ISTANBUL (2010 FIBA World Championship) – The 2010 FIBA World Championship exploded into life on Friday night with an enchanting Opening Ceremony in Istanbul, shown live on FIBATV.Com.
Spectators filled the Sinan Erdem Arena and looked on in wonder as the renowned Cirque du Soleil began the festivities.
A captivated audience gave a huge ovation and cheered.
There was much, much more.
State Minister Frauk Nafiz Özak and FIBA President Bob Elphinston gave welcome speeches to those who have travelled to Turkey to watch the 24-team basketball tournament.
“FIBA assigned the event to Turkey in 2004 and after six years of hard work, a dream comes true,” Elphinston said.
“Turkey is ready and Turkey will deliver.
“We thank the Turkish government for the great support.”
Nothing like Friday’s show has ever taken place at a World Championship.
Several other acts drew rapturous applause.
There was the Dervish Performance and Jannisary Band of Musicians, the great production of the Anatolian Fire Dance Group Troya, Sezen Aksu, Fatih Erkoç, Müslüm Gürses, Harris Alexiou as well as Italian tenor Alessandro Safina.
As the World Championship song was played at the end of the ceremony, boys and girls from numerous countries around the globe came onto the stage singing and dribbling basketballs.
They have been taking part in the Children of the World Project, an initiative that allowed basketball federations in the FIBA zones to send a boy, a girl and a young basketball coach to Istanbul to take part in social and cultural exchanges.
The biggest and most important basketball event ever to be staged could not have had a better beginning.
On Saturday, games will tip off in Istanbul, Ankara, Kayseri and Izmir.