Hot on the heels of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, yet another international sporting event, right here in Shanghai. The Special Olympics will open on 2 Oct at the Shanghai Stadium and run all the way till 11 Oct. We hear from the organisers:
Award-winning producer and director Don Mischer has created a spectacular Opening Ceremonies event to mark the official opening of the World Games. The event will include star-studded entertainment, the Parade of Athletes and the culmination of the Final Leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run and lighting of the Special Olympics cauldron. As Mischer describes it, Shanghai Stadium will be transformed into a
place where differences are appreciated and celebrated. The Ceremony will shine a spotlight on the dignity of human life and the beauty of the human soul.
Attracting celebrities, dignitaries, and mass media coverage, the Opening Ceremonies are a highlight of the Games, showcasing the spirit of Special Olympics and the athlete’s achievements through the theme I know I can.
This promises to be a star-studded event attended by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jackie Chan, Colin Farrell, David Wu, Lang Lang, Karen Mok, Vicky Zhao, Angela Cho, The Silk Road Ensemble, Tan Dun, Quincy Jones, Yao Ming, Yo Yo Ma, Bruce Willis and Zhang Ziyi. Alas, no more tickets are available for the Opening Ceremony but it will be broadcast live on CCTV. And for all you guys that are stuck in town during the October holidays but do not want to be sitting at home like we do, the good news is all sports events will be free and open to the public.
In the meanwhile though, a pitted thread on ShanghaiExpat actually has an interesting local news tidbit: the theme song fo the Special Olympics was originally supposed to be a syrupy duet between mainland crooner Sun Nan and Singaporean songstress Ho Yeow Sun (a megachurch pastor-turned-songstress that is quite a character herself but we’ll save the story for another day!), but the organizing committee suddenly jilted them in favor of a team of young Chinese and overseas Chinese musical prodigies lead by veteran American producer Quincy Jones. At the moment, there are no news reports online addressing the change.
In other Special Olympics news, we hear from the Jerusalem Post of how Shanghai’s 2,000-strong Jewish community are showing support for Israel’s Special Olympians.
Micah Sittig contributed to this story.
Photo from Shanghai Sky.