Ahead of Rio 2016’s curtain raiser, ranking the best ever opening ceremonies
2008 Beijing Olympics opening ceremony is still talked about as the best so far. London Games ceremony had Brit humour written all over. As we eagerly wait for Rio’s opening here’s a look at the best opening ceremonies at the Olympics so far
1. Barcelona, 1992
For the first Olympics in Spain, the organizers had a trick up their sleeve when it came to the lighting of the Olympic flame. Paralympian Antonio Rebollo was picked two hours before the ceremony as the one with the honour of lighting the cauldron. He lit an arrow from the final torch bearer, and shot it across the stadium into the cauldron.
2. Tokyo, 1964
The Ceremony is remembered for the emotional impact it made, more than the presentation. The final torch bearer was Yoshinori Sakai, who was born on August 6 1945 in Hiroshima, the same day the USA dropped an atomic bomb on the city. The moment was seen as a sign of Japanese strength and resilience.
3. Sydney 2000
The ceremony showcased the importance of Australian stockmen, and their pastoral heritage. It also included various depictions of Australia and its peoples, its flaura and fauna, as well as the marine life.
4. London 2012
The “Isles of Wonder”, as it was called, was watched by nearly 900 million people worldwide and was a tongue-in-cheek depiction of what it means to be British. The ceremony included a short film featuring actor Daniel Craig as James bond and Queen Elizabeth II, as well, herself.
5. Beijing 2008
Despite all the controversies that surrounded the build-up to the event, the opening ceremony at the 2008 Beijing Olympics is considered the best ever. Many even call it the greatest show on earth. Since the number eight is associated with prosperity and confidence, the ceremony began at 8.pm, on August 8, 2008.