BEIJING 2008: Come Join The Party!
This evening about 10,000 people were present at a ceremony on Tianan’men Square, where the IOC President, Jacques Rogge, invited the world to come and join the Beijing 2008 party. In a spectacular ceremony in front of the Forbidden City, one of China’s most famous historical landmarks, the IOC President handed out invitations to the National Olympic Committees (NOC) of Greece, Canada, Great Britain, Russia and China – the current NOCs with Olympic Games host cities on their territories and Greece, as the home of the Games - inviting them to come to Beijing to participate in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. The ceremony was also attended by representatives of the other NOCs of the Olympic Movement, whose invitations were sent from the IOC’s headquarters in Lausanne.
Engender Dreams and Inspiration
Speaking at the event, IOC President Jacques Rogge said, “With one year remaining until the Opening Ceremony, we have reached a place from which we can see both vast achievements behind us and the great potential that lies ahead. Beijing and China will not only host a successful Games for the world’s premier athletes, but will also provide an excellent opportunity to discover China, its history, its culture and its people, with China opening itself to the world in new ways.” He concluded by a call to come and enjoy the Games in 2008: “The Olympic Games are the celebration of the values of Olympism and of sporting ideals by the youth of the world. They engender dreams and inspiration in the hearts of young people everywhere. I therefore call upon you all to enjoy the Games one year from now.”
The ceremony itself was a magnificent extravaganza of colours, light and sound, with musicians, acrobats, dancers and singers all combining to create a mosaic of sound and movement as a celebration of the one-year-to-go mark. With the Forbidden City as a backdrop, Chinese culture was clearly on show and there was also time for the different co-host cities to be involved, through the miracles of modern technology, as celebration events in these cities were shown as part of the evening’s entertainment to the audience in Beijing and to television viewers across the planet. A few famous faces joined the show, as film star Jackie Chan and basketball player Yao Ming both made appearances. Concluding with a magnificent fireworks display, this one-year-to-go celebration started the final countdown to next year’s Games in a truly magnificent manner.
The Games of the XXIX Olympiad – Beijing 2008 will take place from 8 to 24 August 2008. The Games in Beijing will play host to the 28 summer sports currently on the Olympic programme. Approximately 10,500 athletes are expected to participate in the Games with around 20,000 accredited media bringing the Games to the world.
Beijing 2008 Official website