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Creativity functions as Asian Games opened on Pearl River
Guangzhou, November 12 - With the city as the backdrop and the Pearl River as the stage, the Guangzhou Asian Games opened on a Pearl River island on Friday.
"Creativity plays an important role in our preparation. As the mother river of Guangzhou, Pearl River inspired us a lot," said Che Weiya, Director of the Guangzhou Asiad Opening Ceremony.
For the first time the Asian Games Opening Ceremony moved out of the traditional stadium to an island, namely Haixinsha Island, surrounded by residential buildings and skyscrapers, including the country's tallest structure Guangzhou Tower at 610-meter.
Befitting a city and a continent whose very foundations depend on the convergence of land and water, the Opening Ceremony centred on the river, its islands and its riverbanks.
"Last time in Doha, the Asiad impressed the world with the Opening Ceremony forming a theme of desert. Four years later in Guangzhou, a water-themed arts show gave people another feeling about the Asiad and the city of Guangzhou," added Chen, Assistant Director for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Beijing 2008 Olympics.
At the ceremony, Olympic diving champion He Chong ignited a traditional Chinese firecrackers whose flare shot up and lit the cauldron of the Guangzhou Asiad.
Chen said "comparing with the spectacular lighting way in the Doha Asiad and Beijing Olympics, Guangzhou is expected to do it in a different way."
Doha's cauldron was lit by a knight after he climbed up a steep slope and Beijing's cauldron was lit in a stunt-like fashion, with ex-gymnast Li Ning "running" around the 500-metre-long rim of the steel-framed Bird's Nest with computer- controlled wires tied to his waist.
The 54-year-old director therefore adopted a more smooth and gentle way, choosing the traditional Chinese firecrackers as an instrument to lit the cauldron. "It showed the unique flavour of Chinese culture. Besides, as the cauldron is among the athlete, it is not allowed to lit it in a dangerous way."
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