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East Asian Games a 'red' Hong Kong (with photos)

The following is issued on behalf of the 2009 East Asian Games (HK) Ltd.:

    Red - an auspicious colour for any Chinese occasion - dominated the shores of the harbour this (December 5) evening when the East Asian Games came to roost in Hong Kong for the next nine days.

    Winning the right to stage the fifth quadrennial gathering of sporting excellence six years, one month and two days ago, Hong Kong never looked back. The spectacular opening ceremony was indeed unique. It used Hong Kong's iconic harbour skyline as a backdrop.

    The cast of a thousand that walked on water - the stage being set on a floating platform - comprised athletes and officials, mega pop stars, dancers, choir singers, oath-takers, a torch bearer relay that lit the cauldron and just about anyone involved in making sure that the 90-minute extravaganza went off without a hitch.

    First, on stage was the grand entrance of the Chinese national flag and Hong Kong's regional pennant ... all the while a children's choir singing. Then as the flags climbed up the Chinese national anthem was struck.

    As if there was not enough lighting, the harbour was awash in strob lights and laser beams that waved from side to side like long tentacles. And in the background the nine floats, in all their glittering best and representing the nine participating countries - China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Mongolia, Japan, Korea, Chinese Taipei, Macau, Guam and Hong Kong - sailed past.

    The dancers came on and did a very Chinese wave of their fans and whirled around in a "red" sail number.

    Enter stage left and Hacken Lee belted out a catchy tune that had feet tapping and hands clapping. Next it was Joey Yung to do her thing, followed by Andy Lau and Alan Tam warbling the praises of the Games.

    And then the drums came on...with pulsating rhythm from the 10 men and 14 women who played "Music from the Nine Kingdoms". And as the percussion beat faded off, it was the turn of the representatives of the nine participants to march in. In the background the nine floats converged in a flotilla of dazzling splendour.

    The Chief Executive, Mr Donald Tsang, thanked China's State Councillor Liu Yandong and the President of the International Olympic Committee, Count Jacques Rogge, for officiating at the ceremony and said "a new chapter in Hong Kong's sporting history has opened".

    "With over 2,300 top athletes from nine countries and regions competing, we will be celebrating the cultural diversity, friendship and indomitable spirit of our region," he said.

    The President of the East Asian Games Association, Mr Timothy Fok, beaming with pride, turned to where the participants were and said: "Enjoy your stay and enjoy the competition events".

    With bated breath all awaited the simple message of Madam Liu who spoke in Putonghua: "I now declare the Fifth East Asian Games open..."

    Back on the float the EAGA flag made its dignified entrance...flag goes up pole ... and the East Asian Games anthem is played.

    The oath-taking by athletes (to do their best) and the oath by referees (impartiality) followed. The EAG torch enters and the cauldron is lit to the loud crescendo of the Games theme song.

    Suddenly, the skies lit up...15 minutes of the most magnificent display of pyrotechnic sophistication. In 10 different segments the uplifting message was there: "Your Spirit Flying High...Open Your Heart ... Shining With Bright Light...You Are The Legend...Fly Across the Sky..."

    And the thousands thronging the shores of our harbour went away awestruck on the day the Games came to town. Oh yes, most were dressed in red and flickering red flags to mark a big welcome the Chinese way ... in red.

Ends/Saturday, December 5, 2009


Overview of the EAG opening ceremony tonight (December 5).


Overview of the EAG opening ceremony tonight (December 5).


Overview of the EAG opening ceremony tonight (December 5).



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