Four unmissable moments at Asian Games opening ceremony
The opening ceremony of the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, east China's Zhejiang Province on Sept. 23, 2023. (Xinhua/Jiang Wenyao)
The opening ceremony of the 19th Asian Games has left somememorable moments for years to come.
HANGZHOU, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- The eagerly awaited 19th Asian Games kicked off in Hangzhou, with Saturday evening's opening ceremony drawing global attention.
Here are some standout moments from the opening ceremony that will be remembered for years to come.
PARADE, OUR ASIA
The song "Our Asia" accompanied the entrance of athletes from the participating delegations of Hangzhou Asian Games. This title harks back to the opening line of a beloved song penned 33 years ago for the 11th Asian Games in Beijing. That event marked China's debut as a host for a comprehensive international sporting event, and that anthem resonated throughout the streets.
Delegation of China parades into the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre Stadium. (Xinhua/Jia Haocheng)
In contrast to the original's vibrant tempo, this rendition of "Our Asia" featured traditional Chinese instruments. It complemented the elegant floral designs, reminiscent of intricate paintings, displayed on the LED ground.
Additionally, placards bearing the names of the delegations, shaped like fans and crafted using 3D printing technology, added to the ambiance.
MAN RUNS THROUGH HISTORY IN A VIDEO
A video showcased during the ceremony depicted a young man journeying through millennia of history. His odyssey began in the ancient city of Liangzhu, which dates back to 3,300-2,300 B.C. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is globally recognized as evidence of at least 5,000 years of Chinese civilization.
A performance during the opening ceremony. (Xinhua/Yang Lei)
Notably, the flame for Hangzhou Asian Games was ignited in June. The young man's journey also took him through the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279), a period when Hangzhou served as the capital. The video highlighted several cultural symbols of the city, including the West Lake, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, and characters from the touching Legend of the White Snake.
Throughout his travels, the man exchanged handshakes with various individuals, symbolizing openness and heritage.
ON SCROLL OF PICTURESQUE CITY
Hangzhou, celebrated for its breathtaking natural beauty and historical sites, was vividly brought to life during the performance.
The LED ground produced a 3D visual effect, immersing the audience in a painted scroll. Here, raindrops splashed onto shimmering waters, a lotus leaf gracefully unfurled, and the ancient Gongchen Bridge connected the past with the present.
A view of the opening ceremony. (Xinhua/Chen Yichen)
Performers in traditional attire showcased age-old art forms, including music and calligraphy. Concluding this segment, AR technology enabled countless sky lanterns to ascend, embodying a longstanding Chinese tradition of expressing good wishes.
CAULDRON LIT BY DIGITAL TORCHBEARER
In a first, a digital torchbearer played a role in igniting the Asian Games cauldron. Hangzhou, often referred to as China's tech hub, emphasized the "smart" theme of the Asian Games, involving millions in a digital torch relay.
A digital torchbearer runs during the opening ceremony. (Xinhua/Huang Zongzhi)
During the opening ceremony, a digital figure, symbolizing these torchbearers, traversed the iconic Qiantang River. Alongside Chinese swimming Olympic champion Wang Shun, he ignited the wave-shaped cauldron.