The celebration of the Olympic Games starting, usually involving thousands of people from the host country of the Games.
Sydney 2000 Opening Ceremony
I got off at Olympic Park station and had a look around. The station was grey and green, looking very modern. When I got to the end of the platform, I took a deep breath of chaos and pushed open the door.
Colour burst out and the sound of 100,000 people talking filled the air. The sky was a perfect Australian blue, the colour that you never get anywhere else. The air was clean and fresh and ibises flew overhead.
There was a long walkway heading towards the entry booths and several tourist tents along the sides selling pins and hats and T-Shirts.
I headed towards the entry booth to the park. I showed as many officials as I could my ticket and, after emptying my pockets into a little plastic tray, went through the metal detectors.
I waited for a while, and a huge stream of marching band members came past, with cymbals, drums, horns, sousaphones and flutes. It kept going for about half an hour, the band was that big. Everyone was wearing blue, white and red Drizabones which looked very hot, but the Opening Ceremony (or the Rehersal) only started when it got dark, so they probably weren't hot at the Rehersal, only now.
Finally, they let us in to the Stadium at 4:00.
The Stadium was a increadibly engineered piece of work, looking somewhat like the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House] combined.
The North and South seats wern't covered overhead, which was where I was, but it turned out to be a clear night, so it didn't really matter. There was four sound and light towers, which were as tall as the Stadium itself, and four large screens. Two of the screens were status boards, with a matrix monotone display, and the other two were really big full colour screens. No matter where you were seated, you could always see a status screen and a colour one. The status screen said 'Wave if you are from' and it went through all the countries. Then, as it got dark, they begun.
The Opening Ceremony started with about 50 people on horseback, riding in formation to 'The Man from Snowy River' theme. The riders carried Olympic flags, and made the rings of the Olympics.
Deep Sea Dreaming
A little girl lay down in the sun on a beachtowel and started to dream. The whole Stadium looked like it was submerged in water. Jellyfish appeared, and a whole school of little fish ran past.
Hero Girl rose up off the stadium floor and started swimming around. The larger fish came, and started swimming as well. So did the Australian Swimming Team.
Then, the fish all dissapeared.
We are all linked with the Ocean.
This was a fantastic Australian Aboriginal segment, with excellent music and traditional dancing. It had representative music and dances from the different regions of the Aboriginal People.
In the last bit the spirits awoke and walked around.
A rebirth through Fire.
Hundreds of firebreathers sweep through the Stadium, like bushfires. People hanging from wires tumble with fire attached to their feet and in their hands.
This one has to be seen, but I'll try to describe it anyway. Dancers come out and in formation they make our natural floral life, spinning and going through the seasons.
This deals with immigration into Australia. Floats of people from different countries danced on stage, and joined up to form a picture of Australia.
Hero Girl appears again and sings 'Southern Sky', and the stadium becomes covered in stars.
This section delt with country life, machinery and hardships settlers delt with.
Parade of Countries
The marching band came on, and played quite a few pieces in formation, changing shapes and such, and it looked very disiplened. Then the band moved to the side, and kept playing all through the Parade of Countries. The French voice announced the countries, then an Australian said it after. Athletes came out waving and holding flags. The countries were:
- American Samoa
- Antigua & Barbuda
- Bosnia & Herzegovina
- British Vergin Islands
- Birkina Faso
- Cape Verde
- Cayman Islands
- Central African Republic
- Cook Islands
- Costa Rica
- Cote D'Ivoire
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- Equatorial Guinea
- Great Britain
- Hong Kong
- Libyan Arab Jamahirya
- Netherlands Antilles
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- Puerto Rico
- Saint Kitts & Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Vincent & The Grenadines
- San Marino
- Sao Tome & Principe
- Saudi Arabia
- Sierra Leone
- Solomon Islands
- South Africa
- Sri Lanka
- Syrian Arab Repbublic
- Chinese Taipei
- Trinidad & Tobago
- United Arab Emirates
- United States of America
- Virgin Islands
- Individual Olympic Athletes