Can Beijing Top Its Own Opening Ceremonies?

The International Olympic Committee officially announced on Thursday evening that Beijing will host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. This will make Beijing the first city in the history of the modern Olympics to host both the summer and winter games. You can probably remember the 2008 Summer Games, when Beijing wowed us with a rather incredibly opening ceremony. Olympic opening ceremonies tend to run on the long side (once you get through the Parade of Nations, then all of the host city's performances, we're looking at a couple of hours). Not only that, they are often very dramatic. Beijing's opening ceremony hit both of those marks with excellence, and dazzled the world with highly entertaining displays of dance, music, and visual effects.

All of this adds up to a ceremony that may be difficult to top come 2022. While they have plenty of time to plan for their next Olympic gig, Beijing cut it's own work out for itself by having such a spectacular ceremony in 2008. The world now expects something over-the-top and awe-inspiring from opening ceremonies, and Beijing will have to find some way to out-do 2008's performances (but hopefully this time without any of the bizarre lip-syncing controversies...). Here are some of the best moments from Beijing's 2008 opening ceremonies. We only have to wait seven more years to see what they do next!

Illuminated Drums

The 2008 Summer games in Beijing started off with the most amazing drum roll the world has ever seen (probably). The drums lit up as the performers played them. So cool!

So incredible.


Beijing put on a fireworks display that, frankly, puts all of the Fourth of July demonstrations I've seen to shame. It later turned out that some of the fireworks shown during the airing of the ceremony were prerecorded, but still.

Light Display That Can Only Be Described As Magic

Seriously. What? How?!

Unfortunate Lip Synching...

And then there was the incident where a young girl who was chosen to sing for the ceremony, but was not cast in the actual performance. The ceremony planners opted to have another girl appear onstage, and tried to keep it a secret that the girl who appeared in the ceremony had not actually sung the recorded song.

Super Happy School Children

They're just so excited that it's the Olympics!

Olympic Orb

I appreciate how impressive this is, but honestly it creeped me out a tad. Too reminiscent of Wizard of Oz or something.

Flying Torch

This moment absolutely takes the over-dramatic Olympic moments cake. The narration in my head for this clip: "I'm flyinggggg!"

Images: China Video/YouTube