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  • Reflections on the 10th Anniversary of Turin 2006 Opening Ceremony -- ATRadio


    (ATR) It was 10 years ago today that the world came to Turin for the start of the 2006 Winter Olympics, and the most memorable elements from the opening ceremony still hold a special place in the heart of the show’s executive producer, Marco Balich.

    The dove at the Turin 2006 opening ceremony (ATR)
    “The best memory is that we had a fantastic president of the republic at the time (Carlo Azeglio Ciampi) who was a big fan of the Olympics and … of the national pride, and we had him to tears,” Balich tells Around the Rings. “We had him very emotional during the opening ceremony.”

    A girl sweetly singing the Italian national anthem and the forming of a dove by acrobats dressed in white were other highlights. The dove, Balich says, will remain one of the most meaningful dove segments ever done in an Olympic ceremony.

    A decade on, Balich has produced other Olympic ceremonies and major events, such as the Rio 2016 flag handover ceremony in London in 2012, the opening and closing ceremonies for UEFA Euro 2012 and the closing ceremony in Sochi in 2014.

    Now, Balich is the executive producer for Olympic ceremonies at Rio 2016, where he is tasked with producing the most spectacular of shows amid Brazil’s economic turmoil and belt-tightening at the organizing committee.

    Balich at Maracana Stadium in Rio (ATR)
    But for Balich – whose love of the Olympics began in 2002 when he produced the flag handover ceremony in Salt Lake City – the joy and celebration of an opening ceremony does not depend on the budget.

    “Money cannot be the only element (that) can determine the quality of a show,” he tells ATR Editor Ed Hula.

    “In the Olympics, you just have to let the emotion grow and you have to stage the emotion that is already there,” Balich says.

    Listen to the SoundCloud link below for ATR’s full interview with Marco Balich.

    Written by Melissa Gray

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