2010 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony
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2010 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony

2010 Commonwealth Games
opening ceremony
Performance of "Jiyo Utho Bado Jeeto", official song of the games
Date3 October 2010 (2010-10-03)
Time19:00 - 22:00 IST
LocationDelhi, India
Coordinates28°34?58?N 77°14?4?E / 28.58278°N 77.23444°E / 28.58278; 77.23444Coordinates: 28°34?58?N 77°14?4?E / 28.58278°N 77.23444°E / 28.58278; 77.23444
Filmed byDD

The opening ceremony of the 2010 Commonwealth Games was held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the main stadium of the event, in New Delhi, India. It began at 7:00 PM (IST) on 3 October 2010 ending at 10:00 PM (IST) displaying India's varied culture in a plethora of cultural showcases. Wizcraft was given the contract to produce the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2010 Commonwealth Games.[1]

Guests of Honour

The following were the guests that attended the opening ceremony of the 2010 Commonwealth Games:

The Royal Family

Charles, Prince of Wales (representing Elizabeth II as Head of the Commonwealth) and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall attended the ceremony.

International Guests

A total of three heads of state from outside India attended the opening ceremony; two from Commonwealth nations and one from a non-Commonwealth nation. The three head of states are Mohamed Nasheed, President of the Maldives, Marcus Stephen, President of Nauru and a multiple Commonwealth gold medallist, and Albert II, Prince of Monaco, a former Olympian, whose country Monaco is not a member of the Commonwealth.[9]Sir Anand Satyanand, the Governor General of New Zealand (the first of Indian descent), attended the ceremony as well.[7]

Alongside the Commonwealth president, attendees included International Olympic Committee president, Jacques Rogge. He was quoted as saying "I think India has set a good foundation stone for the Olympics bid and a successful Commonwealth Games can help India mount a serious bid for the Olympics."[8]


A drummer performs at the opening ceremony

The opening ceremony featured aspects of India's heritage and culture in seven segments. It featured an aerostat costing U$8 million,[10] measuring 40×80x12 meters and manufactured in Oswestry, England.[11] The original plan was to have drummers on the aerostat, but the plan was cancelled.[11] The ceremony started with the Indian national anthem which was played live at the stadium. The roof of the stadium turned into orange colour and the ground was lit up with three colours of the Indian flag - orange in the center, white in the middle and green near the boundary.

Rhythm of India

Giant Puppets hang from the aerostat

The countdown for the opening of commonwealth games started as the drums were being played, and fireworks exploded from the roof of the stadium. The aerostat slowly raised from the ground to the center space of the roof while a traditional Rajasthani hymn was being played by the musicians. Various Drummers from Kerala, Manipur, Karnataka, Orissa, Punjab and Meghalaya played a symphony that aimed to be "uniquely Indian in character, yet global in appeal". Seven year old tabla player Keshav from Puducherry played the tabla instrument in front of the audience live and he was given a big applause from the audience.[12]


School children from across delhi performed in this segment,intricate mehndi design was painted on large pieces of cloth in 30 seconds.

Hariharan led this segment, which created an amalgamation of Hindustani classical, Carnatic and folk music. The song was composed by A. R. Rahman, who also composed the official theme song of the games, and was performed by various artists along with Hariharan. Children from various Delhi schools participated in a simultaneous performance forming hands of an Indian woman in a pose of Namaste - a popular Indian salutation. Later, they separated and rearranged themselves in another formation representing the Indian flag colors of saffron, white and green while another group of children entered the stadium and covered the flag formations with a large white cloth. In a widely appreciated act, the children then made a mehndi - a traditional Indian art - on this large white piece of cloth in under 30 seconds on the spot.

Tree Of Knowledge

Pt. Birju Maharaj (Kathak), Guru Rajkumar Singhajit Singh-Charu Sija Mathur (Manipuri), Dr. Saroja Vaidyanathan (Bharatnatyam), Dr. Sonal Mansingh (Odissi), Bharati Shivaji (Mohiniattam) and Raja Reddy-Radha Reddy (Kuchipudi) choreographed 480 dancers bringing alive India's "Guru-Shishya Parampara" or the master-protege tradition on stage through classical dance recitals which also depicted four different seasons of India. The aerostat (the largest ever helium balloon built for such an event) formed the leaves of the Bodhi tree, while large strips elevated from the ground, made of silk and bamboo fibre form the tree trunk.

The Great Indian Journey

Dancers from all the states of India performed at the ceremony

This segment will give a glimpse of the lives of the masses in India, as seen through a train window. Art director Omung Kumar created a 600-ft train of bamboo sticks for this. It portrayed a common man's life and every thing in it, such as the bangle shops, politicians campaigning, Bollywood, the cycle shop etc.


Music composer A.R. Rehman performs during the opening ceremony

Academy and Grammy award winner A.R. Rahman ended the programme with his rendition of "Jiyo Utho Bado Jeeto", the theme song of the Delhi games, and "Jai Ho".[13][14][15]

List of national flag bearers

Australia entered first as the host of the last games, and India entered last as the host. Excluding these two nations, the flag bearers entered by alphabetical order of their nations; Anguilla was the first (after Australia) and Zambia was the last (before India). Each flag bearer was preceded by a woman in traditional Indian dress, each reflecting a different part of the country, carrying a placard with the country's name.

Order Nation Flag bearer Sport Total Athletes
1  Australia (AUS) Sharelle McMahon[16] Netball 377
2  Angola (ANG) Ronnie Bryan Cycling 12
3  Antigua and Barbuda (ANT) James Grayman[17] Athletics 17
4  Bahamas (BAH) Valentino Knowles[18] Athletics 24
5  Bangladesh (BAN) Asif Hossain Khan[19] Shooting 70
6  Barbados (BAR) Laurel Browne Netball 39
7  Belize (BIZ) Kaina Martinez[20] Athletics 9
8  Bermuda (BER) Kiera Aitken Swimming 14
9  Botswana (BOT) Amantle Montsho Athletics 49
10  British Virgin Islands (IVB) Joseph Chapman[21] Squash 2
11  Brunei (BRU) Ampuan Ahad Lawn bowls 12
12  Cameroon (CMR) Hugo Mamba[22] Athletics 20
13  Canada (CAN) Ken Pereira[23] Field Hockey 251
14  Cayman Islands (CAY) Shaune Fraser Swimming 17
15  Cook Islands (COK) Mata Kenny Lawn bowls 31
16  Cyprus (CYP) Irodotos Georgallas Gymnastics 56
17  Dominica (DMA) Brendan Williams Athletics 15
18  England (ENG) Nathan Robertson[24] Badminton 365
19  Falkland Islands (FAI) Douglas James Clark Badminton 15
20  Ghana (GHA) Aziz Zakari Athletics 64
21  Gibraltar (GIB) Colin Bensadon Swimming 17
22  Grenada (GRN) Imrod Batholomew Boxing 10
23  Guernsey (GUE) Peter Jory[25] Shooting 43
24  Guyana (GUY) Cleveland Forde Athletics 34
25  Isle of Man (IOM) Andrew Roche Cycling 33
26  Jamaica (JAM) Simone Forbes[26] Netball 48
27  Jersey (JER) Karina Bisson[27] Lawn bowls 33
28  Kenya (KEN) Ezekiel Kemboi Athletics 136
29  Kiribati (KIR) David Katoatau Weightlifting 17
30  Lesotho (LES) Selloane Tsoaeli Athletics 10
31  Malawi (MAW) Mary Waya Netball 43
32  Malaysia (MAS) Siti Zalina Ahmad[28] Lawn bowls 203
33  Maldives (MDV) Mueena Mohamed [29] Table Tennis 28
34  Malta (MLT) Rebecca Madyson Shooting 22
35  Mauritius (MRI) Louis Richarno Colin Boxing 55
36  Montserrat (MNT) Peter Semper Athletics 5
37  Mozambique (MOZ) Kurt Couto Athletics 10
38  Namibia (NAM) Jafet Uutoni Boxing 30
39  Nauru (NRU) Itte Detenamo Weightlifting 6
40  New Zealand (NZL) Irene van Dyk[30] Netball 192
41  Nigeria (NGR) Faith Obiora Table Tennis 101
42  Niue (NIU) Narita Viliamu Weightlifting 24
43  Norfolk Island (NFI) Duncan Gray[] Squash 22
44  Northern Ireland (NIR) Mark Montgomery[31] Wrestling 80
45  Pakistan (PAK) Mohammad Ali Shah[32] Chef de mission 54
46  Papua New Guinea (PNG) Barbara Stubbings Squash 79
47  Rwanda (RWA) Disi Dieudonne Athletics 22
48  Samoa (SAM) Ele Opeloge Dieudonne Weightlifting 53
49  Scotland (SCO) Ross Edgar[33] Cycling 191
50  Seychelles (SEY) Steve Malcouzane Badminton 26
51  Sierra Leone (SLE) Michaela Kargbo Athletics 31
52  Singapore (SIN) Feng Tian Wei[34] Table Tennis 68
53  Solomon Islands (SOL) Michael Leong Tennis 12
54  South Africa (RSA) Cameron van der Burgh[35] Swimming 113
55  Sri Lanka (SRI) Chinthana Vidanage[36] Weightlifting 94
56  Saint Helena (SHN) Rico Yon Shooting 4
57  Saint Kitts and Nevis (SKN) Tanika Liburd Athletics 7
58  Saint Lucia (LCA) Lavern Spencer Athletics 13
59  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) James Bentick Squash 14
60  Swaziland (SWZ) Siphesihle Mdluli Athletics 11
61  Tanzania (TAN) Samson Ramadhani[37] Athletics 40
62  The Gambia (GAM) Fanny Shonoboi Athletics 17
63  Tonga (TON) Uaine Fa Boxing 22
64  Trinidad and Tobago (TRI) Cleopatra Borel-Brown Athletics 82
65  Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) Delano Williams Athletics 8
66  Tuvalu (TUV) Lapua Tuau Weightlifting 3
67  Uganda (UGA) Ganzi Mugula[38] Swimming 65
68  Vanuatu (VAN) Yoshna Shing Table Tennis 14
69  Wales (WAL) David Davies[39] Swimming 175
70  Zambia (ZAM) Rachel Nachula Athletics 22
71  India (IND) Abhinav Bindra[40] Shooting 495
  • Pakistan's flag bearer was scheduled to be weightlifter Shujha-ud-din Malik. However, chef de mission Muhammad Ali Shah announced that he would carry the flag and took it from the designated flag-bearer.[41]

Spectators' response

In the opening ceremony the head of organizing committee faced embarrassment, when he was booed by the spectators at the start of his welcome speech to 60,000 spectators in the opening ceremony. The atmosphere otherwise for the teams and officials was fine, especially when they offered warm applause to the neighbouring Pakistan squad, with whom it has tense relationships. Sri Lanka also got a loud applause. The head finished his speech in five minutes and then handed over to Michael Fennell, the Chief of the Commonwealth Games Federation.[42]

Baton Procession

Boxer Vijender Singh carried the Queen's Baton into the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, at the Opening Ceremony.[43][44] The baton was then passed to boxer Mary Kom, 5-time world champion.[43][44] It was then passed to Samresh Jung, who was named best competitor of the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia .[43][44] It was then passed to Sushil Kumar, world champion wrestler, [43][44] who finally handed the Queen's Baton to The Prince of Wales.[43][45]


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