SEA Games Opening: Singapore vows to outdo China's Olympic show
ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 04, 2015 04:43 PM
"We are very aware that people want to see something they have not seen before, and we believe that will be the case here." --- Kenny Wong, technical director of the SEA Games' opening and closing ceremonies (OCC)
SINGAPORE -- A kaleidoscope of colors, lights and pageantry that signifies the diverse culture of Singapore will take center stage when this wealthy harbour state raises its curtains for the 28th Southeast Asian Games Friday at the National Stadium.
With an attendance that is expected to shatter the 40,000 barrier, this wealthy state is expected to turn into a massive concert ground as organizers promised to match -- or even surpass -- the extravagant show put up by China during the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
The highlight of the three-hour concerto of lights and sounds is the transformation of the enormous complex into a giant screen that would feature the country's rich history -- from the British colonization to its brief merger with Malaysia until formally gaining independence 50 years ago and blossoming into one of Asia's healthiest economies.
The massive projection system that will be used is composed of 160 high-definition projectors, quite better than 146 projectors which China deployed during the Beijing Games and the 60 projectors being used during Singapore's National Day Parade.
A handful of flying performers, including a 20-meter long dragon which will soar through the domed roof, is also expected to draw attention, providing an imagery that this is the most unforgettable opening ceremonies in the 57-year history of the biennial meet which celebrates friendship and camaraderie among 11 countries.
"It is our turn to host the SEA Games after 22 years and it will happen during Singapore's Golden Jubilee. The occasion calls for a fitting celebration; one that will bring communities together and invoke a sense of pride and ownership in Singaporeans," Lim Teck Yin, chairman of the SEA Games Organizing Committee, said.
This will not be the first time for Singapore to host a massive tournament.
After hosting the 1993 regional meet, the Singaporeans also staged the Asian Youth Games and the Youth Olympic Games in 2009.
But the SEA Games is turning to be more massive that the Asian and world meets as 7,000 athletes competing in 36 sports are expected to come in droves to battle for pride and prestige.
"We are very aware that people want to see something they have not seen before, and we believe that will be the case here," Kenny Wong, technical director of the Games' opening and closing ceremonies (OCC), said.
"There will be many 'wow' moments but at the end of the day, we also want spectators to feel touched in a way."
The Philippines, which sent 464 athletes, 189 coaches and officials, 24 medical staff and 15 members of the secretariat with volleyball hotshot Alyssa Valdez serving as flag-bearer, is in the thick of the battle after winning a silver medal in the fencing competition.
Philippine chief of mission Julian Camacho said his target of 40 to 50 gold medals still remains, especially now that athletes are painting a bright picture of their campaign.
"The number is very achievable," Camacho said. "We're sticking to our original target because we have full trust and confidence on our athletes. We know they are capable of delivering golden finishes for Team Philippines."