We enjoyed strolling through the huge plaza on our way to the stadium. We arrived early enough that some of the performers were outside taking pictures and milling around. Of course, we were asked to pose!
The festivities started with fireworks, speeches, the national anthem, and the like, and then of course the entrance of the flags and the athletes. After all that came the artistic performances; here's a glimpse.
This was a huge group doing tai ji, an ancient form of exercise/fighting, I am sorry to say I know very little about it. Yes, each one of those white specks is a person! Notice the white (mechanized) doves, lit up and "flying" towards the center of the stadium, in the corner of the picture. They added an amazing, unexpected touch!
This performance involved men on bicycles with megasized sparklers shooting off their bikes as they cycled around in perfect unison! The large screen in the middle was used to various affect throughout the evening--projecting images, forming different shapes--it was quite interesting.
Clara Anne, on John's shoulders, got into the spirit! Working towards the finale with most of the performers on the floor--including a huge contigent of flag wavers, and cheerleaders lining the edges. . .
One of the final moments. All of the points of light in the stands were because we were each given a gift bag upon arriving with a small, powerful flashlight in it. There were volunteers at the bottom of each section of the stadium showing us how to bob our flashlights in time with the music. It was a wonderful effect!
The finale. Lots of fireworks were shooting off outside, and all the performers were on the floor. The white doves flew towards the center again, and those rings had people inside them, lit up and posing in the various positions of the various sports. It was quite the sight!
We really enjoyed being able to be present at the stadium for this fun event--what a memory maker! The performers did a beautiful job and it was a really spectacular show. And, it was fun to hear those famous words: Let the games begin!