With just a blink of an eye, and after 1921 days of preparation, the opening ceremony to the Youth Olympic Games is already history, but it truly was a spectacle that will be hard to forget. Breaking the general style of past ceremonies, Argentina took to the stage in a very unique way: priding themselves on the value of ‘inclusion’, the celebration was centered around one of Buenos Aires’ main landmarks, el Obelisco, with free tickets and an outdoor street party making the ceremony accessible to all. Inspiring young athletes and promoting national harmony, Mauricio Macri himself affirmed that the games “are an important medium to build bridges” between cultures: a clear ethos of the ceremony. You can relive it from beginning to end on YouTube.
Here at BubbleAr we’ve been talking about the event ever since. So here are our top 5 moments from the opening ceremony, ranked in no specific order.
The Parade of Nations
Unlike in ceremonies past (for both the youth and regular games), this Olympic ceremony broke with tradition: only one representative from each country was in charge of proudly carrying the flag in their hands in the parade. Even though it is usually a moment of great national pride, certain delegations (I’m talking to you, USA and China) are so packed that the ceremony tends to lag and become a bit boring, so it was definitely a welcome change of pace.
Each athlete was granted this honorary position by their visiting country, with Dante Cittadini, who will be competing in Sailing, representing Argentina. Not only did this parade officially welcome each visiting country to Argentina, but it also generated huge cheers within the audience, with each nation’s name and flag being projected on a screen behind the flag bearer.
Projections on the Obelisco
Speaking of projections, with the Youth Olympic sports and the giant countdown being projected onto the four faces of the iconic Obelisco, echoing around the whole Avenida 9 de Julio, there is no wonder that the ceremony was such a breathtaking experience. More than 200 thousand spectators stood in the open air, staring up with their mouths wide open at the colorful and rhythmic projections, in awe. They were a crucial element to the whole performance, and with their artistic design and precision timing, there was no doubt that this was a landmark moment from the evening.
Performing acrobats reenacting disciplines such as skating, rowing, and cycling while being suspended off the 68-meter high monument… Others swinging around Olympic rings which appeared to be floating in mid-air. It’s pretty clear why these daredevils were the stars of the show. Led by the legendary Argentine theater company Fuerza Bruta, over 350 artists, technicians, and musicians were involved in the show, with outfits and makeup to match their dramatic and expressive performances, all with the Obeslico as the central theme. The audience couldn’t take their eyes off the acrobats, who left them craving more.
Upholding Argentine tradition, it was anticipated that tango would be a feature of this grand ceremony – something that is completely unique to the country and holds such a strong presence in culture, both past and present. Led by Mora Godoy, one of the primary icont of the Tango world, her company performed six dazzling sequences and allowed Godoy to show off her skills to the rest of the world. Accompanied by 13 couples, the dancers performed La Cumparsita, El Choclo, and Complaints of Bandoneon, with directing duties falling to none other than Fuerza Bruta’s own Diqui James.
The Lighting of the Olympic Torch
The Olympic Torch, which acts as a symbol for the Olympic community, is always a crucial moment to every opening ceremony. The tradition is to create a relay of selected competitors to transfer the torch from start to finish, where it ultimately lights the cauldron which burns for the duration of the games. Pressure is always high to get it right, and luckily for Argentina, they nailed it. With Paula Pareto (Judo) and Santiago Lange (Sailing) concluding the relay (two icons in Argentine sport), spirits were high, and cheers from the crowd accompanied the lighting of the cauldron, which exploded from the top with a roaring fire, followed by a myriad of fireworks.
Publicado en Bubble.ar el 2018-10-08 17:07:22
Autor: Tilly Compton
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