Portfolio of Kimberly Johans

A collection of articles created during my stint as a journalist at The Macau Daily Times

With the lighting of the cauldron, the Games began

Posted by Kimberly on October 27, 2007

By Kimberly Johans
Published in The Macau Daily Times
October 27, 2007, page 1&5 (669 words)

The Macau 2nd Asian Indoor Games Opening Ceremony was the evidence needed to confirm just where the $55 million that had supposedly been spent, had gone.
In a blaze of fireworks, the show began, segmented into eight amazing scenes, and rounded off by the lighting of the flame that was anything but traditional.
The Macau Stadium was filled to the tune of about 10,000 spectators who were no doubt eager for the show to begin after what may have felt like the longest run-up time.
The entire performance was a professional masterpiece, allowing for a fusion of Chinese culture and sport demonstrations of what the Games had to offer.
The first scene of the ceremony depicted the Monkey King’s Journey, with Sun Wukong a symbol meant to signify the vigour, courage and wisdom that are also evident in the Asian Games.
Where the complexity and uniqueness came into play, was with the second scene, a Bowling Symphony.
At one stage, with appropriate sounds coming through the speakers, the bowling pins knocked themselves over, as if resembling the real thing, is a convincing fashion, resulting in an image of the Indoor Games symbol that could only be seen from above, but which was displayed on the huge screens.
Scene five, depicting a chess board, was magnificently displayed, each major character, from King to Queen to Rook, shown in glorious costume, while the numerous pawns faced off against each other.
Their fighting moves with swords were a sight to behold and the moment when the two sets faced each other as a whole was only spoilt by the attendance of Sun Wukong, which didn’t seem to fit into the picture.
Scene six took the shape of lotus flowers, with a singer in the middle of a large lotus flower, singing a Chinese song as the costumed dancers twirled around her.
The dancers for Scene seven was splendid in their ballgowns and tuxedos, the former of which were stripped off at the next tune to reveal shocking pink tutus and a sexier dance step.
The final scene showed dragon dancers in glorious formation, breathing “fire” and displaying eye-catching colours of red, blue and gold.
The finale, specifically that of the torch being carried to the end, was a well-thought-out event, beginning with the running of the last leg of the journey, before the torch was taken up to the heights of the stadium.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, a flame-lit skate-boarder took the flame high up over the crowd, racing toward the cauldron, lighting it as he himself is distinguished.
The sacred flame was passed on by athletes representing five different districts, namely Sajjad Moradi (West Asia, Islamic Republic of Iran), Shavkatbek Muhitdinov (Central Asia, Uzbekistan), Pankat Arjan Advani (South Asia, India), Jeerasak Tassorn (Southeast Asia, Thailand), Ni Zhenhua (East Asia, China), before Sou Sok Leng (Macau) took the torch and passed it to Chu Chin Tou (Macau), who lighted the cauldron.
On the welcome remarks, Manuel Silvério said that despite the long distance and difference among the Asian countries, “sport” was the common language. The Asian Games events had added more meaning to it, while the 2nd Asian Indoor Games had already enhanced the unity of the region.
Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) Vice-president Timothy Fok, who acted as the proxy for OCA President HE Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah at the opening ceremony, expressed his warm welcome on behalf of OCA to all participants to the beautiful host city and extended his pleasure to join the people in Asia to celebrate the opening of the games. Taking the opportunity, OCA also showed appreciation to the Macau people and the SAR government for their effort that helped make it possible for young people from around Asia to participate in the event in Macau. Mr Fok believed the Games would mark an important page in the history of Asian Indoor Games, for which, he paid salute to the Macau Olympic Committee and MAIGOC for their efforts that made these Games so successful.

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