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NANJING 2014 YOUTH OLYMPIC GAMES

Expectations were high for the Opening Ceremony of the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) that took place at the Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre at 8:00p.m. on August 16. 60,000 spectators watched the performance directed by Chen Weiya, the executive director of the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

The Ceremony lasted two hours and featured 4,000 performers, 95 percent of whom are students from both local and national tertiary institutions.

The Opening Ceremony was tailored to appeal to young people and demonstrate youthful vitality. It was divided into chapters meant to interpret the dreams and aspirations of both individuals and nations. “Super-sized” virtual TV technology and high-tech lighting and projection technology were used to extend the performance stage beyond the bounds of the venue.

The Ceremony featured thematic use of Nanjing icons such as the Purple Mountain Observatory and the Yunjin brocade as well as important elements of China’s past such as the Bronze Age, Zheng He's voyage to the west, and the development of the Silk Road. Perhaps the most amazing set piece of the night involved 120 acrobats who created a world record-breaking aerial “Dream Tower” as they performed intricate geometric patterns.

The theme song of the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, "Light Up the Future" was performed by four popular singers including actor Soo Hyun Kim from South Korea whose performance was particularly anticipated by local fans due to his role in a popular Korean soap opera.

The President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, attended the Opening Ceremony to welcome the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach and many other distinguished guests.

During his official speech the IOC President took a moment to participate in the #YOGselfie social media campaign and show that these Games are for the youth by asking some of the participating athletes to take selfies with him at the podium.

The YOG Torch was carried by Chinese Olympic athletes starting with Olympic badminton champion Lin Dan and ending with Olympic Diving Champion Chen Ruolin who then lit the Olympic Flame in stunning pyrotechnic fashion.

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