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OLYMPIC CEREMONY DATABASE: Every Summer and Winter Olympic Opening Ceremony

The opening ceremony of the Olympic Games may be the largest art form in the modern world and certainly one of the rarest.  I provided all the Summer Olympic ceremonies in a countdown to London 2012, and now I am providing all of the Winter Olympic ceremonies in a countdown to Sochi 2014!

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These postings are dedicated to the artistic development of the opening ceremony including visual arts, music, and other aspects of one of the rarest and largest art forms on earth.  Of course, the first ceremonies were not as elaborate as the most recent ones, but you will be able to watch the development.  Here is what you have to look forward to: Video of EVERY Official Opening Ceremony (the complete ceremony if possible)The official ceremony reports - took me MANY hours to compile - with hundreds of pictures!Photos of the official aspects of the games (medals, torch, poster, etc.)Most importantly - info, records, and h…

2016 Summer Olympic Opening Ceremony - Rio de Janeiro (entire ceremony)

Image 2012 London - Tokyo 2020
The Games of the XXXI Olympiad Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Opening Ceremony Records

First Opening Ceremony in South America
First Presentation of an Olympic Laurel
First Two-piece Olympic Cauldron
First Kinetic Sculpture Cauldron



Rio exhibited the party culture of carnival with a serious message of becoming an eco-conscious planet.  The ceremony used nearly 5,000 performers and exhibited much of the same technology that had been used in previous ceremonies, but a tiny budget especially compared to Beijing and Sochi.  What Rio lacked in monetary support, it made up for in joyful spirit.  The following is the ceremony overview from the official event guide: Welcome to BrazilCountdown:  "The countdown is an Olympic celebration of gambiarra, the spirit of improvisation: the Brazilian way of making the most of almost nothing.  A sheet of paper becomes a musical instrument and triggers and enormous batucada"Brazilian…

1 Day to Go: Rio Welcomes the World

The Olympic Torch is in town  - Rio's about to welcome the world tomorrow night!  Put yourself in the shoes of every Brazilian here.  Tomorrow will hopefully be a time for them to celebrate their history, culture, and their importance in this world of ours.  Imagine the feeling every Brazilian will have when their team enters the stadium or when their national anthem is performed for the world.  It should be an amazing event.

Although I can't show any snippets of this year's ceremony before it happens, I want you to know some of the things that are going on behind the scenes.  First, there are thousands of performers, directors, managers, and technicians from around the world, working feverishly in multiple languages.  Thankfully, there is a staff of translators that relay directions through individual headsets - just like the United Nations!

 But in all seriousness, these also allow for the soundtrack to be pumped through so everyone stays on target, and it allows for eve…

2 Days to Go: Behind the Curtain

Two days to go and behind the scenes here at the opening ceremony, there are some exciting and innovative ways that the show accomplishes so much!  You better read this one, there are some things here that Russia would HATE for me to "spill the beans" about.  Perhaps people are amazed at how something like this comes together, but it's no secret - it takes a LOT of people working many hours, but sometimes we get so close only to change something at the very last minute, at the very last rehearsal.

In 2014 in Sochi, we performed the last dress rehearsal for broadcast supplemental video.  For instance, if something went wrong during the actual ceremony, then a correct version could be put into the broadcast - you know where I'm going with this.  Although the whole world saw the asterisk, click the video below the picture to see what Russia saw!

Another interesting change from the 2014 Sochi rehearsals and the final result was the cauldron lighting. Sochi had a domed ar…

3 Days to Go: Feijoada and Favelas

There are only three days left until the Opening Ceremony!  If everything goes as planned (and I hope they do this time) it will be one BIG party.  No doubt, there should be plenty of jaw-dropping moments to enjoy from your TV at home.   There are some exciting new innovations and from what I have experienced of Rio, the ceremony describes Rio's artistic contributions to wold culture in a stunning way.  Also, in case you missed any posts or are curious, by clicking the button above that says "Behind the Scenes: Rio 2016," you can find all my earlier posts.

With that said, since I've been on my feet all the time, I've been walking many miles every day, sometimes eating small meals at strange intervals.  So today I made sure to have a decent, sit-down meal downtown by the Old Cathedral.

To give you an idea of what is going on here - this is called Feijoada, and I've had it before in Miami with my Brazilian/American friend and former college dorm roommate, Micha…

Behind the Scenes: Rio 2016

Brazil is Loud!

Most days I see this beautiful city through cars like these.  They safely pick up and drop off staff, but as I am still new to the Brazilian culture, I love looking, thinking about what life must be like.

The puzzle-pieced sidewalks of stone, sand, and grime are crowded with people going about their day.  Many aimlessly passing the time, reading the newspaper on a bench or staring at what the genetic diversity of this place has given its beaches - beautiful people that is.  Vendors call; tourists fill corner stands for barbecue and Guarana; a homeless man grabs his pet dog's grungy front paws to dance to the music of a street-busking accordion, tambourine, and drum trio. 
But for those memories, I learned more about being Brazilian yesterday than I have through any of my stay so far.  The people, these joyous people, love to celebrate so raucously that their singing overcame the stadiums amplification many times.  Our first full dress rehearsal went exceedingly well.  
There are …

List of Olympic Ceremony Records - Olympic Ceremony Database

The following is a list of known records as it regards the Olympic Opening Ceremonies.  The learn more about every Olympic Ceremony, please visit
(*) designates records that regard either unofficial Olympic Games (1906) or unofficial ceremonies (1900,1904)
First Opening Ceremony - Athens 1896First Opening Ceremony Spanning More than One Day - Athens 1896First Incorporation of a Religious Service with the Olympic Opening Ceremony - Athens 1896First Olympics Without an Opening Ceremony - Paris 1900First Christian Prayer Read - Stockholm 1912THE FIRST OLYMPIC FLAME - The two towers of the stadium were fit with oil-burning beacons used previous to the 1912 games and later during the 1956 Equestrian Games. This was the first Olympic Flame in history as the extended official report (not included) details the specifics of the beacons, that they wou…