OLYMPICS - 2003 SUMMER GAMES
Olympics torch, the Flame of Hope, is due to blaze through the
streets of Dublin on the morning of June 21, heralding the arrival of the day
of the spectacular Opening Ceremony for the 2003 Special Olympics World Summer
Games, the largest sporting event in the world.
and Tyrone Productions join
with the Honourable Nelson Mandela, Ireland's President Mary McAleese,
Special Olympics Founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver, and boxing legend Muhammad
Ali. Bono, U2, the Corrs, Samantha Mumba, Ronan Tynan and more lead
a strong line-up of celebrities and stars from the world of international sport
and show business taking part in the entertainment and celebrations, with Patrick
Kielty acting as Master of Ceremonies for the night. The Special Olympics
celebrate the abilities of folks with disabilities, bringing together 7,000 extraordinary
athletes from over 160 countries for the first time to collectively celebrate
their achievement at reaching the 2003 World Summer Games. The athletes themselves
will play prominent parts in the production: raising the Special Olympics flag,
swearing the Special Olympics Oath, introducing dignitaries and guests and, at
the climax of the evening, relaying the torch around the arena and lighting the
Flame of Hope.
For the first time in the 35-year history of the Special
Olympics movement, the Opening Ceremony at Croke Park will be televised live by
host broadcaster RTÉ. It marks one
of the largest television productions ever undertaken in Ireland, with 21 cameras
bringing pictures of the event to every town and village in Ireland and around
the world. The Opening Ceremony of the 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games
is created and produced for television by Tyrone Productions.
contribution to this night will be a performance featuring the longest troupe
line ever seen in an Irish dance show, over 100 dancers. The Choir and Drum
Corps have also been increased to match the occasion. Leading the Riverdance troupe
will be Joanne Doyle and Breándan de Gallaí. The closing
ceremony on June 29th will honor the 30,000 volunteers who made it all possible.
producers undertook a search for a young Irish female solo singer to perform Bill
Whelan's haunting Cloudsong. The search began in January of this
year, and after auditions in March, the numbers were whittled down to six. Bill
Whelan attended the final auditions, and the panel was unanimous in its choice:
-- see photo on right with John
McColgan. A member of Anúna,
she has performed with them in New York, Amsterdam, Morocco and elsewhere, and
won the R&R Cup (Solo Singing) at the Feis Ceoil 2002.
at the Point Depot... where it all began!
The Celtic Cafe
community is very excited not only about the fact that so many dancers will be
taking part in the Opening Ceremony, but that so many of the original troupe have
returned for this very special event! Click
here for the very first website devoted to Riverdance, now archived here
at the Celtic Cafe.
Can you imagine the emotions of the dancers? The rehearsals
for the Irish dance event on June 21st are taking place at the Point
Depot theater, where it all began in February of 1995!
following are the names of the dancers performing at the Special Olympics Opening
Dearbhail Bates, Orfhlaith Bates, Lorna Bradley, Martin
Brennan, Abigail Browne, Rachel Byrne, Cathleen Callen, Nora Cannon, John Carey,
Gemma Carney, Doireann Carney, Yzanne Cloonan, Isobel Cunningham, Andrea Curley,
Maeve Donohoe, Niamh Eustace, Denise Flynn, Eddie Flynn, Fiona Harold, Patricia
Henry, Kerry Hutchinson, Orla Keane, Aidan Kilcoyne, Dearbhla Lennon, Conor Maher,
Gregory McMahon, Jonathan McMorrow, Clare McNelis, Yvonne McNelis, Cal Moran,
Gerard Mulrey, Damian Murphy, Lorcan Murphy, Mairead Ni Bhriain, Richard Nicholl,
Derval O'Brien, Amy O'Rourke, Colm O'Se, Damien Noone, Scott Porter, Ursula Quigley,
Edel Quin, Joan Rafter, Geraldine Reidy, Paula Bell, Niamh Browne, Joanne Evans,
Seamus Fearon, Sinead Greene, Brenda Daly (Jordan), Damian Kirk, Carla O'Brien,
Aine Rooney, Conor Smith, Eithne Walls, Lynsey Wilkinson, Roisin Cahalan, Orla
Clarke, Melissa Convery, Arlene Toal, Julie Regan, Dearbhla Fay, Jason McMorrow,
Rachel Galligan, Susan Ginnety, Karen Halley, Siobhan Lambert, Dervla McGee, Cheryl
Nolan, Niamh O'Connor, Jo-Ellen Forsyth, Anthony Ferguson, Karen Bolton, Breandan
de Gallai, Joanne Doyle, Ciara Fenlon, Riona Ni Fhrighil, Zoe Heynes, Siobhan
Gargan, Lisa Berry, Suzanne O'Sullivan, Fiona Hand, Ronan Slevin, Gearoid Keane,
Sean Keane, Jacintha Sharpe, Jennifer Sharpe, Siobhan McSharry, Keith Brett, Kellie
Keegan, Grace Lavelle, Yvonne Mahady, Lisa Loran, Taka Hayashi, Jennifer Healy,
Claire McManus, Aoife Clarke, Andrew Nolan, David Bellwood, Linda Nurney.
Keep up with news of Riverdance's involvement in this amazing event via their
Exclusives section at Riverdance.com
over the coming days!
We at the Celtic Cafe send all our best wishes and
the best of luck to the athletes and all the other participants -- enjoy the
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