Story by Lim Yong Teck/Red Sports. Photos by Lim Yong Teck, Clara Yuan, Matthew Lau, Rebekah Abbott, Soh Jun Wei, Jerald Ang/Red Sports
National Stadium, Friday, June 5, 2015 — After a 22-year hiatus, the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games is back in Singapore for its 28th edition and kicked off with a spectacular opening ceremony in front of a sell-out crowd.
Featuring 36 sports and 402 events, this year’s Games is held in conjunction with the Singapore’s 50th year of independence and will mark the Republic’s fourth time hosting the Games.
The two-hour show, directed by creative honcho Beatrice Chia-Richmond and her team, is the first of its kind at the new National Stadium and features about 5,000 performers and volunteers from various institutions and organisations.
Touted as the “most technically-demanding” show, the use of 160 high-definition projectors to generate brilliant floor projections and a customised aerial system allowing performers and props to ‘fly’ in the stadium were one of the main highlights of the show.
The show included a welcome segment, traditional Games ceremonial proceedings and five different acts featuring some of Singapore’s best local artistes and cultural performers.
About 7,000 athletes and officials from the 11 participating countries were involved in the athletes’ parade and the Singaporean contingent, represented by 748 athletes, was led by flag bearer Quah Ting Wen (swimming).
After the address by Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Chairman of the 28th SEA Games Organising Committee Lawrence Wong, the Games was declared open by President Tony Tan and the official Games and Federation flag was raised to the song ‘Reach’, which was performed by local songwriter Dick Lee and the Methodist Girls’ School choir.
The Federation flag was carried by Singapore’s pioneer athletes including K. Jayamani (athletics), David Lim (swimming), Lee Wung Yew (shooting), Wong Liang Ming (taekwondo), Zainal Abidin (squash), Adelene Wee (bowling), Tao Yi Jun (wushu) and Yip Ren Kai (water polo).
The Games flag was carried by current athletes Geraldine Lee (canoeing), Shayna Ng (bowling), Chelsea Ann Sim (taekwondo), Dipna Lim Prasad (athletics), Eugene Teo (water polo), Muhammad Nur Alfian (silat), Daniel Marc Chow (rugby) and Ridhwan Ahmad (boxing).
Lin Qingyi, captain of the national netball team, took the athlete’s oath, while rugby judge and referee Azhar Yusof took the official’s oath.
Combining sound, light and pyrotechnics, the show also paid tribute to local sporting legends Ang Peng Siong (swimming), Ben Tan (sailing), C Kunalan (athletics), Glory Barnabas (athletics), Grace Young (bowling), Joscelin Yeo (swimming), Melanie Martens (hockey) and Sheik Alau’ddin (silat), including coaches from around the region for their dedication to sports and their athletes.
The show culminated with the torch relay and the lighting of the SEA Games Cauldron by national football icon Fandi Ahmad and his son, Irfan Fandi.
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