Cue the music! The tears! The uniting of our earth! If there is one event that knows how to open right it’s the Olympics. Every four years, the hosting country throws an elaborate and lavish show to kick off their chance at hosting the world’s most-watched event – the Olympic opening ceremony. Whether it's your favorite part or you’re more of an actual games person, the opening ceremonies are always a spectacle you can’t look away from. When the world’s best athletes all come together for the first time in years, the opening ceremonies never disappoint.
Here are some of the most memorable Olympic opening ceremonies to get you excited for this summer in London!
Most Memorable Olympic Opening Ceremonies
1960 Rome Summer Games
The 1960 Olympic opening ceremonies in Rome might not have been as extravagant as they are today, but it changed the Olympics forever. CBS paid $50,000 for the right to broadcast the games in the U.S. For the first time ever, the Olympics were televised worldwide and the games brought the world together in a new way for the first time.
2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece
The Olympics went back to its roots for the Summer 2004 games when Athens, Greece hosted the games. The game’s motto was “Welcome Home.” The opening ceremony was a dreamy, mystical show heavily influenced by Greek mythology. The entire theme of the show was ancient Greece and was complete with graceful flying artwork and mesmerizing, statuesque dancers. However, while the opening ceremony began with ancient Greece, the slowly progressing parade of dancers and athletes eventually brought the ceremonies to current-day Athens. It finished with a snaking line of fire forming the iconic Olympic rings on the floor of the fantastic new stadium.
1984 Winter Games in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia
The 1984 Sarajevo games marked only the second time the games had ever been held in a socialist country. However, much of what was built for the 1984 games was tragically destroyed in the Bosnian War. The video of the Sarajevo opening ceremony remains a time capsule of a peaceful time when the bustling city had the spotlight of the world’s stage before the region was devastated by violence years later.
2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China
While the Greek opening Olympics were more of a dreamy, historic look at Olympic games, the Chinese took the Olympic games right to modern day. The Beijing opening ceremonies were held in the breathtaking Chinese stadium called the birds nest. The pitch-black opening kicked off with a comet-like fire ball that tore into the stadium and ignited a crew of thousands of drummers in a countdown to a soaring display of fireworks. Absolute perfect coordination and synchronization of the thousands of performers held the world in awe. Not only was the ceremony outstanding and breathtaking, it was the first time China got to showcase to the world its full ability as a rising world power.
2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada
Giant ice sculptures, a jumping snowboarder and an all-out festival of diverse dancers and singers meant Canada had a lot to brag about for its second winter games. The winter wonderland, complete with snow flurries, finished with a huge finale of burning icicles lit by the final carriers of the Olympic torches!
2012 Summer Olympics in London
It's hard to pick a favorite part of the London opening ceremony- between Mr. Bean's performance, a reunion of the Spice Girls, and James Bond escorting the Queen, there was plenty of amazing entertainment!
What's your favorite Olympic opening ceremony?