(BEIJING, August 9) -- Hein Verbruggen, chairman of the IOC Coordination Commission for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, described the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing Olympics as "unforgettable."
Verbruggen explained that Opening Ceremonies have traditionally been ways for host cities to welcome the world and for the world to gather and share the Olympic spirit. The performance on August 8, 2008 "was a night to remember — for the Chinese people, and for the world," he said.
The ceremony was a "breathtaking culmination of seven years of planning and preparation" and a "fantastic beginning of 16 days of outstanding sport competition" in Beijing, he said.
Calling it a grand, unprecedented success, Verbruggen said the astonishing performance exceeded all his expectations.