Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony: Raging Bull and Classic Cars Celebrate the Best of…

Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony: Raging Bull and Classic Cars Celebrate the Best of...

July 29, 2022, 00:25 | Updated: July 29, 2022, 00:34

The Commonwealth Games have started in style, with the opening ceremony spectacle featuring a raging bull and classic cars to celebrate the best of Birmingham.

Local musical heroes Duran Duran and Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi took center stage at the ceremony, which honored the city’s industrial heritage and multicultural tradition.

The performance followed the story of young athletes Stella and the Dreamers who all collect pieces of a star that has fallen to Earth,

They represented participants from the 72 countries and territories of the Commonwealth who were later cheered by a 30,000 spectators into the arena at the redeveloped Alexander Stadium, which will host athletics next week.

Stella and the dreamers held pieces of the fallen star

Stella and the dreamers held pieces of the fallen star.

Photo: Getty

Meanwhile, Prince Charles and Camilla arrived in style and entered the venue in an Aston Martin as part of a convoy of 72 cars that formed a Union Jack when viewed from above.

The parade of red, white and blue cars lined up as the crowd gathered to sing the national anthem. It was followed by a fly-past from Red Arrows.

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Charles and Camilla arrived in style

Charles and Camilla arrived in style.

Photo: Getty

the flight pass

The flight pass.

Image: Alamy

For many, it was the 10-metre-tall mechanical ‘Raging Bull’ – the iconic symbol of Birmingham – that stole the show as it propelled smoke into the night sky.

It was brought in for part of the ceremony, focusing on the plight of female chain makers in the early 20th century, with actors running and screaming.

The bull at the ceremony

The bull at the ceremony.

Image: Alamy

The beast was then tamed by Stella and the Dreamers and a bright feast ensued, mixing different dance genres.

The ceremony also included a performance by 25-year-old activist Malala Yousafzai, who now lives in Birmingham, campaigning and raising funds for girls’ education programs in her native Pakistan.

Her determination to stand up for her beliefs nearly cost her her life when she was shot in the head in an assassination attempt in 2012.

Malala took the stage

Malala took the stage.

Image: Alamy

“Tonight teams from 72 countries and territories join the people of Birmingham to celebrate friendship across borders,” said Malala.

“They represent millions of girls and boys and our common goal, where every child can go to school, where women can participate fully in society and where families can live in peace and dignity.

“Remember that every child deserves her chance to fulfill her potential and pursue her wildest dreams.”

Prince Charles later officially declared the 22nd edition of the Games open, with a spectacular fireworks display that brought the ceremony to a close and kicked off the world’s first major multi-sport event to take place without Covid restrictions since the pandemic.

He also conveyed the Queen’s message to the Commonwealth Games, where she said the Games “remind us of our bond with each other, wherever we are in the world, as part of the Commonwealth family of nations”.

She described Birmingham as “a pioneering city that has attracted and embraced so many throughout its history”.

“It is a city that symbolizes the rich diversity and unity of the Commonwealth, and a city that now welcomes you all in friendship,” the message read.

More than 5,000 athletes will participate in 280 events across 19 sports over the next 10 days, with a parasport program integrated into the Games. It will also be the first major multisport games to award more medals to women than men – 136 and 134.

Other firsts for the Birmingham Games include Commonwealth debuts in women’s T20 cricket and 3×3 basketball as the Games continue to evolve and remain relevant.

As the ceremony drew to a close, Tom Daley emerged proudly flanked by Pride flags as one of the last six torchbearers to enter the stadium, each representing a different cause or an underrepresented minority close to their hearts.

It came in an effort by event organizers to make the Games as inclusive as possible.