Incheon Asian Games Kicks Off with Grand Ceremony

      September 19, 2014 12:04

      The Incheon Asian Games officially kicks off with the opening ceremony at 6 p.m. on Friday. The ceremony features four hours of performances as the continent's largest sporting event brings all Asian nations together. The Games will last until Oct . 4.

      A traditional folk music performance called pungmulnori designated as the host city’s cultural assets will start the proceedings, and K-pop stars including Big Bang, CNBLUE and EXO and actors Jang Dong-gun and Kim Soo-hyun will appear on stage to add glamor. 

      Boy band JYJ, the promotional ambassador of this year's Asiad, will sing the Games' official song "Only One," and soprano Jo Su-mi will perform with a choir of 919 residents of the host city symbolizing the event's opening date. Renowned Chinese pianist Lang Lang will also participate.

      Then the delegates from 45 countries will enter the stadium in Korean alphabetical order, with South Korea, as the host country, coming last. North Korea will be 30th.

      The highlight of the ceremony will come with the lighting of the flame. How and who will light it has been kept secret. Film director Jang Jin, who is in charge of the opening ceremony, said people would not be able to guess the person easily.

      Possible candidates include athletes from Incheon like Jang Chang-seon (wrestling) and Baek Ok-ja (shot-put) as well as the star of the hit soap "Jewel in the Palace" Lee Young-ae.

      The ceremony will be closed by rapper Psy who rose to global fame with "Gangnam Style."

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