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5 things about the SEA Games Opening Ceremony you did not know

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The 28th SEA Games Opening Ceremony is set to touch its regional audience with an astonishing visual spectacle and a meaningful storyline. Read on to find out what you can expect at the curtain raiser of the region's biggest sporting extravaganza.

A Kallang wave like no other

What is an event at the National Stadium without the mandatory Kallang wave? Take this opportunity to pay tribute to the old National Stadium as we herald the return of the SEA Games to our shores after 22 years.

There’s more, though. The Kallang wave on 5th June’s show will, like almost every other aspect of this elaborate ceremony, serve a strategic creative purpose: it will allow spectators to play a key role in the opening sequence for the live television broadcast!

Beginning with a story featuring Singaporeans from all walks of life doing the Kallang Wave, the broadcast footage represents Singapore’s journey to the start of the SEA Games, culminating in the opening ceremony at the National Stadium. As the clip ends, the camera will pan to those present at the Stadium – greeting the regional viewers with a live version of the Kallang wave.

Mascot Nila’s grand entrance

No, the Singapore Armed Forces parachute team Red Lions won’t be making an appearance at the ceremony, but there’s something else that comes close.

The opening ceremony of the London Olympics may have boasted a skydiving Queen, but our talented creative team over at the Singapore Southeast Asian Games Organising Committee (SINGSOC) has one-upped them with – yes, you’ve guessed it – a flying Nila.

Indeed, the stage performances may be exciting, but don’t forget to keep an eye on the Stadium’s roof, for the Games’ adorable mascot Nila will definitely be arriving in style.

Emotional moments amid the festivities

Stunning pyrotechnics and impressive choreography aside, the show’s organisers have also not forgotten the contributions of the nation’s late founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. Spectators will be treated to a rather nostalgic video clip commemorating his efforts in the Southeast Asian region, as well as his advocacy of “physical discipline” through sports.

In another moving video tribute segment, coaches from the eleven Southeast Asian nations will be also be honoured for their role in the SEA Games. Complete with messages of gratitude playing in different languages, this part of the show should prove relatable to many who have benefitted from mentors in their lives.

Astonishing numbers

It’s official. Our 28th SEA Games opening ceremony will make history with 160 projectors, all set to present an extraordinarily high-tech show in five acts. The Beijing Olympics opening ceremony, itself an extravagant affair by international standards, had included just 146 projectors.

This year’s show, which involves the hard work of around 5,000 performers and volunteers, is expected to impress over 30,000 spectators at the National Stadium, as well as some 600 million people tuning in from around the region.

Surprises galore

The show’s narrator tells a story of an ordinary boy’s transformation into an extraordinary champion – one that resonates with the thousands of athletes here in Singapore for the Games. If you do happen to find this voice familiar, though, stay tuned for a great revelation later on!

The ceremony’s finale, the lighting of the cauldron, is also highly anticipated, especially given how the identities of the 13 torchbearers have remained, till today, closely guarded secrets.

However, hints have been dropped, and it has been revealed that the significance of inter-generational bonds will feature heavily in the relay. Let’s just say that you should keep a particularly sea-savvy father-daughter pair in mind.

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