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PHOTOS: Memorable Olympic opening ceremonies

10:20 AM, Feb 5, 2014   |    comments
  • TURIN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 10: Athletes attend the Opening Ceremony of the Turin 2006 Winter Olympic Games on February 10, 2006 at the Olympic Stadium in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
  • ATHENS - AUGUST 13: A Greek flag is seen during the opening ceremony of the Athens 2004 Summer Olympic Games on August 13, 2004 at the Sports Complex Olympic Stadium in Athens, Greece. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
  • Turin, ITALY: The Olympic Rings are illuminated during the opening ceremony of the Turin 2006 Winter Olympic Games 10 February 2006, at the Olympic Stadium in Turin. AFP PHOTO TORSTEN SILZ (Photo credit should read TORSTEN SILZ/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Percussionists perform with their fou drums, ancient Chinese percussion instruments, during the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in Beijing on August 8, 2008. The three-hour show at Beijing's iconic 'Bird's Nest' national stadium is set to see more than 15,000 performers showcase the nation's ancient history and its rise as a modern power. AFP PHOTO/FILIPO MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Turin, ITALY: The German athletes arrive for the opening ceremony of the Turin 2006 Winter Olympic Games 10 February 2006, at the Olympic Stadium in Turin. AFP PHOTO TORSTEN SILZ (Photo credit should read TORSTEN SILZ/AFP/Getty Images)
  • SALT LAKE CITY, UNITED STATES: Skaters perform amid colored lights 08 February 2002 during the opening ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Olympics at the Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. AFP PHOTO JACQUES DEMARTHON (Photo credit should read JACQUES DEMARTHON/AFP/Getty Images)
  • ATHENS - AUGUST 13: Performers are seen during the opening ceremony of the Athens 2004 Summer Olympic Games on August 13, 2004 at the Sports Complex Olympic Stadium in Athens, Greece. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
  • 8 Feb 2002: General View as the Olympic Flame burns during the Opening Ceremony of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Slat Lake City, Utah. DIGITAL IMAGE Mandatory Credit: John Gichigi/Getty Images
  • ATHENS - AUGUST 13: International Olympic Committee President Dr Jacques Rogge speaks while President of the Athens Organizing Committee Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki looks on during the opening ceremonies of the Athens 2004 Summer Olympic Games on August 13, 2004 at the Sports Complex Olympic Stadium in Athens, Greece. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
  • SALT LAKE CITY, UNITED STATES: Covered wagons move across the stage 08 February 2002 during the opening ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Olympics at the Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. AFP PHOTO ROBERTO SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
  • ATHENS - AUGUST 13: A General View of the opening ceremony of the Athens 2004 Summer Olympic Games on August 13, 2004 at the Sports Complex Olympic Stadium in Athens, Greece. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
  • LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 27: Rings representing both the Olympics and the Industrial Revolution are lit during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
  • SINGAPORE - AUGUST 14: Entertainers make the shape of the Olympic Rings at the Opening Ceremony of the 2010 Youth Olympics at The Float@Marina Bay on August 14, 2010 in Singapore. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
  • LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 27: Seven young athletes representing Britain's hopes for the next Olympics carry the Olympic torch during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
  • LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 27: Fireworks over the Olympic Stadium during the Opening Ceremony at the Olympic Park on July 27, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
  • LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 27: Fireworks over the Olympic Stadium during the Opening Ceremony at the Olympic Park on July 27, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
  • A snowboarder flies through the Olympic rings during the opening ceremony of the Vancouver Winter Olympics on February 12, 2010 at the BC Place in Vancouver. AFP PHOTO POOL /Jim Young (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
  • BEIJING, CHINA - AUGUST 8: (CHINA OUT) Fireworks light up the sky as paramilitary policemen stand guard during the Opening Ceremony for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 8, 2008 in Beijing, China. (Photo by China Photos/Getty Images)
  • BEIJING - AUGUST 08: The Olympic Flame is lit during the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics at the National Stadium on August 8, 2008 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
  • QINGDAO, CHINA - AUGUST 09: Fireworks explode during the opening launch ceremony held at the Qingdao Olympic Sailing Center during day 1 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 9, 2008 in Qingdao, China. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
  • VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 12: Hockey player Wayne Gretzky (R) carries the Olympic torch during the Opening Ceremony of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics at BC Place on February 12, 2010 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Jim Young-Pool/Getty Images)
  • VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 12: Hockey great Wayne Gretzky lights the Olympic Cauldron during the Opening Ceremony of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics at BC Place on February 12, 2010 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
    
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Olympic Games ceremonies were an integral part of the Ancient Olympic Games. Some of the elements of the modern ceremonies harken back to the Ancient Games from which the Modern Olympics draw their ancestry.

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