Some of us only watch the beginning and/or end of major sporting events simply to witness the spectacle that is the opening or closing ceremony (excluding the FIFA World Cup tournament of course). And sometimes, this show turns into something unexpectedly strange.
Related: 10 of the strangest sports in the world
10 The F1 Dancer
F1 races do not have opening ceremonies per se, but national anthems are sung, and depending on where the race is held, traditional events and activities are sometimes organized.
For the Russian Grand Prix in September 2021, something strange happened instead of the Russian anthem. Spectators and conductors looked on in confusion as a dancer sat on top of a grand piano that had been brought onto the dance floor.
The chords of a Tchaikovsky composition played, and the ballerina began to dance to the music on top of the piano. Russia was not allowed to play her anthem or display her flag due to a global sports ban, so perhaps this was the best they could do in lieu of tradition.
9 An Unfortunate Accident
When the Olympic cauldron was set on fire at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, the three athletes tasked with throwing the torches probably assumed that the small flock of pigeons that had gathered inside the cauldron would rise and fly once the first torch fell. . Hundreds of pigeons had been released a few minutes earlier as “peace messengers”, and some of them decided that the cauldron would be a good place to settle.
But not. Instead, at least 12 pigeons stayed exactly where they were and were burned to a crisp in front of thousands of viewers and on live television in front of millions of viewers.
Needless to say, much more care was taken in future events when it came to pigeons.
8 The Lonely Treadmill Runner
The opening ceremony of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics was a bit sad, to put it mildly. It all started off well, with Naomi Osaka lighting the cauldron and Keith Urban and John Legend joining a group of singers to perform “Imagine.”
To make up for the lack of an audience, Olympians were instructed to greet media workers, dignitaries and Olympic staff. In addition, video clips of the athletes keeping fit inside their homes were broadcast. Then, bizarrely, a lone Japanese boxer started running on a treadmill inside the national stadium for at least 15 minutes. At least he was eventually joined by a few other athletes and dancers.
Not to mention, there was a determined group of protesters outside, demanding that the Olympics be cancelled, occasionally clashing with the spectators who attended anyway but were blocked off by a perimeter erected by the police.
7 Entertainment instead of warming up
At the UEFA Champions League final in Cardiff in 2017, not a single player was seen warming up minutes before the big game between Juventus and Real Madrid began. In their place were the Black Eyed Peas doing their thing in the center of the field.
Fans immediately began asking big questions on Twitter, including why the authorities were trying to turn the Champions League final into the Super Bowl and why players were prevented from warming up just so the Black Eyed Peas could perform. . Players from both teams were forced to wait for the performance to end inside the tunnel rather than get a much-needed warm-up. Then we had to wait a little longer for the pitch to be cleared after the performance.
To top it off, the performance caused the game to be delayed by several minutes, which didn’t really go down well with the fans either.
6 Kayfabe or just weird?
So WWE is not a sport in the truest form of the word, and because the results of matches are predetermined, most people don’t consider it a sport. However, WWE is branded as sports entertainment and employs some of the fittest and most athletic superstars in the world. So some of the weird moments that have taken place at the annual extravaganza known as WrestleMania deserve a place on this list.
There was a time when WrestleMania IX really went all out to make a lasting impression in Las Vegas and had Bobby Heenan come out riding a camel backwards. And that other time when Big Show came out in a mawashi, the belt (loincloth) worn by sumo wrestlers.
And then, of course, there was the WrestleMania 36 opening ceremony in which one of the strangest videos in WWE history aired. It featured fighters dressed as pirates fighting skeletons and a creature that resembled a huge crab. Maybe they should have stuck to the kayfabe they know and love so well.
5 Royal Dramatization
Rugby is a major sport, and when it comes to World Cup tournaments, no stone is left unturned in creating a standout ceremony. But sometimes, those charged with creating such ceremonies make decisions that leave viewers at home and on the field a little bewildered.
During the opening ceremony of the 2015 Rugby World Cup, a video was broadcast showing Prince Harry dressed as a gardener and Jonny Wilkinson, also dressed as a gardener. Harry then gave a rather normal speech as he stepped out and addressed the 80,000 fans inside Twickenham. But it’s debatable whether anyone was listening at the time, as they were probably still trying to figure out why Harry was specifically chosen to don the gardener’s suit and perform in a very brief skit on the infamous William Webb Ellis moment.
That being said, Prince Harry’s cameo wasn’t as surprising as it was. Queen Elizabeth and Daniel Craig Olympic big moment watched by over a billion people worldwide in 2012, which included a jaw-dropping parachute jump.
4 Flipping the world
The FIFA World Cup is the greatest sporting spectacle in the world. So it makes sense that opening ceremonies every four years would be over the top. However, when it was Brazil’s turn to host the tournament in 2014, they took things to a strange level. Even though most of the fans were probably focused on Pitbull’s white pants and the giant malfunctioning balloon in the middle of the field, there were also robot-like dancers dressed as footballs. Fortunately, the rest of the dancers and actors were beautifully dressed and portrayed the Samambaia ferns and stunning flowers found in Brazil.
Of course, none of this compares to the weirdness of the ceremony held at the start of the 2018 tournament in which Robbie Williams stepped out to perform in a much-discussed leopard-print suit and then basically turned the entire world upside down at the end. of his performance. And he did just moments after changing the lyrics from “Rock DJ” to “I did this for free”.
3 The epic failure of Diana Ross
When the USA won the 1994 bid to host the World Cup, soccer nations around the world rolled their eyes in unison. At the time, the United States was not seen as a soccer-friendly nation, and it was up to the country to prove its counterparts wrong.
Unfortunately, they couldn’t.
The opening ceremony was held at Soldier Field in Chicago, and Oprah, Bill Clinton and other famous people made an appearance. Unfortunately, Oprah proceeded to quickly dove off the stage after introducing Diana Ross. Ross in turn performed “I’m Coming Out”, after which she lined up a penalty and kicked.
He missed by a mile, but then the finish itself split in two anyway, as it was intended to.
Announcers around the world couldn’t contain their laughter. Some called it an omen, and this dire moment will continue to live on for many years.
2 Fire and the Lion King
Super Bowl ceremonies are presented in the form of halftime shows, and each of these shows is designed to outdo the last. This almost always leads to bizarre moments, including Bruce Springsteen power sliding into a camera, crotch first, and the “Left Shark” dance moves during Katy Perry’s 2015 performance.
And then, of course, there was the “Temple of the Forbidden Eye” halftime show at Disneyland in 1995. There were weird Indiana Jones skits, a confused Tony Bennett, and a performance of “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” ?”. ” to finish off the strangeness. That’s not even going for lip sync parachutes and flames. 
1 fever dream
Not everyone was a fan of the 2022 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony, with some viewers calling it a “fever dream” and others commenting that their children had been frightened by some of the images that came out of the event.
The dancers were prancing around and then the lights suddenly turned red. The dancers then placed their fingers on the sides of their heads to announce the next show: a huge, smoking mechanical bull with red eyes. Some fans loved it, while others called it dystopian and even a “disturbing ritual for Baal.”
The people behind the bull’s design said it was actually made in homage to the women chain makers of the Industrial Revolution who were constantly overworked and underpaid.
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