Let The Athletes Shine Then Cap It Off With A Spectacular Fireworks Display
The Olympic Games are all about the athletes, but the Opening Ceremonies are all about the host country trying to out-do the host country of the previous Olympics. Which tried to out-do the previous host country, which tried to out-do that Olympic’s previous host country. And so forth.
And what we get is a couple hours of historic culture that has nothing to do the present day, sports or the Games. It produces more snoozes than applause. The Brits excelled at this, by the way. Outside of the way-cool James Bond and Queen Mother parachute that was taken from the spectacular opening scene of the 007 movie “The Spy Who Loved Me,” the rest of its Opening Ceremonies was flat-out boring.
Until the athletes took the stage. And then the true meaning and spirit of the Olympics took command. What future Olympic Games should do is follow these simple three steps to allow the Opening Ceremonies to be truly memorable:
1.) Have a Brief (Half Hour) Introduction From the Host Country That Highlights its Prime Attributes. Skip the other theatrics that nobody cares about; it does more to turn people off about the host country than it does excite viewers about it. Introduce yourself, explain why you are such a great host for the Games, then step back and let the true stars of the Olympics take the spotlight.
2.) Bring On the Athletes. The most exciting part of the Opening Ceremony is watching the athletes walk into the stadium. Whether it’s a dozen athletes from Angola or 450 from the United States, just being there is a huge emotional moment for them, and that alone is emotional enough for the viewers.
3.) Cap it Off With Fireworks. Here’s where the money and energy of the Opening Ceremonies should be spent. If you want to out-do the previous host country, then have the most spectacular closing fireworks display of all time. That’s what people will remember.
After that, there’s a ceremonial run to light the torch and then let it end on a high note. Certainly the Brits having Paul McCartney sing “Hey Jude” was great, but not every country can call on an iconic rock star to wrap up the night.
And now, on with the Games!