formats and shared.