Beijing promises dazzling closing ceremony

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{image-beijing 2008 kidu padam_18082008.jpg}Beijing, Aug 18: With less than a week left for the Beijing Olympics to get over, the Chinese are once again preparing to dazzle the world with a sparkling closing ceremony featuring 350 martial artistes and 60 violin players on August 24.

The National Stadium, where the scintillating opening ceremony took place would remain the venue for the closing ceremony. The stadium, better known as the Bird's Nest, would also host the men's marathon final on the closing day.n However, according to Beijing News today, unlike the opening ceremony which was presented after several full rehearsals to make it a perfect event, the closing ceremony would not be preceeded by such elaborate preperations.

The organisers have been left with a tight schedule; they have to reorganise the stadium for the closing ceremony, scheduled to start at 8 pm (local time) in only eight hours, the paper said adding that the organisers will offer an eight-minute dance show rehearsal to the London 2012 team for the handover ceremony.

A few rehearsals were ongoing in the training sites outside the Bird's Nest.

However, the inside story of the closing ceremony remains unknown, the paper stated, but said that the electronic 'scroll' unfolding China's history in the opening ceremony and the miniature globe carrying the two Olympic theme song singers that arose from the underground would not be a part of the closing ceremony.

Meanwhile, one present at the Bird's Nest on the closing day would witness another kungfu display, featuring 350 artistes from a local martial art school along with 60 erhu, or Chinese violin, players from the eastern province of Jiangsu.

Earlier this month, the Chief Director of both the opening and closing ceremonies Zhang Yimou has said the climax of the ceremony would display the Olympic flame being extinguished in the main cauldron.

''We are dedicated to creating a happy atmosphere at the closing ceremony. The message is to say goodbye, and to promise to meet again in four years,'' Yimou said.

The organisers had also made contingency plans for emergencies that might occur during the ceremony, pointing to rain which still posed the biggest threat.

''The organisers may have to cut or readjust part of the show should there be rain on August 24, but it should not spoil the show on the whole. The Olympic closing ceremony will present the world with a grand, ecstatic party,'' a anonymous staff of the BOCOG (Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games) was quoted as saying by the paper.


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