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Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony

Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony

  • Premiered: 
    August 26, 1960
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: CBS
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Parade
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
    Opening ceremony for the Summer Olympics 
  • Subject Matter: Sports
  • Tags: Olympics

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Plot Synopsis

Each Summer Olympics begins with the Opening Ceremony of the Games of the Olympiad, and although it bore only the slightest resemblance to today's ceremonies, the first Olympics in 1896 in Athens featured an Opening Ceremony. By the 1920 Games in Antwerp, most of the protocol of the Opening Ceremony had been established, but it wasn't until 1980 that the artistic program became such an integral part of the pomp and circumstance, when Moscow spared no expense, starting the current mega-ceremony trend. Each ceremony includes the following elements:
- the entry of the athletes into the stadium with their delegations (in alphabetical order,
except for Greece which goes first, and the host country which brings up the rear);
- the declaration of the opening of the Games by the Head of State of the host country;
- the address by the Games Organizing Committee President;
- the speech by the IOC President;
- the entry of the Olympic flag into the stadium;
- the Olympic anthem;
- the symbolic release of doves (a symbol of peace);
- the oath sworn by an athlete and an official from the host country (respect for the rules);
- the entrance of the flame and lighting of the cauldron (reference to the ancient Games);
- the artistic program.
The Opening Ceremony was first televised in the United States in 1960, when CBS telecast the event from Rome on tape, one day after the event, while combining coverage of Olympic pageantry with boxing eliminations. At the next Summer Olympics in Tokyo in 1964, NBC aired the event live via Syncom III satellite at 1am ET on Friday night, October 9. Every four years since then -- except in 1980 when the U.S. and many other countries boycotted the Summer Olympics -- ABC or NBC has broadcast the Opening Ceremony. For the 2012 Opening Ceremony, film director Danny Boyle spent seven years and $42 million dollars on his homage to the United Kingdom, using sheep, dancing nurses, a parachuting James Bond, Sir Paul McCartney and so much more. NBC aired the event on tape delay from 7:30pm - Midnight ET/PT on Friday, July 27, 2012.
Hosted by Mike Tirico and Savannah Guthrie, the Opening Ceremony for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games premiered live on Friday, July 23, 2021 at 7am ET/4am PT and was repeated in primetime later that night from 7:30pm - Midnight ET/PT on NBC. From the Parade of Nations to the lighting of the Olympic cauldron, Guthrie and Tirico guide viewers through the spectacle and pageantry that only occurs when the world comes together at the Olympic Games.