Aug 13, 2008 at 08:40pm IST

Olympics opening ceremony a big illusion

Beijing: All that glitters in Beijing may not be gold as controversy has broken out over the opening ceremony.

The ceremony on August 8 was hailed as a splendid one with fire works and a crowded National Stadium with nearly 4 billion people witnessing the event around the world.

But what if the incredible opening ceremony were an illusion?

Games organisers have admitted a series of illusions, including pre-taped footprint-shaped fireworks segment.

"On the day of the ceremony there were actual footprint fireworks from the south to the north of the city. However, because of poor visibility on the night, some previously recorded footage may have been used." Beijing Organizing Committee (BOCOG) Vice-President and Spokesman Wang Wei said.

Meanwhile, BOCOG has also confirmed venue managers were using volunteer cheerleaders to fill empty seats in stadiums even as athletes' families were unable to obtain tickets to some events.

"If they (venue managers) find that there are not enough people, or if they find there are too many empty seats they will organise some cheerleaders who are volunteers," Wang said.

And what's more startling is that a seven-year-old girl was replaced after officials deemed her face was not suitable for the opening ceremony.

Instead, an older girl lip-synched the words to Ode to the Motherland, which had been recorded by the youngster.

The ceremony's chief music director claimed on Beijing Radio the change was ordered by a member of China's Politburo. So that's China literally putting it's best face forward.

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