After a chaotic couple of weeks, the weather-gods seemed to be impressed with the shake-up at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi that they promptly stayed away as Prince Charles arrived at the impressive Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium to declare the 2010 Commonwealth Games open.
The star of the evening’s stunning Opening Ceremony hovered about 25 m above ground. The “Aerostat“, a reportedly $9m white helium-filled balloon doubled as a massive screen and was also filled with cameras and other high-tech gadgets.
Delhi’s Aerostat hovers above the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium (Pic:AP)
Thousands of the approximately 7 000 athletes already in India joined a crowd of 60 000 as a procession of wedding guests, mystics and artisans, a human train, tuk-tuk drivers and thousands of folk dancers celebrated India’s diverse cultural heritage.
If they weren’t already, the crowd was whipped into a frenzy as the Oscar-winning “Slumdog Millionaire” composer A.R. Rahman sang the self-penned theme song of the sporting extravaganza, Jiyo Utho Bado Jeeto.
The Springbok Sevens team were not part of the evening’s celebrations as they are still preparing at their Stellenbosch base. After a brief stop-over in Dubai, the Boys will join the rest of Team South Africa at the athletes’ village later this week.
The Sevens tournament takes place at Delhi University in exactly a week’s time.
Jai Ho India!