Ashgabat 2017 Opening Ceremony gets off to a start
Official opening ceremony of V Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games took place in Turkmen capital with participation of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, Heads of the states and governments of number of countries, prominent foreign figures, international organizations and other honourable guests.
In the afternoon, the Head of the State arrived to the building of the Trade and Industrial Chamber where the participants of current event have gathered.
The President of Turkmenistan welcomed the heads of all delegations, which arrived in our capital for participation in the opening ceremony of Ashgabat 2017 Games, in the foyer of the Trade and Industrial Chamber.
After the greetings, Turkmen leader had joint photo with each of them and after invited high-rank guests to VIP hall. Further, there were an official reception on behalf of His Excellency the President of Turkmenistan on occasion of the opening ceremony of V Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games.
During the meeting, Head of the State Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and President of the Asian Olympic Council Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah addressed to the participants.
Being a member of International Olympic Committee and Asian Olympic Council, Turkmenistan makes deserving contribution to the development of international Olympic movement. Active participation in the work of the AOC is considered as an important direction of international cooperation of our country in sport field. We are strictly committed to support of the interests of Asian states in the world’s Olympic movement and are confident that sports, noble traditions of the Olympics in the modern world are one of working mechanisms of understanding and friendship between the nations, the Head of the State highlighted.
V Asian Games will give an opportunity to Turkmenistan to occupy deserving place in the world’s sport system as a country that is able to organize large competitions of international level.
It is pleasant the Oceania countries joined this project owing to support and hospitality of Turkmenistan. Joint efforts of Asian Oceania countries in conduct of Asian Games in the capital of our country will promote further development of the world’s sports. The fact that almost the third of the countries of the planet are represented at the Games highlights its noble peace-making mission. Undoubtedly, these Games will be very important in consolidation of friendship and understanding between the nations and provision of peace on the planet.
From the Trade and Industrial Chamber, joint motorcade of the President of Turkmenistan and heads of government delegations went to the Olympic village.
Upon arrival to the place of event, official photographing ceremony of high-rank participants of the event took place in front of VIP entrance of the Olympic stadium.
Exciting expectation grows at the stands. All Turkmenistan citizens as well as millions of people from other countries watch grandiose start of this world level event. The field of the stadium is filled with mysterious deep blue colour of morning sky. Last 17 seconds countdown until the beginning of the ceremony has started. The figures were displayed on the arena changing each other and everybody loudly counted them together.
Once digit 0 appeared on the arena, the whole bowl of the stadium has been lit with emerald green colour and the participants of the show run to the centre making up the shape of the emblem of Ashgabat 2017 Games. Dynamic projection supplemented the image drawing the silhouette of ahalteke horse – the main symbol of V Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, on patterned field.
The artists change the shape into another composition – the talisman of the Games, which is represented by multi-coloured symbol in the shape of flying bird speaking in artistic language of the history and culture of our country. After, the shape has transformed into octahedral Star of Oguzkhan. The same live flowers were on the stands of the stadium.
The official part has started. Masters of the ceremonies welcomed the participants and congratulated President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, all Turkmen people and participants of the event on the opening of the Games in Turkmen and English languages.
The State Flag of Turkmenistan was ceremonially carried out to the stadium by the Guards of Honour.
It is followed by the Flag of the Asian Olympic Council.
Spectators greeted President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, who addressed the greeting speech to the heads of the states, leaders and members of the delegations, guests and participants of the Games, with long storm of applauses.
Green canvas of the Flag of Turkmenistan was hoisted above the stadium under the sounds of National Anthem. People who filled the stadium unanimously sang the anthem standing on ther feet and putting one hand on the chest.
After, the floor was given to President of the Asian Olympic Council Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad al Sabah who started his speech with the expression of the gratitude to President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, other heads of the states and high-rank guests from different countries, leaders of sport federations, national Olympic committees, all sportsmen and spectators.
“Good evening, Ashgabat! Good evening, Turkmenistan! Welcome, Asia, Welcome, Oceania in beautiful capital of the host of V Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games!” - the Head of the AOC greeted.
It is real honour for the sportsmen and officials from Asia and Oceania to be here in this beautiful city on such historical event, high-ranking guest said, having highlighted that he watched with great attention preparation of the Games from the day when back in 2010 the AOC appointed Ashgabat as a host of the Games.
I am confident that we will be the witnesses of really breath-taking and successful Games, the Sheikh said. The Head of the AOC also noted that he is glad to welcome the sportsmen from Oceania and Refugees team who will participate in the Asian Games for the first time.
International Olympic committee chaired by President Tomas Bach put all efforts to give an opportunity to all men and women of all societies to go in for sports, high-ranking guest highlighted.
The Head of the AOC also expressed the gratitude to large local and regional companies, international corporations and global brands for participation in sponsorship of the Games and for the support and belief in general success.
The Head of the Asian Olympic council also noted the role of mass media, which highlighting the Games would support the promotion of the ideals of friendship, peace and understanding around the planet.
The role of volunteers were also appreciated as without them high level of the Games would not be possible, the Sheikh has said. Huge gratitude was expressed to Ashgabat citizens and all people of Turkmenistan for the hospitality and cordiality. White flag with logo of the AOC was hoisted at the flag post.
Visitors stands are plunged in the darkness for few moments, where the stars starts begin to pop up in night sky after a while. At the same time, there is a movement at the field of the stadium – six horsemen enter the circle from six sides followed by the train of canvas with signs symbolizing five regions of Asian part of the continent and Oceania.
These canvas are joined together in one big red star resembling the one that decorates the emblem of the AOC.
3D cylindrical monitor is lowered to the arena of the stadium, which image together with laser projection on the field creates unbelievable illusion on the movement of time and space. This is a flywheel of the epochs.
The show is continued with another bright and breath-taking picture. Ravi, the man who tells some stories or brings some news, starts his narration.
Listening to the stories of Ravi, spectators make a trip to historical ages of all five velayats of Turkmenistan. At the same time, the field of the stadium turns into either blossoming meadows or beautiful pattern carpet or sand dunes…
There is a caravan moving across Karakum Desert – this is a story of the Great Silk Road.
Camels loaded with sacks of goods are walking across the stadium (by the way, 7.5 thousand artists, two hundred musicians, hundreds of animals are involved in the performance).
Melodies of Turkmen composers are played. 3D images of ancient fortresses Paryzdepe and Nissa are appeared. Video range is supplemented with hologram illustrations of antic artefacts and archaeological findings, which made a sensation in the history science in their time.
Parthia is a name of this part of the show. Girls in national dress perform a dance with rtytons. The ritual of initiation of a boy to a man is demonstrated: beautiful horse is being brought to the boy and he, having straddled it, rides away to enticing expanses.
Moving decorations make pictures from the life of powerful Parthian kingdom one after another.
The next part is dedicated to Dekhistan. Central round monitor shows historical monuments of Meshat Misserian. The stadium turns into the sea, which waves wash off sandy beach. Boat with brave conquerors of the nature sail along. Wonderfully realistic effect of this scene, which metaphorically broadcasting the images of desert and sea using multimedia technology, is being created.
After, bright narration takes the spectators to Kunyaurgench - the legendary city of masters and men of wisdom. The epoch of its development is marked with the names of such outstanding scientists, philosophers as Ibn Sina, Najmeddin Kubra, Al Khorezmi.
Shots with famous mausoleums, minarets and other architectural masterpieces of Kunyaurgench replace each other on circle monitor. Doctrines that effected the development of scientific thoughts of the East were created, greatest discoveries and inventions were made on this land. One of the stage version speaks about one of them – the invention of the first globe.
We move from the northern region of the country to Lebap, to the times when rich trade city Amul existed there. The spectator sees Dayahatyn caravansary remained until our days and located on of the section of the Great Silk Road. Screen plays the episodes of the life of bustling and multilingual oriental bazar: there is a trade going on, the barkers do not stint their praises of goods, bullock carts are full with gifts of nature. Craftsmen are working at the same place, people are enjoying the performances of puppeteers, jugglers and acrobats. Merchant caravan is leaving for foreign countries taking famous Turkmen carpets and melons…
The whole picture suddenly stops, the people freeze in their postures and it seems like time has stopped. The image takes us to sand dunes landscape with caravan going along its way among them.
This image were an allegory of the eternity of human existence – endless ocean of the sand associated with inexorable course of time and measured unstoppable move of the caravan that made his way to new horizons to the better future…
Continuing performance takes the spectators to the roads of history, to the legendary Turkmen country Margush. Numerous round stamps discovered during excavations of Margush, which pictograms probably keep the secrets of the scripts of that mysterious country, which is recognized as one of five historical centres of the world’s civilization, are enlarged few times.
Rotating round screen demonstrates the monuments of Ancient Merv, famous Sultan Sanjar Mausoleum, Gyzgala fortress… This part of the performance makes mystical impression, especially when people leaves the field and figures of Margian statuettes, being priceless evidence of the past epoch, seem to turn into life and look with the eyes of unknown gods at the descendants of the citizens of the kingdom that existed thousands of years ago…
And the time goes forward… Magic screen in the centre of the stadium is lit up with bright beams running away along the field and the monitor shows the image of Arkadag Monument and Ashgabat Olympic village.
Pathetic music is played. Historical narration comes to modern day and it is embodied by our beautiful white marble capital.
After, probably the richest by special effects part of the action begins. Panoramic cylindrical display becomes the chest for golden clew from unbreakable threads of the succession of the generations, treasury of spiritual and cultural values gained for the centuries.
Fireworks are lit up on the arena and flies to the sky together with people who raise in the air owing to special devices. Pyrotechnic show is continued by the cascade of fire fountains blazing up above the stadium and scattering around by bright sparks.
After, 21 sports included in the programme of Ashgabat 2017 Games were presented at the stadium under impressing lighting accompaniment and modern energetic music. Choreographic pictures displayed the pictograms, the monitor displayed the image of the Games – Vepaly the alabay and young sportsmen in special uniform demonstrated the main elements of sports disciplines.
The show was being opened by young man with alabay that became an image of Ashgabat 2017 Games. He is followed by the boys carrying two puppies of this breed. After, national teams of 64 countries of Asian and Oceania as well as Refugees team that take part in Asian Games for the first time were following in alphabetic order. The sportsmen are greeted by numerous fans and spectators. The parade is brought up the rear by the host of the Asian Games Turkmenistan.
Opening ceremony at the Olympic village was continued by another part of large theatre performance.
Horsemen with the flags entered fast the field riding beautiful ahalteke horses. The displays in the centre goes up opening the symbol of Oguzkhan – sun disc placed between the horns of lyre. The next moment, this construction transforms and the spectators see huge statue of the forefather of Turkmen nation.
Six sons of Oguzkhan line up around him and 24 grandsons around the perimeter. At the same time, six gold arrows come from the sky and hit the ground next to them. Literature frame of the plot played there is related to the behest of Oguzkhan to his descendants that the power is in the unity as only together they would be able to overcome all the obstacles and adversities, repel the threats and beat the enemy and build a strong state.
It is followed by historical gallery of the images of great people of Turkmen nation who left indelible trace in the history – wise Gorkut ata, Gyorogly bek, Togrul bek, Alp Arslan, Ertogrul Gazi, Magtumguly Fragi.
The next part presented cultural traditions of all five velayats of Turkmenistan. Art masters of Ahal, Balkan, Dashoguz, Lebap and Mary Velayats entered the stadium in turn. The artists, singers and musicians standing on the podium represented by the pattern of particular velayat performed in each group. Dance groups with the compositions on folklore motifs accompanied the performance.
Ancient ritual dance kushtdepdy was performed together by all velayats.
The masters of ceremony announced equestrian group Galkynysh. They created a commotion making fancy riding and acrobatic trick at full galloping. Triple pyramid, crowned with two flags – Turkmenistan and the AOC, was a top performance of Galkynysh group.
After, there was a turn for video show about white marble capital of our country. Ashgabat, having become more beautiful recently, has appeared in all its magnificence of palaces and fountains shining under the sun beams, high-rise buildings and original architectural construction dressed in wonderful attire of evening lighting.
It was replaced by economic part of the performance speaking of modernization of the key branches, first of all about oil and gas industry. It has special symbolism in it – the torch of the Asian Games was lit up at the largest Galkynysh deposit.
Along with economic growth, Turkmenistan actively develops science and education, culture and arts.
Musical show expands at the stadium. After, the artist make the sign “Ashgabat 2017” and projection of the symbol of Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games appears next to it.
Member of Turkmen national wrestling team Rejepaly Orazaliyev and Coach Amanmuhammet Batyrov give an oath on behalf of the sportsmen and referee corps of the country.
Again, 3D image of the flame bursting out from the depth of the soil appears on the arena of the stadium. Octahedral star with Ashgabat 2017 Games logo is lowered down and stops above it.
The play is replaced by the performance of Turkmen popular celebrities.
The monitor demonstrates the footages of 500-day equestrian ride that spread around al, regions of the country.
Shortly, the horseman with the torch of Ashgabat 2017 Games entered the stadium. The tower grows from the centre of the arena and the horseman sends the horse up the stairs toward the top. Having reared the stallion, he reaches octahedral star with the torch that light up two comets that rushed to the bowl above the head of giant horse decorating the dome of the Olympic stadium. The torch of V Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games is lit up in the bowl.
Celebration fireworks thundered above the capital was the final of grandiose event.