3 Most Watched Olympics Opening Ceremonies of All Time

We live in a world where some things are much bigger and have a much greater and deeper meaning, and sport, in general, is perhaps the best possible example. Now, depending on what some may prefer, there are more and less popular sports, but we can all agree that global sports events like the World Cup or World Championship in athletics, the mother of all games, or swimming are one of a kind events.

Of course, this list would be incomplete if we haven’t mentioned the Games of Olympiad as it is one of the most globally popular and widespread events with a much deeper meaning to us and the one with a rich history.

The importance of the Olympics


Namely, in the past, during Olympic Games, wars were ended, and this should be enough to showcase the real importance and greatness of the Olympic Games. Of course, there was a time when the Olympics were not something people thought about, but still, from the first moment Games of the Olympiad was organized back in 1896, it changed everything.

One of the highest rewards that one athlete can get is, of course, to win a medal, and that medal doesn’t even have to be the gold one, but there is one more thing, one moment which doesn’t include battles, matches, games, but is considered as one of the most prestigious duties or honors, and that’s holding and waving the national flag during the Olympics opening ceremony.

Opening ceremony as a mix of exuberance and prestige

The opening ceremony of the Olympic Games is one of the globally most-viewed events of all time, and every four years, there is a belief that there will be a new record. Now, that simply cannot happen, as some hosting cities attract both more visitors and more viewers, but still, there is competition among host cities and countries on which opening ceremony would gather more viewers. It’s an event that’s watched by millions, but in order to settle this brawl, let’s look at the facts and see what the top three most-watched opening ceremonies of all time are. You can find more about these events on post on

The games of XXX Olympiad


This show is rightfully in the first place, and there are plenty of reasons for that. The main one being about those who made the appearance, as they added that extra little spark that a show like this deserves. The audience has the opportunity to see greatness like Rowan Atkinson and the incredible Joanne Kate Rowling, who wrote the Harry Potter saga.

Danny Boyle is a director of an Oscar-winning movie, so the fact he helms the ceremony means a lot. He mentioned all of the most crucial moments from British history, from the globally recognizable Revolution to children’s classics literature pieces. The spectators were thrilled when Atkinson performed the one note on synthesizer with London Symphony Orchestra.

Although there were many memorable moments during the show, one of them was the most talked about because of Her Majesty. Namely, there was a moment in the show when the Queen parachuted from a helicopter alongside James Bond. Of course, the person who really jumped was a doubler, but she was in the video moments before the actual jump.

Beijing, 2008


The show with probably the highest number of performers was in Beijing in 2008, and it is still something that people around the globe talk about. The total number of performers was 14,000, including dancers with brushes who painted a gigantic scroll, acrobats inspired by astronauts, famous singer Liu Huan, soprano Sarah Brightman, and many others. 897 of them made a real show when they worked together as blocks in a movable-type printing press which left every spectator without words.

Besides that, no one remained indifferent when more than 2,000 people played the ancient national instrument called fou at the same time in a flawless performance, or when Li Niang ran on top of the stadium suspended just from cables. The budget for this amazing show was about $100 million, which is not a surprise regarding all the performances that made this show unforgettable, and it is not a big surprise that the star of the night was Jackie Chan.

Sydney, 2000


We can talk a lot about Australia and the people who live there, and everyone who watched the opening ceremony held in Sydney exactly know what we are talking about. This ceremony showcased Australia in the best possible way. The spectators had the opportunity to see the whole continent during the different performances that showed all its beauty.

An aerial puppet display that showed flowy sea creatures had the role of bringing the Great Barrier Reef closer to the viewers. A segment of frontier ingenuity had the role of bringing the Outback closer, while the dancers who moved in the form of Olympic rings had the role of representing the suburbs.

Of course, there were some brilliant performers such as John Farnham and Cathy Freeman who made the whole world stop for about four minutes, when she lit the cauldron, and because of the technical issues, it got stuck on its rise on the top. Known as very welcoming people, more than 1,000 Australians greeted all states in one amazing performance.

To Summarize

If you had a dispute with your friends over which was the most-watched Olympics opening ceremony, hopefully now, after reading everything mentioned above, you have won because the one held in London was surely the most viewed.

People often get mistaken and mix terms like most memorable and most-watched, but if the dispute you had was about the second one, and your pick was 2012 London, then congratulations. Of course, some Olympics had less, and some had more iconic moments, like the one in 1936 when Jesse Owens won four gold medals for the USA in Berlin, in front of Hitler, but that’s just one example.

The true meaning of the Olympics is much greater than just sporting events, and the Olympics motto Faster, Higher, Stronger, Together says a lot about that.