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Switzerland opens Euro 2008 with Alpine-flavored ceremony

Switzerland opens Euro 2008 with Alpine-flavored ceremony

European Championship co-host Switzerland opened the tournament Saturday with a ceremony featuring Alp horns and yodlers to set the tone for the three-week festival of football shared with Austria.
In the 13-minute leadup to the opening match between Switzerland and Czech Republic, participants carrying 800 large cubes converted the field at St. Jakob Park into a representation of Lake Constance, the body of water on the Austrian-Swiss border.
Performers depicted summer and winter landscapes, surrounded by symbols of the two countries such as plastic cows and skiers. A dance team with red and white costumes lay in three concentric circles on the ground to create a clock, rolling over to simulate a moving second hand.
After flag carriers brought in the national banners of the 16 participating teams, the symbol of the Euro 2008, featuring three mountains, was formed.
As 5,000 green and white balloons floated skyward, fireworks exploded over the stadium to clear the way for the traditional singing of the two teams' national anthems.
Among those in the audience were leaders of Switzerland, Austria and the European Union.


Updated : 2021-05-09 01:54 GMT+08:00