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By the Numbers

Artistic director Zhang Yimou used 14,000 performers, 9,000 from the nation's army, and an additional 600 to put on the fireworks displays.

The elevated globe that produced the splendid final act weighed 16 tons. One hundred and ten minutes of music were specially composed by 18 artists, and there were 15,153 sets of costumes in 47 styles.

The number of torch bearers that brought the flame to the Opening Ceremonies: 21,880.

And, of course, 10,500 athletes (not all showed up) from 204 nations. There were supposed to be 205, but the International Olympic Committee announced shortly before the event that Brunei Darussalem had been excluded because it failed to register any athletes for competition.

By Amy Shipley  |  August 8, 2008; 9:32 AM ET
Categories:  Opening Ceremonies  
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it's really ashamed that the american public has to watch this ceremony on a tape delayed basis.

Posted by: ron | August 8, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

This is a shame!!!!! The whole world is watching the opening ceremony and we are in a TOTAL media BLACK OUT HERE! This is just too much! Is money the only reason? The American audience don't deserve this.

Posted by: Jerry Acosta | August 8, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Its outrageous that we are not free to watch and enjoy the live broadcast of a world event. Home of the free? Hardly.

Posted by: Paul Nolan | August 8, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

It is a shame that the American public has to watch a delayed tape of the Opening Ceremonies. But think about it, China is exactly 12 hours ahead of us, it is nearly impossible to broad cast something from there to here in real time.

If you want to see it live, you should have just pay an extraordinary amount of money and gone to see it yourself.

Posted by: A. H. | August 8, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Let's be fair, basically, most American are not so interested in this game, plus the TV station would not so willing to pay a big chunk of dough on broadcasting this. This really SUCKS while I was in US in Yr. 2000, when I was not able to watch Sydney Olymics real time. Forget about the time zone, this is not the issue at all. Most European countris plus the neighbour Canada, and other south American countries will broadcast the game. If you ever go outside US, Olympic plus FIFA are most popular games in the whole world, instead NBA and NFL, although I love NBA.

Posted by: Karl | August 8, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

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