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Facts and figures about the opening ceremony
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The 29th summer Olympic Games opened in Beijing on Friday night. The following are some facts and figures about the opening ceremony.

The venue

The opening was held in the National Stadium, also known as the Bird's Nest, in the Olympic Green in northern Beijing.

The stadium was jointly designed by Herzog & de Meuron Design Office, and China Architecture Design & Research Group and ARUP. Its construction began on Dec. 24, 2003, and completed on June 30, 2008. Altogether 45,000 tonnes of steel was used to build its framework.

The stadium's seating capacity is 91,000, including 11,000 temporary seats. The floor space is 258,000 square meters.

Ground facilities

A major elevating platform at the center is 20 meters in diameter, weighing about 400 tonnes, and can reach 11.4 meters high at a speed of zero to 12 meters per minute.

Two moving lids on the stage serve as a roof.

A 36 by 22 meters LED screen is installed on the plates.

On the south and north sides are 30 complementary platforms, with each 3-meter-wide and 3-meter-long.

When the two lids move toward the center, the complementary platforms will rise and make up the stage.

Two sets of 22-meter-long LED scroll painting were installed, with a diameter of 22 meters.

With LED images shown on it, the scroll painting can stretch 147 meters long.

Above-stage facilities

Ten steel ropes are hung above the stage, weighing 40 tonnes in all and with a total length of 55 kilometers.

Among the 31 wire devices, 16 sets can carry a load of 300 kilograms each, with a load of 100 kilograms for each of the other 15. All can move at 3 meters per second and can function at the same time.

One hundred jumping facilities with a load capacity of 80 kilograms each are set under the rim of the roof edge, which can move at 3 meters per second and be operated simultaneously.

LED screen on the ground

A 147 by 22 meters LED screen is laid at the center. Approximately 44,000 colorful LED beads are embedded with a distance of 600 millimeters between each two.

Fireworks celebration

-- 287 points on the top of National Stadium

-- 27 positions in the central area of National Stadium

-- 12 positions in the Olympic Green

-- 29 positions on the axis of the city

-- 4 places in other urban areas


A total of 110 minutes of music was created by 18 composers for the opening ceremony.


Altogether 2,583 special lights are used and lighting equipment weighing more than 300 tonnes has been installed. Electricity load for lighting totals 6,440 kilowatt.


A total of 15,153 sets of costumes in 47 styles.


Some performances have been rehearsed for 13 months. Volunteers began their first mass rehearsal in March 2008.

(Xinhua News Agency August 8, 2008)

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