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Sunday, November 28, 2010

16th Asian Games Opening Ceremony in Guangzhou China 2010

The 2010 Asian Games, also known as the XVI Asiad, is a multi-sport event in Guangzhou, China that began on 12 November and finishes on 27 November 2010. Guangzhou is the second Chinese city to host the Games, after Beijing in 1990. A total of 476 events in 42 sports will be contested by athletes, making it the largest event in the history of the Games. It will also be the last iteration of the Games to have featured such big events, as the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) have enforced new hosting rules for future games, beginning with the 2014 Games.




Opening ceremony

The opening ceremony officially began on November 12, 2010 at 20:00 local time. For the first time in history, the ceremony was not held inside a stadium; instead, it was held along the Pearl River on Haixinsha Island. The ceremony was directed by Chen Weiya, assistant director of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, and featured a cast of about 6,000 performers. It was attended by the Premier of the People's Republic of China, Wen Jiabao, President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari, Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva,, Chief Secretary for Administration of Hong Kong Henry Tang, as well as President of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), Sheikh Ahmed Al-Fahad Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah and President of International Olympic Committee Jacques Rogge. The ceremony lasted for three hours, and together with the closing ceremony cost about ¥380 million ($53 million).

Athletes were paraded by boats along the Pearl River. The ceremony featured the water-themed arts show and culture of Guangzhou. The last torchbearer, diver He Chong lit up the cauldron, after ignited the traditional Chinese firecrackers whose flare shot up until the tower.

The ceremony was regarded as successful, as IOC President Jacques Rogge describe it as "absolutely fantastic", and said Guangzhou has the ability to host the Olympics. OCA director general Husain Al-Musallam praises it as unique, fantastic and "just better than the Beijing Olympics".

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