Incredible Olympic Opening Ceremonies That Made the World Go Wow

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Updated on 22 Aug, 2016 at 1:29 pm


The Olympics Games are the world’s foremost sports competition, where more than 200 nations participate, making it one of the grandest and also the most emotional sports event. Every win is cheered and celebrated, while every loss is deeply felt.

From the beginning till now, the Games have witnessed some eventful moments, which we thought could be compiled in one place.

1896, Athens, Greece

What most of us know is that the first Olympic Games were held in Athens in 1896. But what we may not know is that the Olympic Games actually originated in 776 BC in ancient Greece when the games were dedicated to the 12 Olympian Gods. They were hosted in the plains of Olympia, with two grand temples dedicated to Zeus and his wife Hera. The games evolved for the next 12 centuries, until 393 AD, when Roman Emperor Theodosius banned them accusing them of paganism.

In 1896, the games were revived by French pedagogue, Pierre De Coubertin with the idea to establish multi-national, multi-sport event.


1920, Antwerp, Belgium

The 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp was the first in which the Olympic flag was hoisted. The flag was designed by Pierre De Coubertin in 1914, representing unity of the world, by including 5 interlaced rings in 5 five different colors. At least one of these colors appeared in the national flags of all participating countries.

1928, Amsterdam, Netherlands

For the first time in the history of Olympics, the Olympic Torch was lit in 1928. Also, in the same year, the parade of nations began with Greece, the country where the games originated and concluded by the hosting nation. In between all countries appeared in an alphabetic order. The tradition lives on to this day.

1936, Berlin, Germany

Following the introduction of the Olympic Flames in 1928, in 1936, the first of its kind, Olympic Torch relay was organized. The Flame was moved via a relay system from Athens to the Games venue in Berlin.

1964, Tokyo, Japan

Hiroshima Baby, Yoshinori Sakai lit the Olympic Flame in 1964. He was born on August 6, 1945, the day when America had dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

1980, Moscow, Soviet Union

Politics does enter into the gaming arena, and this became most apparent in 1980, when 65 countries including US, Britain, Japan and West Germany boycott the games because of the Soviet war in Afghanistan.

1992, Barcelona, Spain

For the first time, the torch at the cauldron was torched by a flaming arrow. The arrow was shot by Paralympic archer, Antonio Rebollo.

1996, Atlanta, Georgia

In 1996, Muhammad Ali was the torch bearer, and even though he could not stand still, his arrow hit the cauldron and people became so emotional, their eyes welled up with tears.

2004, Athens, Greece

In 2004, singer, songwriter, Bjork from Iceland gave a special performance at the opening ceremony, but it was her dress which grabbed more eyes than her singing. She wore a dress, from which fabric was pulled over the heads of athletes, who had gathered in the center of the stadium. When fully spread, the fabric projected the map of the world.

2008, Beijing, China

This was the most expensive Olympics so far. Several reports have estimated that the Chinese Government had spent some US$40-44 billion. More than 14,000 performers had performed at the ceremony.

2012, London, England

Queen Elizabeth had inaugurated the Olympic Ceremony in London. Before this she had inaugurated the Olympics ceremony in 1976 in Montreal as the Queen of Canada.




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