Organizers of the 2014 Asian Games promised Monday an opening ceremony filled with programs that will help highlight the central message of 45 participating countries becoming one during the continent’s largest sporting event.
Spectators will be able to feast their eyes on numerous music and cultural performances that will kick off the 16-day sports competition on Friday evening in Incheon, a metropolitan city west of Seoul, according to the organizing committee.
Folk dancers and singers will showcase a traditional Korean performance with drums and gongs before fireworks are set off for the beginning of the main events.
The mayor of the hosting city, Yoo Jeong-bok, will make welcoming remarks in the first part of the ceremony, followed by cultural performances with the common theme of Asia’s past, present and future converging into one.
A poetry reading by South Korean poet Ko Un, a routine front runner for the Nobel Prize for Literature, will cap off part two of the ceremony, along with several musical enactments that will help build up the atmosphere for the forthcoming act.
Thousands of participating athletes, who have been training for the pancontinental multisport competition, are to appear before the audience in part three of the event and send the message “Dream of 4.5 billion people, One Asia,” as well as take an oath to play fair.
The highlight of the entire event will be the lighting of the Asian Games cauldron, and while the identity of the final torchbearer and how the flame will be lit have been kept secret, the committee hinted that South Korean star athletes will take part in signaling the official opening of the 17th Asiad.
The opening ceremony will end with performances by popular K-pop groups EXO and JYJ, the organizers said, as well as with a finale by rapper Psy, who shot to global stardom in 2012 with his music video “Gangnam Style.”
South Korean cinematic master Im Kwon-taek took charge of organizing both the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2014 Asian Games, according to the organizers.