The Official Website of the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games  September 6-17, 2008

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Summary of the Opening Ceremony

Updated:2008-09-06 23:46:33


Photo: Overview of the National Stadium
Overview of the National Stadium (Photo credit: Xinhua)

1. Pre-ceremony Performance

Synopsis: Pre-ceremony performance

The site of pre-ceremony performance is the Small Stage to the north of the field. After Pre-ceremony performance, the hosts give interactive guidance to the audience for 40 minutes.

Pre-ceremony Performance:

1) Military Music Performance: Welcome Music

2) Folk Music Performance: Good News from Beijing Reaches the Border Villages

3) Drum Music Performance: Ebullient Festival

4) Male Solo: Come on!

5) Male-female Duet: Happy Gathering in Beijing

6) Lead and Chorus: Every one is No.1

7) Male-female Duet: Miracle in the East

8) Grand Chorus: The Blue Danube

9) Male-female Duet and Chorus: The Drinking Song

10) Grand Chorus: Ode to Joy

11) Chorus: Beijing, Beijing, I Love Beijing

Photo: Artistic performance
Artistic performance (Photo credit: Xinhua)
Photo: Artists perform
Artists perform (Photo credit: Xinhua)
Photo: Drummers perform
Drummers perform (Photo credit: Liao Yujie/Xinhua)
Photo: Artists perform 'Beijing, Beijing, I Love Beijing'
Artists perform 'Beijing, Beijing, I Love Beijing'. (Photo credit: Xinhua)

2. Entrance of the President of China and the President of IPC

Synopsis: Entrance of Hu Jintao, the President of China, and Sir Philip Craven, the President of the IPC.

3. Short video of Countdown

Synopsis: In the sky, a small feather is dancing and drifting. It transcends space and time, going around the world, and participates in the main Paralympic sports one after another…

The countdown numbers of 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 are displayed in the form of fireworks immediately after a short video.

* At present, there are 20 sports for the Summer Paralympic Games, namely, Athletics, Swimming, Shooting, Archery, Powerlifting, Table Tennis, Cycling, Wheelchair Fencing, Judo, Wheelchair Tennis, Volleyball Sitting, Sailing, Equestrian, Rowing, Goalball, Wheelchair Basketball, Boccia, Wheelchair Rugby, Football 5-A-Side (for blind people), and Football 7-A-Side (for people with cerebral palsy).

Photo: A boy holds the countdown board
A boy holds the countdown board. (Photo credit: Xinhua)
Photo: Fireworks countdown to the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympic Games
Fireworks countdown. (Photo credit: Xinhua)

4. Welcoming Fireworks

Synopsis: Welcoming fireworks.

At the end of the last second of the countdown, welcoming fireworks burst above the National Stadium.

Photo: Welcoming fireworks
Welcoming fireworks (Photo credit: Xinhua)
Photo: Welcoming fireworks
Welcoming fireworks (Photo credit: Xinhua)

5. Raising the national flag of China and Singing the National Anthem of China

Synopsis: The national flag of China is raised and the national anthem of China is performed.

The flag operators of the Guard of Honor of the Chinese People's Liberation Army raise the national flag of China, while the Military Band of the Chinese People's Liberation Army performs the National Anthem of China live.

After the national flag of China is raised, red and yellow fan-shaped fireworks burst above the National Stadium.

Photo: The Paralympic flag is hoisted up
The Paralympic flag is hoisted up. (Photo credit: Xinhua)
Photo: Flag raising ceremony
Flag raising ceremony (Photo credit: Xinhua)
Photo: The Paralympic flag is hoisted up
The Paralympic flag is hoisted up. (Photo credit: Xinhua)

6. Welcoming Ceremony: My Track

Synopsis: Art performance My Track, the welcoming ceremony for the entrance of athletes.

Cartoon marathon athletes smile happily. They are busy paving a beautiful track of seven colors for athletes with a disability from all over the world.

Photo: Artistic performance
Artistic performance (Photo credit: Xinhua)
Photo: Artistic performance
Artistic performance (Photo credit: Xinhua)

7. Entrance of the Athletes

Synopsis: Entrance of the athletes of all delegations.

One-hundred-and-forty-eight guides lead the athletes of 148 countries in a predetermined order. When the guides reach their designated positions, they hand the feather placards to the persons in charge at the center of the field, who place them in the feather framework already prepared according to the order. In the end, a huge feather consisting of 148 feathers is formed.

Entrance of the Athletes

What is peculiar about the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympic Games is that the athletes enter the stadium first and then watch the performances together with the audience. This is their festival.

The order of entrance

The order of entrance for all delegations is based on each NPC's name written in the Chinese characters of the Chinese mainland and the sequence of guide - flag - athletes - contact - guide accompanying the team. Athletes enter the field from Gate 1 and go along the west track of the National Stadium. After they pass Gate 2, the south track, Gate 3, the east track, Gate 4 and the north track, the guides lead them to their designated seating areas.

Gigantic Feather

The "Bird's Nest" is the home of life. Each feather is a living thing, symbolizing the ideal of all people with a disability in the world and carrying the hope and dream of people with a disability.

Photo: Maltese Paralympic delegation
Maltese Paralympic delegation (Photo credit: Xinhua)
Photo: Entrace of members of the Paralympic delegation of Belgium
Entrace of members of the Paralympic delegation of Belgium (Photo credit: Xinhua)
Photo: Entrace of members of the Paralympic delegation of Greece
Entrace of members of the Paralympic delegation of Greece (Photo credit: Xinhua)
Photo: Paralympic delegations
Paralympic delegations (Photo credit: Xinhua)

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