Opening Ceremony

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'Estados Unidos' Kicks NBC's Ratings When They're (Way) Down

Like, really down from 4 years ago

(Newser) - An estimated 26.5 million people watched NBC's coverage of the Olympic opening ceremony, a sharp 35% drop from the record-setting viewership of the curtain-lifter in London four years ago, reports the AP . The opening ceremony of the London Games was seen by 40.7 million people in the... More »

Rio Opens the Games

Michael Phelps carries in US flag

(Newser) - With fireworks forming the word "Rio" in the sky, hip-wiggling dancers, and supermodel Gisele Bundchen shimmering to the tune of the "Girl from Ipanema," Rio de Janiero welcomed the world to the first Olympic Games in South America with a serious message: Let's take better care... More »

London Cops Bust 182, Charge 4 in Olympic Protests

Activists on bicycles tried to get through security cordon

(Newser) - London police arrested 182 activists on bicycles who tried to breach the Olympic Park's security cordon during the Opening Ceremony, officials said today. Four people were charged with various offenses during Friday night's protest, while the rest were released pending further questioning, Scotland Yard said. Police said that... More »

NBC Defends Tape Delay as Critics Pile On

Opening ceremony needed 'context' of prime-time coverage

(Newser) - London put on quite the spectacle to open the Olympics, though TV viewers in the US had to watch on tape delay. For that, NBC took loads of criticism on Twitter, notes AP television writer David Bauder. So why didn't the network at least live-stream it online? Because it... More »

Let the Games Begin

London hosts lavish opening ceremony

(Newser) - Britain opened its Olympics with a royal entrance like no other. London greeted the world in a celebration of Old England that was stunning, imaginative, whimsical, and dramatic. Cheeky, too, with a stand-in for Queen Elizabeth II parachuting into Olympic Stadium, accompanied by James Bond, no less. Brit director Danny... More »

Caster Semenya Will Carry Olympic Flag

South African runner had to undergo gender test three years ago

(Newser) - At the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics, the flag of South Africa will be carried by Caster Semenya, that nation's 21-year-old champion runner. Semenya receives the honor three years after the track and field governing body subjected her to a gender test, igniting a major controversy . Semnya said... More »

In Slumdog Director's Olympic Opener, No Athletes?

Coaches fear participation will detract from Olympians' success

(Newser) - The director of Slumdog Millionaire wants to feature athletes in the 2012 Olympics' opening ceremony, which he happens to be directing—but their coaches aren’t so keen on the idea. British track and field coaches have barred their athletes from participating over fears that doing so could tire them... More »

Luge Death Can't Dim Opening Bash

50K pack indoor arena to kick off Vancouver Olympics

(Newser) - Despite the training-run death earlier in the day of a luger from the country of Georgia, the Olympics' opening ceremonies went on tonight in Vancouver, with a jubilant countdown by the crowd filling BC Place Stadium. The festive mood, and the opening rain of confetti, contrasted sharply with the grief... More »

DVR-Worthy Olympic Moments

Speed skating, hockey and Tanith Belbin makes Esquire list

(Newser) - If, like many, your interest in the Vancouver Games is lukewarm (kinda like the weather keeping the ski slopes snow-free), Esquire provides a list of the don’t-miss Olympic moments. Some highlights:
  • Friday: Opening ceremonies. Vancouver’s spending less than half the $100 million Beijing did in 2008. Or you
... More »

How China Rewrote Tiananmen History

Recalling Tiananmen 20 years later

(Newser) - The Tiananmen Square massacre isn’t something the Chinese government wants the world to remember, and it's doing a good job keeping the matter quiet, writes Terrence Cheng in the Chronicle of Higher Education. In China, “those who dare to speak about it are swiftly silenced,” he writes.... More »

2 Chinese 'Songbirds' May Close Games Together

Dual-billing with counterpart Lin Maioke expected

(Newser) - Yang Peiyi, the 7-year-old songstress whom Chinese officials deemed better heard than seen during the Olympic opening ceremonies, may appear alongside her lip-syncing counterpart during Sunday’s closing ceremonies, the Hong Kong Standard reports. Organizers who claimed that the decision to replace Yang with a cuter girl was “in... More »

China Defends 'Olympic Karaoke'

Bucktoothed girl not 'flawless' enough for Olympic image

(Newser) - Chinese officials are defending Friday’s lip-synched performance of its national anthem, reports the AP. "There were a number of candidates to sing that song and at the end of the day the artistic directors picked the best voice and the best performer," a spokesman said. The actual... More »

Chinese Dancer Paralyzed in Fall

Liu Yan was rehearsing for opening ceremonies; may never walk again

(Newser) - One of China’s top classical dancers may have been paralyzed for life during rehearsals for the Olympics' opening ceremonies, the New York Times reports. Liu Yan was to perform the show’s only solo number, until she missed a jump to a malfunctioning platform 12 days ago, falling 10... More »

China's Anthem Star a Fake

China replaces buck-toothed girl to craft 'perfect image'

(Newser) - Nine-year-old Lin Miaoke became a sensation after performing the Chinese anthem at the Olympics opening ceremony, and has been busily doing interviews and accepting praise ever since. There’s just one problem: The voice billions around the world actually heard was a 7-year-old with crooked teeth who was replaced after... More »

New Media Thwart Edwards, Olympics

Masses now the arbiter of news

(Newser) - The mainstream media aren't the arbiter of news anymore—every man, woman, and child with a mouse is, according to David Carr of the New York Times. For proof, look no further than the Olympics opening ceremonies or the John Edwards scandal. No matter how hard it tried, NBC couldn’... More »

Beijing Pulled Fireworks Fake Out

Marching 'footprints' in the sky were computer effect

(Newser) - One of the most spectacular elements of the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics was actually a special effect created for television viewers around the world. Giant marching aerial footprints outlined by fireworks were created by sophisticated computer graphics digitally inserted into the live coverage, reports the Daily Telegraph. More »

Fireworks Open Olympics

Five-hour ceremony gets under way

(Newser) - The most impressive Olympic games on record began in explosive fashion today, as more than 80 heads of state and 91,000 spectators gathered in the Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing. The five-hour opening ceremony began with a dazzling fireworks display, with hundreds of white-robed drummers playing in unison.... More »

'Lost Boy' Lomong to Carry US Flag at Olympics

'Most exciting day of my life,' says former Sudanese refugee

(Newser) - Former Darfur "Lost Boy" refugee Lopez Lomong, who became a US citizen one year ago, has been chosen to carry the Stars & Stripes at tomorrow's opening ceremony of the Olympics. "This is the most exciting day of my life," Lomong, 23, told the Boston Globe.... More »

Musharraf Will, Won't, Will Attend Olympic Kick-Off

He flip-flops on trip amid impeachment talk

(Newser) - Pervez Musharraf will be in Beijing tomorrow for the Olympics' opening ceremony, the foreign ministry said today, reversing an earlier announcement that he had canceled the trip. The president is battling possible impeachment at home, the BBC reports, and opposition leaders met yesterday, reportedly to discuss an ouster. The cancellation... More »

Russia Denies Sharapova Bid to Carry Flag at Olympics

Coach concerned with tiring opening ceremony

(Newser) - Russian officials have denied Maria Sharapova’s request to carry her country’s flag at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, Reuters reports. “I advised against” Sharpova’s wish to be a flag-bearer, the Russian tennis chief said. “We want her to be fresh, not tired, during... More »

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