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TV Tonight: The Olympics Kick Off

Today, the eighth day of the eighth month of the eighth year of the millennium, the 2008 Olympics kick off in Beijing. Or rather, they've already kicked off: The opening ceremonies began at 8:08 p.m. locally — which is 8:08 a.m. on the East Coast.

Still, in just a few hours, we'll get to see the ceremonies for ourselves, as NBC will carry a tape-delayed version of the ceremonies starting at 7:30 p.m. EDT and PDT. Details of the spectacle have been closely guarded — even more so after a South Korean news station briefly leaked footage online — but here are a few of the things that are known about the ceremony:

  • It will take place in China's new national stadium, otherwise known as the Bird's Nest, that gorgeous building pictured above.
  • British singer Sarah Brightman will sing a duet with China's Liu Huan. The song is reported to be some sort of Olympic theme commissioned for the occasion.
  • There will be a fireworks display that's expected to include upwards of 30,000 firework shells.
  • The 90-minute show, which will take place before the athletes march in, will feature 14,000 performers and depict 5,000 years of Chinese history.
  • The 5,000 athletes are expected to take about 90 minutes to march in — and after this week's Project Runway, I can't wait to see their national costumes!
  • The method of how the torch will be lit is still a secret, but this report has several of the rumors, including that the flame will somehow float in the air above the stadium.

Are you excited, brimming with national pride, and ready to root for various athletic feats for the next two weeks? Or are the Olympics just one big snooze to you?


Join The Conversation
geenah geenah 8 years
feels like the US ses is going down, along with politics and such, people like to point fingers at other countries :T *shrugs
Allyace Allyace 8 years
I'm not arguing with you either :). First, I want to say that I have watched some of the Olympics and I do think they are doing a great job all things considered. The opening ceremony was probably one of the best ever. As for what the Tibetians have done to try to re-gain their independence (it was independent a really long time ago), sometimes "terrorism" is in the eye of the beholder. I need to point out that I'm not talking about Osama type terrorism of attacking a country far away due to ideals. The British considered what the US did to gain their independence (burning stamps, Boston tea party, and other more violent acts) to be terrorism. And to the British they were right. I'm not saying violence is the best way, but to call it terrorism seems a little harsh. I think a lot of the blame gets placed on China's shoulders because unlike most countries, they are yet to condemn the government of Sudan and about 90% of the weapons being used there are imported from China. That said, the US's response to the problems there have been incredibly lacking. And we have supplied weapons to a number of groups that have then backfired on us (Iraq got US weapons, as did Afganistan). I don't know what I would do as a Chinese leader about their population problems. It is a tough position since so many people are living in extreme poverty. But the One-Child Policy just seems wrong for them. It turns into a form of forced abortion. Their population ratios are also getting off. You have about 118 females for every 100 males... Anyway, those are just my thoughts.
karen-f karen-f 8 years
Allyace, the topic of Tibet is awfully sensitive. In the history of China, it has never been independent. Their culture is highly respected in China, I know that for a fact. (Really famous for its miraculous medicine) But there is no right or wrong in that situation. The riots caused by the Tibetans were basically terrorist attacks, yet the media made them look like the victims instead. Anyways, it's an extremely sensitive topic and it has nothing to do with the happy Olympics. I do want to say that the genocide in Darfur should come into the light a lot more! I completely agree, but it's unfair that we hold a grudge against China for not doing much about it. Not many countries in general are doing much. There is so much internal conflict even with the African Union that its another sticky situation in the world. The One-Child Policy is good in a way, if you see it in a different light... A lot of families cannot afford raising MANY healthy children. Isn't it more ethical NOT to give birth to children whom parents don't have enough food to feed? I rather they were never created than that they starve or work to death. I think China is doing such a spectacular job not only to impress, but also because there are many misconceptions about China that they want foreigners to see the reality with their own eyes. ps. we're not argueing! We're sharing opinions and I welcome that :)
Allyace Allyace 8 years
Karen, I'm not saying this to argue with you. I know the US has lots of human rights problems too. But China is notoriously bad. They have denied their people freedoms that we take for granted. Speech and the Internet is very regulated over there; to the point that "democracy" was not allowed in a Google search for a long time (this may have changed). Not to mention the "One-Child Policy" where it is actually illegal to have more than one child. Not to mention their hold over Tibet and their support of Sudan even in light of the problems in Darfur. That is not even adding in how many shoty products they have shipped to the US in the last few years. Lead hadn't been a problem for years...
stone_soup stone_soup 8 years
I hate to say this, but I couldn't care less. I wish I could gear myself up with some enthusiasm, but I just can't seem to do it!
misscococherie misscococherie 8 years
AMAZING! loved it! except i was sad and pissed that NBC went into commercials when Puerto Rico was up and when they returned from commercials they didn't even make a recap of what happened during that commercial!
karen-f karen-f 8 years
Ohh I woke up early today and i watched it live on NBC. It was really spectacular, entertaining and quite impressive. I don't think it's fair that people target China for its human rights problem etc... Every country has their own problems, not to mention the US itself is full of human right problems... but this is not about critism. Instead, I believe that the Olympics is about global unity.
Allyace Allyace 8 years
Yeah, I don't understand why they weren't live either and then show them again. I get that most people are at work at that point in the day, but 8 AM really isn't that early. I agree with Shopaholic though, I really wish they weren't in China. I usually don't watch that much of the summer games anyway, but the China connection makes me want to watch even less.
ShannonSoCrazy ShannonSoCrazy 8 years
I will be watching the Puppy Games.
Mädchen Mädchen 8 years
Couldn't they just have shown them live as well as repeat them at primetime though? That's what they've been doing here anyway. Btw, both rumours in the report about how the flame is lit are false, although one gets somewhat close. Don't worry though, I won't spoil it for you... ;)
suziryder suziryder 8 years
I'm so excited! I can't wait to see them tonight! And Madchen, NBC is airing the opening ceremonies tonight in primetime because that's when they know they'll get the most viewers. It's all about those advertising dollars!
Mädchen Mädchen 8 years
Did they really not show this live in the US? I understand that it was still early, but they could at least have given people the choice, couldn't they? I thought the ceremony started well, but had quite a few lengths (though I guess that's to be expected ;)).
Shopaholichunny Shopaholichunny 8 years
I'm excited for it! Go USA!! I just wish it weren't in China due to their politics and human rights record. :oy:
menthadict menthadict 8 years
I actually am fairly excited for it, and this is the first year I have been. Maybe it's because this is the first time I've really been old enough to appreciate it.
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