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History of the Opening Ceremony

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The Opening Ceremony has been part of the Olympic Games since its modern inception in 1896. While many parts have changed, some of the traditions from that first Games have carried on to today. The Olympic anthem composed for the 1896 Games is still played and the parade of athletes entering the stadium (called the Parade of Nations) is considered the highlight for most spectators.

Today, Rule 55 of the Olympic Charter governs much of the protocol, but each host country provides its own flavor, especially to the artistic part of the program. Each Opening Ceremony concludes with the lighting of the Olympic flame, signaling the offcial beginning of the Games.

Order of the Elements

  1. Entry and welcome
  2. Playing the national anthem
  3. The parade of the athletes;
  4. Official Speeches
  5. Olympic Laurel
  6. The symbolic release of doves 
  7. The opening of the Games
  8. Raising the Olympic flag and playing the Olympic anthem
  9. The taking of the Olympic oath by an athlete
  10. The Olympic flame and Torch Relay
  11. The artistic programme
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