Following is the link to the SOCOG Media release re. Opening Ceremony & Cast List
Olympic Games Opening Ceremony
Friday 15 September 2000 – 7pm until 10.30pm (AEST/Sydney time)
6-7pm Pre-Show Entertainment/Audience Run-thru
6pm Preshow (crowd warmup)
John Williamson sings ‘Waltzing Matilda’
7pm OFFICIAL START OF CEREMONY
7.04pm Head of State Arrival
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7.10pm Cultural Section
National anthem by Julie Anthony
Cultural show – 12,600 performers (6,000 NSW school students)
8.10pm Athletes Parade (Greece appears first, Australia will be the last team)
Olivia Newton John and John Farnham sing ‘Dare to Dream’ as Australian team enters the Stadium (team last in parade)
9.43pm Official Speeches/Opening
Speeches by Juan Antonio Samaranch, Michael Knight and Sir William Deane
9.57pm Arrival of Olympic Flag
10.01pm Oaths – Athletes and Judges
Vanessa Amorosi sings ‘Heroes Live Forever’
10.06pm Arrival of Torch Bearer & Lighting of Flame cauldron
Tina Arena sings ‘The Flame’
10.22pm OFFICIAL END OF CEREMONY
Opening ceremony line-up
John Farnham will sing a stirring anthem, Dare to Dream, with Olivia Newton-John as the Australian team marches into the stadium on September 15. Popular country singer, John Williamson will sing Waltzing Matilda during the ceremony’s hour-long cultural segment with Julie Anthony to sing Advance Australia Fair. The ceremony, with a worldwide television audience of 3.5 billion, will feature four original songs by Australians, written for the Olympics. At the raising of the Olympic flag, teenage pop star Vanessa Amorosi will launch into Heroes Live Forever. And for the lighting of the cauldron Tina Arena will sing The Flame.
Fast facts on Opening Ceremony
? four-hour show featuring 15,000 performers, including 6,000 children
? performers include dancers, stilt-walkers and fire-eaters
? 150 stockmen on horseback will give a display
? 10,000 athletes will march in the Parade of Nations to music played by the combined marching band
? fashion spectacular will feature three leading designers – Peter Morrissey, Lisa Ho and Jenny Kee
? choir of Greek-Australian students will sing the ancient Olympic anthem, not performed since Athens in 1896
? waterfall, fountains and simulated spaceship will feature in the 10 minutes before the arrival of the Olympic flame
Fast facts on Closing Ceremony
? 5 ½ hour spectacular will feature 7,000 performers, including 1,000 ballroom dancers, 4,000 schoolchildren and 45 Australian celebrities
? biggest closing ceremony in Olympic history will use 100km of fabric, tens of thousands of sequins and 30,000 litres of paint
? fireworks spectacular over Sydney Harbour will coincide with ceremony
Waltzing Matilda to inspire crowds
John Williamson will also inspire Olympic crowds by singing Waltzing Matilda at Games venues. The composer will sing the traditional ballad between events to encourage spectators to get behind Olympic athletes. Williamson will appear randomly at swimming, track, cycling, athletics, hockey and basketball venues. Waltzing Matilda was written by Banjo Paterson and was first performed at the North Gregory Hotel in Winton, Queensland on April 6, 1895. It was sung as Australia’s national anthem for the Montreal Olympic Games in 1976.
Team song for the Olympic Games
Vocalist Marcia Hines will sing the official Australian team song for the Sydney Olympics. Hines’ inspirational song, Rise, was chosen by athletes from 12 original Australian songs on the Olympic record to stir their spirits during the Games.
The official song and album was launched by Australian Olympic legend Herb Elliot on August 4. Other artists featured on the album include Jack Jones, Darryl Braithwaite, Merril Bainbridge and Jimmy Little. Talented Olympians have also been involved in the album with Grant Hackett, Michael Klim, Susie O’Neill, Paul Greene, Matt Shirvington and Ian Thorpe all marking a presence on the album.
Country artist Graeme Connor’s song, Being Here, has been chosen as the official song of the Paralympic Games.
Who’s carrying the torch?
Pymble: Actress Rachel Ward
Wahroonga: Rugby great, David Campese
Kings Langley: British Open winner Ian Baker-Finch
Leichhardt: Legendary tennis player, coach and commentator, John Newcombe
Sydney Town Hall: Steve Waugh
Near Mrs Macquarie’s chair: Prince Philip of Monaco
Farm Cove to Opera House: Melinda Gainsford-Taylor
Opera House courtyard: Olivia Newton-John
Opera House to Circular Quay: Pat Rafter
George Street (between Bridge Street and Martin Place): Dawn Fraser
George Street from Martin Place: Murray Rose
Sydney Town Hall cauldron lighting: Karrie Webb
Roseville Chase: Businessman and philanthropist, Dick Smith
From Curl Curl lagoon: Motorcyclist, Wayne Gardner
Taronga Park Zoo, Mosman: Singer, Jon Stevens, who wrote the torch relay anthem Carry the
Harbour Bridge: Greg Norman and Louise Sauvage
Roof of Opera House: Sam Riley
Sydney Harbour Bridge
The evening before the opening ceremony, there will be a spectacular Olympic rings lighting ceremony. After being passed the flame by Commonwealth Games sprint champion Melinda Gainsford-Smith on the Opera House steps just after 7pm, singer Olivia Newton-John will carry the flame 300m towards Circular Quay before passing it on to tennis star Pat Rafter. As the flame is exchanged they will make a gesture and the Olympic rings on the Harbour Bridge will light up.
Adidas athlete hospitality and media centre
Adidas has been involved in the Olympics since 1928 and continues to be a proud supporter in the Sydney 200 Olympic Games. To service and support these athletes, Adidas House – an adidas athlete hospitality and international media centre, will be operating during September. This adidas athlete and media centre will host exclusive media events and opportunities with adidas sponsored athletes from all over the world. Offering outstanding photo and filming opportunities, the centre boasts one of the most spectacular views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House and the Harbour foreshore.
Contact: Kristi Conacher
Phone: 61-2-9361-3777 (Sydney office)
Fax: 61-2-9361-3377 (Sydney office)
Ausarts2000 helping media
For journalists covering the Olympic Games, looking for behind the scenes stories or a different angle, ausarts2000 is available to help them. They are an arts information and referral service for international media during the Sydney Olympic Games. This information includes:-
? information on many areas of Australian art and culture including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts.
? broadcast quality footage (with all rights cleared) on over 20 contemporary artists and artworks.
? arts diary that will aid journalists to find out what’s on in the arts in Australia during the Olympics as well as the events planned for the Olympic Arts Festival.
? information on artists from other countries who are now working in Australia. This includes the areas of Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts, art in the community, dance, literature, music, new media, theatre and visual arts and crafts.
Together with the Olympic Arts Festival, ausarts2000 will have an office at the Sydney Media Centre at Darling Island where media can make enquiries. They are able to help with arts story ideas, facilitation of interviews and referral to artists and arts organisations.
For more information – www.ausarts2000.com
The neck-to-ankle Swift Suit has switched from the swimming pool to the athletics track and field team. The Nike-designed suit is the most spectacular piece in the collection of sporting apparel for the 650-strong Australian team. Australia’s 400m world champion Cathy Freeman, a Nike-sponsored athlete has been experimenting with the suit but is yet to wear it in a race. In a statement she said: ’You feel like you are slicing through the air’.
The suit is made of five types of fabric with varying textures to maximise aerodynamics, muscle temperature and the effect of the wind. For instance the hands are covered with a low-friction fabric, some of the back section is mesh to keep the large back muscles cool and most seams are at the back to reduce drag.
Olympic parties on the 15th
Five massive Olympic parties will be staged across Australia to coincide with the opening ceremony. Games revellers will have access to parties in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth similar to the famous Big Day Out formula (a large outdoor music, food and arts festival held around Australia in January).
Each one is expected to run for 8 hours on September 15 and is designed for Australians who can’t get to the opening ceremony.
Giant 6m x 8m screens will televise the ceremony along with sport highlights and other entertainment. Redfest, sponsored by Coca-Cola, will feature bands, dance clubs and skateboard demonstrations.
More than 30,000 people are expected at Randwick Racecourse for the Sydney event with 20,000 tipped to attend Melbourne Park.
Last Lap Club
When the superstars of the Olympics hit town, don’t be surprised to see the mega stars of the entertainment world hot on their heels. Already there are lots of rumours floating around, and some unconfirmed sightings of Elvis already here and searching for a burger joint. What we can tell you, is that THE place to be after the events of the day have finished is the Last Lap Club.
Situated in the massive Home nightclub at Cockle Bay, Last Lap will run for 17 nights throughout the Games period. It is intended to be a ‘safe environment’ for socialising Olympic athletes, who will receive free admission by displaying their accreditation.
Entertainment at last lap will nearly be exclusively provided by Sony Music….so expect their big guns to show up and play a set ot two.
Screen Locations for Closing Night Harbour Spectacular
Five Harbourside locations have been selected to have giant screens installed for the Closing Night Spectacular on Sunday 1 October.
The five vantage points are at Blues Point Reserve and Bradfield Park on the Northern side of the Harbour, and Dawes Point Reserve, the Sydney Opera House Forecourt and Mrs Macquarie’s Point on the Southern side.
These five screens will be additional to the seven screens installed at the Olympics Live Sites located at Circular Quay, Martin Place, Belmore Park at Central Station, Tumbalong Park at Darling Harbour and Pyrmont Bay Park, and the five screens in the regional centres of Dubbo, Grafton, Port Macquarie, Tamworth and Wagga Wagga. This will provide a co-ordinated live broadcast of Olympic events on 17 giant screens throughout the city, around the harbour and across regional NSW.
A thousand years of the Olympics
The Hellenic Ministry will stage an exhibition of the treasures of ancient Greece which will bring a unique and magnificent collection of Greek national treasures. An event never to be repeated, 1,000 years of the Olympic Games will be showcased at the Powerhouse Museum from July 19 to November 15, to coincide with the Olympic Games.
1000 years of the Olympic Games presents masterpieces of the ancient Olympic Games, mostly dating from the 8th century BC to the 3rd century AD. The exhibition comprises more than 50 artefacts which have been selected by the Powerhouse Museum and the Hellenic Ministry of Culture in Athens.
The exhibition is an official event in the Sydney 2000 Olympic Arts festival.
Powerhouse Museum, 500 Harris Street, Ultimo
The Olympics at work
Office workers using personal computers will be able to log on to Olympic action during the Sydney Olympic Games in September. The service, costing about $5000 per company gives each worker three choices of Olympic sports on the one computer screen. Under a deal announced recently, Internet provider Access1 is planning to feed the desktops of thousands of firms across Australia which will give big and small businesses alike access to 24 hour-a-day broadcasts by pay TV company C7 for the 16 days of the event. C7 is the Pay TV arm of Olympic rights holder, the Seven Network. It is aimed at the workers in Australia who will not have the opportunity to see the athletes compete at Sydney 2000.
This will make these Olympics the first Games where everyone in Australia regardless of their location, will be able to see the Games as they happen – at work or at home.
TV captions to aid the deaf
Channel 7, the official television broadcaster of the Olympics, and the ABC, the Paralympic broadcaster, will caption their Games coverage so that the country’s 3.7 million deaf and hearing-impaired people can follow the results, interviews and highlights.
Media Village to pamper the press
A sports massage parlour, cricket pitch and native fauna are among a host of attractions available to foreign journalists soon to move into the Olympic Media Village.
The 50 ha site will be home to almost 6000 of the expected 17,000 accredited media attending the Games.
The accommodation section comprises 2983 single rooms and 1450 twin rooms – each with a television set – there is also a village pub, 24 hour dining, a recreation hall and outdoor barbecue facilities. Fitness fanatics will also be able to take advantage of cardio workout machines, free weights and massage and body treatment for aching muscles.
The village will also showcase Australian native fauna – including wallabies – which will occupy an enclosed grassed area. There is also an aviary containing some of Australia’s most beautiful native birds.
Young artists share the spirit
The first thing Olympic athletes are most likely to see when they wake up in the morning during the Sydney Games is the artwork of thousands of Australian schoolchildren.
The paintings, which include international flags, victory podiums, swimming pools, the Olympic torch and hundreds of athletes competing have been hung throughout the athletes village at Sydney Olympic Park.
11,000 laminated pictures by Australian primary school students hang above the beds, on the walls and in the dining and common areas.
The paintings were selected from more than 120,000 entries over the past four years for SOCOG’s Share the Spirit Welcome the World school art program. The works which are included on official merchandise, have been placed on the walls with a special postcard with the student’s details for the athlete to send their thanks.
Film, film and more film
About 200,000 rolls of film of Olympic action will be delivered to the world’s largest photographic processing laboratory at Homebush Bay during the Olympics.
Global courier giant United Parcel Service (UPS) will provide film transport for 1000 accredited Australian and international photographers working at competition venues.
About 100 riders on Harley-Davidson motorcycles will collect the film from the venues and deliver it to the Main Press Centre at Sydney Olympic Park for processing.
Australia will field athletes in every sport for the first time in the history of the Paralympics. 244 Australian athletes will compete in the Sydney Paralympics from October 18-29 across 18 sports. At the 1996 Atlanta Games Australia finished with 42 gold, 37 silver and 27 bronze medals.
The Paralympic Torch Relay
The MAA Sydney 2000 Paralympic Torch Relay will be held over 14 days, commencing with a lighting ceremony in Canberra on 5 October and finishing at the Opening Ceremony at Sydney Olympic Park, Homebush Bay on 18 October.
The Torch Relay will visit all six states and two territories and will start in Australia’s national capital, Canberra.
The route will cover 11,500km by air as it travels from Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin and Brisbane before commencing its 750km road journey in New South Wales. It will spend approximately two days in Sydney before making its way to the Paralympic Opening Ceremony to light the cauldron at the Olympic Stadium.
920 torchbearers will carry the flame for between 500 metres and 1 kilometre.
Aboriginal Fire ceremony to light Paralympic flame
The flame of the Paralympic Torch Relay will be lit on 5 October during a traditional fire lighting ceremony on the forecourt of new Parliament House and conducted by members of the Ngunnawal community, who are the original inhabitants of the Canberra area.
Unlike the Olympic flame and Olympia in Greece, the Paralympic flame has no ‘ancestral home’ allowing each host city to choose a lighting site of national significance.
The Invincible Summer
Singing sharks, giant puppets, dancing cows and a film festival screened inside a giant duck. – These are just some of the acts that will greet visitors to the Sydney Olympic Park at Homebush during the Paralympic Games.
The Invincible Summer, Sydney 2000 Paralympic Arts Festival will host performers at the Olympic site and throughout the city. Events will include the Paralympic Games Gala Concert at the Opera House featuring French virtuoso pianist Bernard d’Ascoli, who is blind.
Forming an integral part of the Games, the festival will run from October 13 to 29. The program will include a mix of theatre, music, dance, comedy, exhibitions and street performance and will feature artists with and without a disability. Most performances at Olympic Park will be free.