At the turn of the century, China was forced into opening up her country by the imperial and colonising powers and was largely humiliated in the process. The Chinese nation and her people had to endure such humiliation for nearly half a century.
The changes to the nation since then have been immense. Tonight, 4 billion people around the world had more than a good look at the phenomenal transformation that had taken place in China over the last 30 years.
More than 80 world leaders were also watching in awe inside the Bird Nest National Stadium.
As for me...I was watching it "LIVE"
on MediaCorp channel 5. It was by far the BEST and most SPECTACULAR of all opening ceremonies in the history of the Olympics. And I have seen all the ceremonies since 1960 Rome Olympics. I remember Nadia Comaneci that famous Gymnast being the 1st Olympic gymnast to score a perfect 10 out of 10 in gymnastics. She won the Gold. Based on what I have witnessed tonight of the entire opening
ceremony, I would award CHINA a perfect 10 for this AWESOME EXTRAVAGANZA of superbly chereographed dance, music,drumming, moving display,wizardry,fireworks....the lot!
It would be very difficult for anyone else to surpass such an opening ceremony.
Not only were the Chinese prepared to spend about US $ 50 Billion for the games but they had so much ability and creative talent in all areas.
Famed Zhang Yimou, the film director, was overall in charge of the opening ceremony.
The photos here...I had no choice. I used my dependable digital Canon camera to shoot direct from my TV screen. So the images cannot be sharp but sufficient to capture the mood and the history-making moments.
Top: The Olympic flame after it was set ablazed by the Final Torch Bearer Li Ning....who was given this most Prestigious honour among all their sports or top personalities, both past and present. He was a triple GOLD medallist in the 1984 LA Games in Gymnastics.
The next pic shows him lighting the flame...after he performed a high-wire "running" act seen in the next pic.