2008 Summer Olympic Games

Season 1 Episode 1

Opening Ceremony

Aired Daily 8:00 PM Aug 08, 2008 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
32 votes

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Episode Summary

Opening Ceremony
The opening ceremony for the 2008 Olympic Games held in Beijing.

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  • A great start!

    Can you belive that the Olympics started on 8-8-08 at 8:08pm est. And that they are twelve hours ahead of us in Beijing. Really a touching and moving tribute. Wished that it wasn't in China. All due to human rights issues. Glad though they pulled off one of the biggest and best opening ceremonies ever. London, which will have the games in 2012, will have to come up with something like that. Plus, they didn't go by ABC of countries but by some kind of system. It was neat to see the person running across the stadium, to lit the torch. Felt that he was going to fall. But they manage to pull it off!moreless
  • They've done it!

    Absolutely stunning ceremony. They've raised the bar real high. The use of their great contributions to the world and their 5000years of history to the spectacular settings (the scroll on the ground), clothes are unparalleled by any Olympics opening ceremony. And I think it was fantastic that they made the whole event their own even with the march past of the athletes. Rather than having it in the romanised order it was done by the number of strokes used to write the name of the country in Chinese. And the fireworks to represent footsteps, now all I can say is WOW! Now lets see how they'll close the event. That being said I think the best lighting of the cauldron was still the one by the archer at the 1992 Barcelona games.moreless
  • The Old Meets the new...stunning!

    Ill start out by saying that im a huge fan of the olympic games. I can remember back fondly to the Barcelona (1992) Olympics and just thoroughly enjoying the spectacle and athletisism of it all. .Since then ive been an avid follower The opening ceremonies do tend to drag on, but ive always loved to see what each hosting city has to offer.

    In saying that the opening ceremony of Beijing 2008 was absolutely spectacular. Using every possible technology and skill from its country, China put on a visually stunning feast on the eyes. Two things stand out for me, the giant globe rising from beneath the Birds Nest and the final torch bearer running through the air to ignite the torch. Plus its also a thrill to see your country enter the stadium.

    Bring on the rest of the games. Go NZ!moreless
  • The 2008 Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony was very awesome!

    The 2008 Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony was not only awesome, but also incredible and overwhelming! I am sure there were thousands of performers with tremendous talent. Tremendous performances by dancers, singers, drummers, with lavish costumes as well. The T'ai Chi performers were so precise in their movements and very enjoyable to watch. The final torch barer showed unimaginable athleticism as he raced around the top of the arena, when he lit the huge towered torch, which seemed to appear out of nowhere. It lit up with the arena, followed by a beautiful firework display. I think it was the best Opening Ceremony the Olympics has ever had!moreless
  • The Olympics begin.

    Inspiring, uplifting and unmatched are a few of the words you can use to describe event known as the Summer Olympic Games. When Pierre de Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee even he could not have expected the magnitude of importance the games now hold upon them. An event children of all ages, parents, grandparents, great grandparents and everyone else in the world can watch and can find a nation to support unconditionally.

    I will not lie to you, I'm probably only going to watch basketball, wrestling, boxing, soccer and weightlifting, but I am not discounting the importance of any of the other competitions. NBC and all its affiliates have put forward breathtaking production values and state-of-the-art TV programs giving viewers the best possible coverage of the best athletes in the world. The next few weeks are going to be exciting and this is just the beginning.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • The Chinese team

      NBA basketball player Yao Ming was the flag bearer for the host nation China. He was accompanied in the procession by Lin Hao, a 9-year-old boy who survived the earthquake in Sichuan, China, in May 2008. Over 70,000 people died in the quake. Twenty of the boy's classmates died in the disaster. The boy escaped but went back to the rubble to help bring out two of his classmates. He explained that he was a class leader and a hall monitor so it was his duty to help.

      The Chinese team is favored to win the total medal count at the Games.

    • The Opening Ceremony was held in Beijing National Stadium.

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (9)

    • Although this is noted as the first official day of the 2008 Summer Olympics, the Soccer Tournament began on Wednesday for the women and Thursday for the Men.

    • The Opening Ceremony had been planned and rehearsed over a five-year period. The Chinese government spent an estimated $300 million to stage the performance.

    • The U.S. Olympic team chose as its flagbearer Lopez Lomong, a former refugee from Sudan who lived in a refugee camp in Kenya for a decade. He became a U.S. citizen in 2007 and made the Olympic team as a member of the 1,500-meter squad in July 2008.

      The selection of Lomong is widely seen as a message of protest over the Chinese government's backing of the government of Sudan. Government-supported militia groups have attacked bands of rebels and civilians in the Darfur region of western Sudan, leading to an estimated 200,000 deaths in recent years.

    • Top-ranked professional tennis player Roger Federer was the flag bearer for his country of Switzerland. He was also celebrating his 27th birthday during the Opening Ceremony.

    • NBC chose to air the Opening Ceremony on a tape-delayed basis in the United States even though the ceremony was aired live in many other countries around the world. The ceremony began at 8 pm China Standard Time or Beijing Time. (There is only one official time zone in China even though the country stretches for approximately 3,000 miles from east to west, roughly the same width as the continental United States.)

      The ceremony did not air in the U.S. until 12 hours later, at 8 pm ET.

    • Over 11,000 Olympic athletes attended the Parade of Nations as part of the Opening Ceremony.

    • The Chinese government revoked a travel visa for U.S. Olympic speedskater Joey Cheek just days before the Beijing Games were set to begin. The probable reason is Cheek's activism in raising awareness of the humanitarian catastrophe in Darfur. The Chinese government is known to have influence with the Sudanese government. Cheek said that he did not plan to directly protest against the Chinese government during these Olympic Games.

    • The Beijing National Stadium is often referred to as the "Bird's Nest" because of the shape of the building and the open, interlacing steel-beam design of the exterior.

    • The opening ceremony is being held at 8 pm (local time) on 08/08/2008. This is significant because the number "8" is seen as lucky in China.