2008 Olympic Games officially open

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Friday, August 8, 2008

The Olympic Rings

Witnessed by at least 90,000 spectators, the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games was held at the National Stadium — nicknamed "Bird's Nest" — in Beijing China this evening. The ceremony began at 8:00 p.m. local time (12:00 noon UTC) with two thousand and eight ancient Chinese percussion instruments called "Fou", each controlled by a young man. The first greeting message was a Confucius' saying, "How Happy We Are, To Meet Friends From Afar", which the percussionists chanted.

204 teams from over the world marched into the stadium. In Olympic tradition, Greece entered first and China appeared last — the originating country and the host country, respectively. The other 202 teams were welcomed, ordered by the count of strokes to write the team name in Chinese characters.

There were several performances, including a 100+ member troupe of Taiwanese dancers and Chinese pop group A-One. There were also solo performances by Lang Lang, Sarah Brightman, and Liu Huan.


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