Opening ceremony program of the Beijing Olympic Games

The details of the opening ceremony to the Beijing Olympics is being kept secret, but the protocol for the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games follows a set of rules as laid out by the IOC (rule 58 of the Olympic Charter). Here is a look at how the opening ceremony should unfold:

Receiving the Head of State of the Host Country

China’s President of the People’s Republic of China, Hu Jintao will be received at entrance of the stadium by President of the IOC, Jacques Rogge and the President of the Organising Committee (OCOG), Liu Qi.

Parade of participants

Each country enters the stadium led by a chosen flag bearer. The alphabetical order of countries is done in the language of the host country, except for Greece which leads the parade and China being the host country will enter the stadium last.

Australia for example is used to being one of the first countries out, will be the 203rd country just in front of Zambia and China.

Here is a complete list of the order of the countries and the flag bearers.

The speech by the President of the Organising Committee

The President of the OCOG Liu Qi, will give an address and add the words: “I have the honor of inviting …, President of the International Olympic Committee, to speak.”

The speech by the IOC President

The President of the IOC Jacques Rogge, will then give a speech and will end with, “I have the honour of inviting … (the Head of State) to proclaim open the Games of the… Olympiad of the modern era.”

strong>Head of State declares the Games open

This will be Hu Jintao’s job which I presume he will say in Chinese, something like “Beijing Aou-yuan-hui kaishi” or “I declare open the Games of … (name of City) celebrating the … Olympiad of the modern era,” in English.

The playing of the Olympic Anthem and the entry and raising of the Olympic Flag

The Olympic anthem was written by Kostis Palamas and music by Greek composer Spiros Samaras.

Here’s a bit of trivia on the flag:

“It is the five rings themselves that represent the five continents, and not the colors of these rings. In fact, the six colors represented on the Olympic flag – the white background, plus the blue, black, red, yellow and green of the rings – were chosen because of the fact that at least one of these colors can be seen in the flag of every nation.”

The last stage of the Olympic Torch relay and the lighting of the Olympic cauldron

This is often the highlight of the opening ceremony and the person to light the flame is kept secret. Liu Xiang or Yao Ming are two possibilities. I am going to put my money on Yao Ming.

Here are some past athletes who had the honor:

In 1992, Paralympic archer Antonio Rebollo, shot a flaming arrow 70 m to light the Cauldron; in 1996, former-boxer Muhammad Ali ignited the self-propelling torch that would light the Cauldron; in 2000, runner Cathy Freeman lit the Cauldron through a pool of water; and in 2004, the Olympics returned home to Greece, where the Olympic Cauldron gently pivoted down to be lit by 1996 Gold Medalist Windsurfer Nikolaos Kaklamanakis.

The symbolic release of the pigeons

After an unfortunate incident at the Seoul Olympics when some unfortunate pigeons sat on the edge of the cauldron, this part of the ceremony was moved to after the lighting of the cauldron.

The taking of the oath by a competitor

The flag bearers from all of the representing countries form a semicircle around the rostrum. A competitor of the host country mounts the rostrum. Holding a corner of the Olympic flag in his left hand, and raising his right hand, he takes the following solemn oath: “In the name of all the competitors I promise that we shall take part in these Olympic Games, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them, committing ourselves to a sport without doping and without drugs, in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honor of our teams”.

The taking of the oath by a judge

A judge from the host country then mounts the rostrum and takes the following oath: “In the name of all the judges and officials, I promise that we shall officiate in these Olympic Games with complete impartiality, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them, in the true spirit of sportsmanship.”

The national anthem of the host country

Here are the lyrics of China’s national anthem, in case you want to sing along:

Qi3lái! Búyuàn zuò núlì de rénmen!
Ba3 wo3men de xuèròu zhùchéng wo3men x?n de chángchéng!
Zh?nghuá Mínzú dào liao3 zùi w?ixi?n de shíhòu,
M?igerén bèipò zhe f?ch? zùihòu de hou3sh?ng.
Qi3lái! Qi3lái! Qi3lái!
W?men wànzhòngy?x?n,
Mào zhe dírén de pàohuo3, Qiánjìn!
Mào zhe dírén de pàohuo3, Qiánjìn!
Qiánjìn! Qiánjìn! Jìn!

And here is the official English translation:

Arise, ye who refuse to be slaves!
With our flesh and blood, let us build our new Great Wall!
The Chinese nation faces its greatest danger.
From each one the urgent call for action comes forth.
Arise! Arise! Arise!
Millions with but one heart,
Braving the enemy’s fire.
March on!
Braving the enemy’s fire.
March on! March on! March on!

The artistic programme

If it wasn’t for a South Korean film crew, this would still be a mystery. Nevertheless, I am sure the opening ceremony to the Beijing Olympics will be the most spectacular ever seen.

See here for more details on the 2008 Olympics opening ceremony


What to Expect at the Opening Ceremonies - August 8, 2008 @ 4:58 am

[...] set up by the International Olympic Committee. Mike, who blogs at 08:08:08, was kind enough to post a copy of it. Tags: celine dion, lopez lomong, Opening Ceremony, sarah brightman, Yao-MingShare This Related [...]

Opening ceremony times - August 8, 2008 @ 9:03 pm

[...] previously wrote what the Olympic opening ceremony program will look like, but didn’t mention times. Here are some more specifics on the actual times [...]

mashimoro - August 9, 2008 @ 10:11 pm

very great opening ceremonies . thank you. for human game

mashimoro - August 9, 2008 @ 10:27 pm

?????????? khonthai soo soo !!!!

mashimoro - August 10, 2008 @ 7:50 pm

khon thai sud yod ye!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[...] Here is a sample program of the opening ceremony. [...]

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