Thursday, July 19, 2012

1980 Moscow Summer Olympic Opening Ceremony (entire ceremony)

The Games of the XXII Olympiad
Moscow, USSR
Opening Ceremony of the 1980 Moscow Games - the first mega-ceremony
Olympic Ceremony Records
italics indicate records at the time
  • First Live Broadcast from Space During the Opening Ceremony
  • First Large-scale human picture-board (thousands of people carrying flip cards forming pictures throughout the ceremony)
  • First Use of Large Props in an Opening Ceremony
  • Largest Cast (16,000) - previous Berlin 1936 (10,000)
  • Most Olympic Events (203) - previous Montreal 1976 (198)
Olympic Torch Relay Records
italics indicate records at the time
  • Most Torchbearers - 6,200 (previous Tokyo 1964 - 5,244)
Opening Ceremony
Grand Arena of the Central Lenin Stadium (103,000)
July 19, 1980

(viewer's guide below in ceremony highlights)
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Opening Ceremony Highlights
The Olympics' first Mega-ceremony was in Moscow in 1980.  Moscow had nearly unlimited resources in staging the games, and they took full advantage.  Perhaps only the 1936 games in Nazi Germany were comparable in size, but the Moscow games could be argued as the most influential in Olympic history, for it started the current mega-ceremony trend.  Their grand performance during the Opening Ceremony separated it from any other previous Olympics and it gave Los Angeles 1984 and the rival Americans something to compete against in a Cold War of ceremonies (of sorts).  Already in the closing ceremonies artistic displays were becoming tradition, especially with a large Indian tee-pee program in the Closing ceremony of the Montreal Games.  Never before had the Olympics seen such a spectacular show of artistry as they did in Moscow - the world's greatest ballet dancers, the world's most extravagant production in size and in complexity, and one of the world's greatest composers (Shostakovich who died in 1975) all collaborated for this one event!
  • President of the USSR and dignitaries arrive
  • Theme Song by Dmitri Shostakovich
  • Parade of Nations preceded by artistic parade of ancient Greek images
  • President of the USSR declare the games open
  • Olympic Flag raised to the Olympic Hymn, brought in by 22 men carrying pigeons - releasing them when the flag is hoisted
  • "Antwerp" Flag is passed to Moscow from Montreal
  • (15:55 in film) Olympic Flame enters the stadium; cauldron lit by Sergei Belov (Soviet basketball player - 1 Gold, 3 Bronze medals)
  • Thousands of pigeons released; "Ode to Sport" by Eduard Artemyev performed
  • Athlete's and Official's Oaths
  • National Anthem
  • (18:50 in film) ARTISTIC PROGRAM
    • Friendship of the People's dance - celebrating the dance cultural of all the Soviet republics
    • Troikas - children's gymnastic display
    • Vases - "live" vases forming the Olympic Rings
    • Mosaic with all the performers

Gold Medal from the 1980 Olympics in Moscow
1980 Moscow Olympic Torch
Official Poster of the 1980 Olympics in Moscow 
1980 Moscow Olympic Cauldron

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