Monday, August 1, 2016

List of Olympic Ceremony Records - Olympic Ceremony Database

OLYMPIC OPENING CEREMONY RECORDS

The following is a list of known records as it regards the Olympic Opening Ceremonies.  The learn more about every Olympic Ceremony, please visit www.olympicceremony.org.

(*) designates records that regard either unofficial Olympic Games (1906) or unofficial ceremonies (1900,1904)

OLYMPIC OPENING CEREMONY FIRSTS (SUMMER)

  • First Opening Ceremony - Athens 1896
  • First Opening Ceremony Spanning More than One Day - Athens 1896
  • First Incorporation of a Religious Service with the Olympic Opening Ceremony - Athens 1896
  • First Olympics Without an Opening Ceremony - Paris 1900
  • First Christian Prayer Read - Stockholm 1912
  • THE FIRST OLYMPIC FLAME - The two towers of the stadium were fit with oil-burning beacons used previous to the 1912 games and later during the 1956 Equestrian Games. This was the first Olympic Flame in history as the extended official report (not included) details the specifics of the beacons, that they would burn during the "greatest festivals" held at the stadium, the IOC President first mentions the "Olympic Flame" in his speech at the Closing Ceremony, and the 1956 Equestrian Games Official Report confirms that these were indeed lit during the 1912 Olympics - according to the International Olympic Committee, the first Olympic Flame was lit in 1928 in Amsterdam, and the first Olympic Torch Relay was in 1936 in Berlin. - Stockholm 1912
  • First Opening Ceremony to be Canceled (World War I) - Berlin 1916
  • First Athletes' Oath - Antwerp 1920
  • First Release of Doves - Antwerp 1920
  • First Olympic Flag - Antwerp 1920
  • First Olympic Torch Relay - Berlin 1936
  • First Athlete's Oath Taken on Horseback - Stockholm 1956
  • First Presentation of the "Antwerp" Olympic Flag (the Olympic flag from the Antwerp Olympics of 1920 - actually from the 1924 Paris Olympics because the 1920 flag was stolen when an American diver climbed the pole and stole the flag only to return it in 2000 at the age of 103 - is presented to the Mayor of the host city who will keep the flag in the Town Hall until the following Olympics) - Rome 1960
  • First Woman to Take the Athlete's Oath - Munich 1972

OLYMPIC OPENING CEREMONY LOCATION RECORDS (SUMMER)


OLYMPIC OPENING CEREMONY MUSIC FIRSTS (SUMMER)

  • First Use of the Olympic Anthem - Athens 1896
  • First Use of an Orchestra - Athens 1896
  • First Use of a Choir - Athens 1896
  • First Playing of the National Anthem at an Official Opening Ceremony (The Star-Spangled Banner was performed in 1904 but it was neither the official National Anthem of the U.S. nor was it an official Opening Ceremony) - London 1908
  • First Use of a Christian Hymn (Our God, He is a Castle Strong to the hymn tune EIN FESTE BURG) - Stockholm 1912
  • First Marching Band - Melbourne 1956
  • First Opening Ceremony Theme Song - Tokyo 1964
  • First Use of Electronic Music - Tokyo 1964
  • First Use of a Gospel Choir - Los Angeles 1984
  • First Use of Pianos (most pianos used - 85) - Los Angeles 1984
  • First Opera Written and Performed for the Opening Ceremony - Atlanta 1996
  • First Summer Olympic Ceremony to Not Sing the Current Olympic Hymn (instrumental version performed: this version of the Olympic Hymn was performed in 1896, 1960-present) - London 2012

OLYMPIC OPENING CEREMONY ARTISTIC FIRSTS (SUMMER)

  • First Mass Demonstration Performed at an Opening Ceremony (mass Gymnastics display) - Stockholm 1912
  • First Dancing Display in the Opening Ceremony - Stockholm 1912
  • First Mass Artistic Demonstration Performed at an Olympic Games (The Great Choral Festival) - Stockholm 1912
  • First Airplane Flyover - Antwerp 1920
  • First Use of a Canon (canons were also used in the Closing Ceremony of 1920 Antwerp) - Paris 1924
  • First Use of Loudspeaker - Paris 1924
  • First Large Open-air Play Performed at the Olympic Games - Amsterdam 1928
  • First Use of a Mechanical Scoreboard - Los Angeles 1932
  • First Olympic Bell - Berlin 1936
  • First Use of an Audio Recording (voice of Baron Pierre de Coubertain - deceased founder of the modern Olympics) - Berlin 1936
  • First Official Olympic Film/Broadcast - Berlin 1936
  • First Mass Artistic Display in an Opening Ceremony - Berlin 1936
  • First Use of an Electric Scoreboard - Helsinki 1952
  • First Mass Dance Display at an Opening Ceremony (the mass play of the 1936 Olympics occurred immediately following the opening ceremony, however this was part of the official program, breaking IOC ceremonial protocol) - Stockholm 1956
  • First Use of Balloons - Tokyo 1964
  • First Use of Fireworks - Tokyo 1964
  • First Release of Perfume - Tokyo 1964
  • First Use of Sky-writing by Airplane - Tokyo 1964
  • First Videoboard - Montreal 1976
  • First Live Broadcast from Space During the Opening Ceremony - Moscow 1980
  • First Large-scale human picture-board (thousands of people carrying flip cards forming pictures throughout the ceremony) - Moscow 1980
  • First Use of Large Props in an Opening Ceremony - Moscow 1980
  • Largest Cast (16,000) - Moscow 1980
  • First Use of a Jet Pack During the Opening Ceremony - Los Angeles 1984
  • First Ceremony to Present the Artistic Portion Before the Ceremonial Portion (current design) - Los Angeles 1984
  • First Ceremony to Use Audience as Artistic Participants (card stunt) - Los Angeles 1984
  • First Parade of Ships - Seoul 1988
  • First Parachute Stunt - Seoul 1988
  • First to Use a Floor Covering - Barcelona 1992
  • First to Cover Stadium Floor and Peopel (athletes) with Olympic Flag - Barcelona 1992
  • First Mass Use of Puppetry - Barcelona 1992
  • First Artistic Use of Cars - Atlanta 1996
  • First Use of Silhouette Imagery - Atlanta 1996
  • First Use of Puppets in Dove Release - Atlanta 1996
  • First Tribute to an Individual Not Associated with the Olympics (Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.) - Atlanta 1996
  • First Use of Suspended Puppetry - Sydney 2000
  • First Use of Suspended Performers - Sydney 2000
  • First Use of Fire-breathers - Sydney 2000
  • First Opening Ceremony to Fill Stadium Floor with Water - Athens 2004
  • First Holograph - Athens 2004
  • First Olympic Ceremonies to Use LED Projection Floor - Beijing 2008
  • First Stadium Specifically Designed to Host a Ceremony Performance - Beijing 2008
  • First to Use LED Screen Effects in Stadium Seating - London 2012
  • First Emphasizing Live Film Production - London 2012
  • First to Use Livestock - London 2012
  • First to Cover the Stadium Floor in an Interchangeable Stage - London 2012

OLYMPIC OPENING CEREMONY PARADE OF NATIONS FIRSTS (SUMMER)

  • First Parade of Athletes (not separated by country) - Athens 1896
  • *First Parade of Nations in Alphabetical Order - Athens 1906 Intercalated Games
  • First Parade of Nations in Alphabetical Order - London 1908
  • First Parade of Nations to Use a Standard Displaying the Country Name - London 1908
  • First Parade of Nations Led by Greece and Concluded by the Host Nation - Amsterdam 1928
  • First Opening Ceremony Requiring Athletes to Not Give Olympic Salute (This was a salute with the hand held up and outstretched with palm down - identical to the Nazi salute - you will notice many old films on this site show the Olympic salute. Because of the similarity, the salute was banned.) - London 1948
  • First Opening Ceremony to Feature the Parade of Nations on Horseback - Stockholm 1956
  • First Flag-bearer to Hold their National Flag with Prostrated Arm (without carrier) - USSR - Mexico City 1968
  • First Parade of Nations Not Enforcing a Strict Marching Step Order (athletes could now walk casually out of step) - Montreal 1976
  • First Entrance of the Athletes from a Ramp Above the Stadium - Atlanta 1996

OLYMPIC OPENING CEREMONY CROWD AND STADIUM RECORDS (SUMMER)
Largest Stadium to Host the Opening Ceremony Record Timeline
(45,000) - Athens 1896
(68,000) - London 1908
(105,000) - Los Angeles 1932
(110,000) - Sydney 2000

Largest Crowd to Attend the Opening Ceremony Record Timeline
(80,000) - Athens 1896
(105,000) - Los Angeles 1932
(110,000) - Sydney 2000

Smallest Stadium to Host the Opening Ceremony Record Timeline
(45,000) - Athens 1896
*(4,000) - St. Louis 1904
(33,000) - Stockholm 1912
(12,711) - Antwerp 1920

Smallest Crowd to Attend the Opening Ceremony Record Timeline
(80,000) - Athens 1896
*(4,000) - St. Louis 1904
(40,000) - London 1908
(33,000) - Stockholm 1912
(20,000) - Antwerp 1920

OLYMPIC TORCH RELAY RECORDS (SUMMER)

  • First Olympic Torch Relay - Berlin 1936
  • First double-relay (the Olympic Flame was lit by the rays of the sun in Olympia, Greece, while the organizers planned another relay beginning in the Arctic Circle with a flame lit by the rays of the Midnight Sun) - Helsinki 1952
  • First to Use Two Different Torch Designs (the final torch was unique to the other torches) - Melbourne 1956
  • First Olympic Torch Relay to be Run on the Track at the Ancient Stadium in Olympia, Greece - Tokyo 1964
  • First torch relayed by swimming (amazing photos in the official report of the swimmer swimming with one arm holding the flame high out of the water) - Mexico City 1968
  • Most Torch Designs - 7 (previous Melbourne 1956 - 2) - Mexico City 1968
  • First Electronically Transmitted Olympic Flame (as described in the official report: "She then presents the Olympic Flame to the sensor, which detects the ionized particles, converting them into coded impulses that are transmitted by satellite to Ottawa, where they activate a laser beam which instantly recreates the Olympic Flame in its original shape." - while the statement that it could recreate the flame in its original shape is laughably false, this statement is hyperbole - simply, the flame touched a sensor in Athens causing a computer in Ottawa to shoot a laser) - Montreal 1976
  • First Protested Olympic Torch Relay (people could purchase a spot in the relay for $3,000; this move was objected by the Greek Olympic Committee; the torch lighting and relay in Europe was performed privately, secretly transported to Athens by helicopter, and then by Air-Force One to New York under heavy security to ensure the Olympic tradition continued. The previous plan was to have the flame kindled at the Olympic headquarteres in Switzerland and "electronically" transmitted, a bogus relay method, to a computer in New York - similar to the relay of Montreal 1976 - the purchase program raised $10 million for American youth and handicap organizations) - Los Angeles 1984
  • First Flame Brought into the Stadium from Underground - Atlanta 1996


OLYMPIC TORCH RELAY MODES OF TRANSPORTATION FIRSTS (SUMMER)


OLYMPIC TORCH RELAY RECORD TIMELINES (SUMMER)
Longest Olympic Torch Relay Record Timeline
3,075km - Berlin 1936
3,160km - London 1948
4,735km - Helsinki 1952
17,412km - Melbourne 1956
27,065km - Tokyo 1964
34,011km - Atlanta 1996
38,646km - Sydney 2000
132,129km - Athens 2004
137,000km - Beijing 2008

Shortest Olympic Torch Relay Record Timeline
3,075km - Berlin 1936
1,863km - Rome 1960
775km - Montreal 1976

Most Nations Traveled Record Timeline
27 - Athens 2004

Most Torchbearers Record Timeline 
3,308 - Berlin 1936
3,374 - Helsinki 1952
5,244 - Tokyo 1964
6,200 - Moscow 1980
9,484 - Barcelona 1992
13,267 - Atlanta 1996
21,880 - Beijing 2008

OLYMPIC CAULDRON FIRSTS (SUMMER)

  • First Olympic Cauldron - Stockholm 1912
  • First Lighting of Two Olympic Cauldrons - Helsinki 1952
  • First Ceremony to Light Three Olympic Cauldrons at the Olympic Stadium - Stockholm 1956
  • First Olympic Cauldron Not Ignited by Hand-delivered Torch - Barcelona 1992
  • First Mechanically Moving Olympic Cauldron - Sydney 2000
  • First Cauldron Lit by Suspended Torchbearer - Beijing 2008
  • First Olympic Cauldron Assembled During the Ceremony - London 2012

OPENING CEREMONY MODES OF LIGHTING CAULDRON FIRSTS (SUMMER)

  • First Cauldron Lighting by an Individual - Berlin 1936
  • First Olympic Cauldron Lit on Horseback - Stockholm 1956
  • First Woman to Light the Olympic Cauldron - Mexico City 1968
  • First Olympic Cauldron Lit by Two People - Montreal 1976
  • First Person of African Descent to Light the Olympic Flame - Los Angeles 1984
  • First Cauldron Lit Using Hydraulic Lift - Seoul 1988
  • First Cauldron Lit by Three Torchbearers - Seoul 1988
  • First Olympic Cauldron Ignited by Archer* (remote control ignition of cauldron) - Barcelona 1992
  • First Olympic Cauldron Lit by Wire and Pulley - Atlanta 1996
  • First Olympic Cauldron Lit into Water - Sydney 2000
  • First Cauldron Lit by Suspended Torchbearer - Beijing 2008
  • First Cauldron Lit by Seven Torchbearers - London 2012

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