Drummer Abraham Paddy Tet kicked things off at a packed Alexander Stadium, and then Indian classical singer-composer Ranjana Ghatak took the lead in a segment meant to showcase the city’s diversity. put
It was refreshing
The Games are the first multi-discipline event to be held without major COVID-19 restrictions since the start of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, around 70 red, white and blue cars came together to form a Union Jack, even as Prince Charles, representing Queen Elizabeth II, arrived in his Aston Martin with the Duchess of Cornwall. The formation of the cars was a tribute to the city’s incredible motor industry history.
Just before that, the city paid homage to the Queen, even as her montage harkened back to the black-and-white era.
After a spectacular display of Birmingham’s culture and diversity, the evening paid tribute to Charlie Chaplin, with the legendary comedian being remembered as one of the city’s heroes. Between London and Birmingham, his birthplace has actually been the subject of much debate.
There was also an honorary mention of William Shakespeare, as broadcasters talked about the first Shakespeare folio, which is in the New Library of Birmingham – the largest public library in the UK.
Through its printing press, the history of this place was shown in all its glory.
Then there was a giant bull in the stadium, accompanied by the overworked and underpaid chain-makers of the Industrial Revolution. As long as the raging bull was there, bellowing, the glittering ceremony was a sad sight for all eyes.
Perry the Bull, the games mascot, takes his name from the town’s iconic bull ring market, which has been around for hundreds of years.
Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) President Louise Martin said: “Our 72 countries and territories are all here – and Birmingham looks magnificent.”
“I believe this event will be one of the biggest and most important Commonwealth Games in our 92-year history,” he added.
Then the parade of nations began.
As per CWG tradition, Australia, who hosted the last Games, arrived first during the parade, followed by the rest of the Oceania region.
Then, other countries entered the arena in alphabetical order from their respective regions.
Countries from Africa, the Americas, Asia, the Caribbean followed and then it was the turn of India, the host of the 2010 Games, with two-time Olympic badminton medalist PV Sindhu and men’s hockey captain Manpreet Singh leading the pack amid loud cheers from the stands.
Again as usual, hosts England entered the final match with “We will, we will rock you” playing in the background.
Birmingham got into the spirit of the Mexican wave right at the start of the event with a display of grandeur, rich culture, diversity and heritage.
The Commonwealth Games ceremonial flag was unfurled, after which CGF President Martin went out to make a speech, and at the end the Prince of Wales read the Queen’s message to announce the opening of the Games.
British LGBTQ+ activist and Olympian Tom Daley, winner of four Commonwealth gold medals in swimming, brought the Queen’s baton to the Alexander Stadium with an entourage of LGBTQ+ flag bearers.
One of the highlights of the two-and-a-half-hour event was local favorite Duran Duran, who provided the finale on a stunning night in the city where their career began 44 years ago.
Acclaimed musician Tony Iommi from Black Sabbath and Birmingham City Symphony Orchestra also performed, while talented young singer from the Ribble Valley, Samantha Oxborough, sang the British national anthem ‘God Save the Queen’.
A chorus of more than 700 voices, made up of 15 choirs from across the West Midlands, resonated, led by Carol Pemberton and Black Weiss, one of Europe’s leading female a cappella groups.
The Royal Marines unleashed a rousing trumpet frenzy, while Grammy-winning guitarist Iommi and saxophonist Sueto Kinch performed a dreamy sequence of Hear My Voice, based on the title track of the 2020 film Trial of the Chicago Seven, performed by Birmingham Burr. It was reimagined, they led. R&B singers Indigo Marshall and Gambimi.
Steven Knight, creator of the acclaimed British crime drama Peaky Blinders, was the creative mastermind behind the event, which featured more than 2,000 performers tracing the city’s glorious past and present, while reflecting the links between the 72 countries and territories in this were the city Commonwealth Games
The Games, set to be Britain’s biggest and most expensive sporting event since the London 2012 Olympics, will have to deal with the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Almost 10 years have passed since the highly acclaimed opening ceremony of the London Games.
The opening was the beginning of 11 days of sports activities in this city. More than 5,000 athletes from 72 countries will compete in 280 events in 19 sports in 15 stadiums.