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Opening Ceremony | Closing Ceremony
At the Opening Ceremony of the Calgary 1988 Olympic Winter Games, athletes were permitted to sit in the stands with the spectators for the first time in the history of the Olympic Winter Games.
A choir of 1100 voices opened the ceremony with the theme song of the XV Olympic Winter Games, Come Together in Calgary.
The opening number required 1200 performers and 200 horses. About 100,000 young people from Calgary, aged nine to 12, performed; and some 40 social and cultural groups, including five First Nations groups from south Alberta also participated in the festivities. The flags of the 57 participating countries were then hoisted by a company of 120 cadets from Calgary.
Canada's Governor General, the Right Honourable Jeanne Sauvé, made her entrance in a horse-drawn carriage. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police performed a number from the Musical Ride. Then, as is the tradition, the delegations led by Greece made their entrance into the stadium from the north, in alphabetical order, with Canada as the host country being the last to enter.
Over 300 dancers performed a contemporary two-step to recall the origins of Calgary's first settlers. Two Canadian artists, Ian Tyson and Gordon Lightfoot, sang on this occasion.
The President of the organizing committee, Frank King, and the President of the IOC, Juan Antonio Samaranch, delivered their speeches, and then the Governor General announced the official opening of the Games.Two former Canadian Olympic athletes, Cathy Priestner and Ken Read, entered the stadium with the Olympic torch. The torch was handed to a 12-year-old schoolgirl, Robyn Perry, to symbolize the future generation of athletes; she then lit the McMahon Stadium cauldron.
To the delight of the spectators, an acrobatic aerial display by Canada's Snowbirds left trails of smoke in the colours of the five Olympic Rings in the sky.
The judge and the designated athlete swore their oath; a choir sang the Canadian national anthem, and then with the song Can't You Feel It? being sung, the Opening Ceremony came to a close.
The XV Olympic Winter Games were officially open.