BEIJING, China, Aug. 8 /CNW/ - As the Opening Ceremony of the Games of
the XXIX Olympiad concluded, members of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for
the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC), the Government of Canada
and the Province of British Columbia offered the following personal
impressions on the evening's spectacular event (all were in attendance):
David Emerson, Minister of Foreign Affairs representing Government of
"What a proud night for China and for all Canadians as we get ready to be
the next host and share that same stage of honour. Bravo, Beijing, on a night
of memories for everyone here and watching at home. You have shown the world
what can be done to celebrate the spirit of friendship and fair play."
Gordon Campbell, Premier of British Columbia:
"A mesmerizing show where everyone was filled with the sense of the
possible. It touched the senses with light and sound, born of a rich cultural
history. This was China's invitation to the world. The precision and
dedication of all the artists was inspiring. It reminded us all of what the
Olympic Movement is about!"
"It was a proud moment for everyone to see Canada's Olympic team enter
the stadium and to see the Olympic Cauldron burn bright. It reminds us that
the next time our Olympic athletes take part in the Opening Ceremony, and the
next time the drama of the Olympic Cauldron lighting stirs everyone's hearts
as it did tonight, it will be at home in 2010."
Jack Poole, Chairman, VANOC Board of Directors:
"What an incredible night for China and for the Olympic Movement. I felt
honored to be here and to witness what will unquestionably be one of the most
memorable ceremonies in the Olympic history books."
"Congratulations to the Organizing Committee and the people of China for
truly showing the world one world and one dream."
John Furlong, VANOC Chief Executive Officer:
"It felt like the world caught its breath tonight even if only for an
instant - but for long enough to remind us all of how good we can be when we
celebrate our common humanity. The stadium was filled with joy - hope and
inspiration ... pride and peace."
"China dazzled us all on 8-08-2008 with the art of what is possible, and
they did it with passion, humility and creative genius. It was such a
privilege to witness this. I will never forget tonight."
"The elements were as magical as they were technological - as moving as
they were inspired - and they were daring. There will be talk about this for
"Seven years ago, in Moscow, China spoke about bringing sport and Olympic
values to the lives of 400 million Chinese children. Tonight was their night."
David Guscott, VANOC Executive Vice President, Celebrations and
"Tonight was clearly China's spectacularly dramatic coming-out party. It
was like a magic show -as soon as you thought you'd seen everything -there was
something even more spectacular!"
"The most memorable moment was the history of China literally unfolding
on an ancient scroll painting. The lit costumes were a personal favourite. And
I was most impressed by the spectacular ending - the highest tech of a globe,
appearing out of the floor with anti-gravity dancers surrounded simply by
thousands of beautiful faces of children of the world painted on umbrellas
that magically opened at once."
"All told, it was a wonderful blend of technology, passion and drama."
The 2008 Olympic Games officially opened at 8:08 pm (5:08 am PT) on the
eighth day of the eighth month - symbolic, as the number eight symbolizes good
fortune in China - before a global audience of one billion.
The Closing Ceremony for the 2008 Olympic Games will take place on August
24, prior to the start of the 2008 Paralympic Games, which will run from
September 6 to 17. As of today, August 8, 2008, only 553 days remain until the
Opening Ceremony for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging
of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the X Paralympic Winter Games in 2010. The
2010 Olympic Winter Games will be staged in Vancouver and Whistler from
February 12 to 28, 2010. Whistler will host the Paralympic Winter Games from
March 12 to 21, 2010. Visit www.vancouver2010.com.
For further information:
For further information: Media Contact: Suzanne Walters, Vancouver 2010,