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The Delhi XIX Commonwealth Games are now over. This website is closed and for reference purposes only. Some external links may no longer work.
For the latest news and information, please visit the Commonwealth Games Federation website.

One could almost run out of words to describe the Opening Ceremony of the XIX Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi which won accolades from all viewers.

The Opening Ceremony witnessed the presence of notable dignitaries from across the world, including His Royal Highness Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales; Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall; the Governor-General of New Zealand, His Excellency Sir Anand Satyanand; President of Nauru Marcus Stephen; Albert II, Sovereign Prince of Monaco; President of Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed; Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh; and Hon’ble President of India Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil.

The Ceremony featured the Athletes Parade, where all participating nations and territories joined the celebrations. A main highlight of the Opening Ceremony was the declaration of the start of the Games by HRH Prince of Wales. The Queen’s Baton 2010 Delhi was brought into the stadium and HRH Prince Charles then read out the Message, placed in the baton by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and declared the Games open.

Dazzling shows displaying India’s culture included the Tree of Knowledge, a tribute to the Indian age-old interaction between a wise teacher and a passionate teacher. Representing the Bodhi Tree, the brilliantly-lit and colourful display was choreographed by some of India’s most famous exponents of dance. Tabla, Sitar and Mridangam players joined Bharatnatyam, Odissi, Kathak, Manipuri, Mohiniyattam and Kuchipudi dancers in paying homage to India’s famed Guru-Shishya tradition. Images of Gautama Buddha were projected onto the aerostat which, as the centrepiece, changed colours to reflect the passage of seasons.

A sporting event is always about human fitness and health. And what better way to focus on health than a segment on the ancient Indian philosophy of Yoga? Performers displayed some very complicated asanas to depict the famous Yogic way of life – representing the union of mind, body and soul – as the ephemeral shape of a man and chakras representing Kundalini energy rose from the ground! As the lights went dim, Buddhist chants, hymns, azaan and Gurbani sounded to remind the audience of India’s famous diversity, one that permeates to the very soul.

Of course, what would India be without its famous railways? Not just a lifeline that connects all corners of the nation, the Great Indian Journey is an indelible part of our popular culture. The colours of India, the hustle-and-bustle of its markets, the variety of its folk culture and the symbols that touch everyone’s lives, came together to show the vibrancy of its harmonious society that is united in its diversity.

The audience was then treated to Celebrating India - a graceful exposition of dance from across the nation. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, Oscar-winning composer and musician Mr. A.R. Rahman took his place on stage for the Grand Finale! The audience was in raptures as Mr. Rahman, who enjoys the sort of adulation normally reserved for rock stars, performed his Delhi 2010 Anthem, Jiyo, Utho, Badho, Jeeto and his Academy Award-winning Jai Ho!

AMAZING FACTS

• Around 2,600 volunteers performed various roles across transport, spectator services, catering, ceremonies, etc., to ensure a great show!

• The star attraction at the Opening Ceremony, the aerostat, is the biggest Helium balloon in the world and is being used for the first time for an entertainment ceremony. It was suspended 25 metres above the ground. With a size of 40 m x 80 m x 12 m, the aerostat has a 360 degree projection surface and an underbelly of mirrors that reflected lighting on the field of play.

• To create a stunning effect, 1,200 moving lights, 120 space cannons and 16 follow spots were used.

• To add to the crowds’ cheer, 25 stacks of sound speakers. A special sound system of 5,00,00 watts for athletes  seated on the field of play.

• One of the best communication system in the world, with 450 walkies, 200 tetras and 150 clear comms.  

• Pyrotechnics – Fireworks released from the roof and field of play of the stadium. Over 2,700 shots spread over 88 locations on the roof created spectacular effects and mark the start of the Games!