Before things get started at the 2014 World Cup with the opening match between Brazil and Croatia, the event will kick off with a number of exciting performances.
Just like the Summer and Winter Olympic Games, the host country will do its best to showcase its culture to the rest of the world. At this event, fans will get a chance to see the style and passion of the Brazilians while also being treated to a performance from some of the bigger stars in the world.
The best part of all of this is that the event will end with the start of the World Cup, which fans have been waiting for since the last one ended four years ago.
This opening ceremony will be a treat for all those watching around the world, so make sure to tune in to catch every second of the action. Here is a guide to everything you need to know about the event.
When: Thursday, June 12
Where: Arena de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Opening Ceremony Time: 2 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. BST
Match Kickoff Time: 4 p.m. ET, 9 p.m. BST
TV (U.S.): ESPN
TV (U.K.): ITV
We Are One
Every World Cup gets an official song, and organizers decided to make "We Are One (Ole Ola)" this year's version.
The track features contributions from Pitbull, Jennifer Lopez and Brazilian superstar Claudia Leitte in an energetic collaboration. The video has already become an international phenomenon that has totaled millions of views on YouTube:
Unsurprisingly, this trio will perform in Sao Paulo at the opening ceremonies of the World Cup.
Lopez described her excitement about the show by saying, "I grew up in a house that loved 'futbol', so I am thrilled to be performing at the World Cup Opening Ceremonies with Pitbull and Claudia Leitte. This is an amazing celebration of global unity, competition and the sport," via Fox News Latino.
It was reported that Lopez would miss the performance due to scheduling concerns, but she later decided that she would make the ceremony, according to Mesfin Fekadu of the Associated Press.
While the song itself has received a poor reaction from Brazilian fans, it is hard to imagine those in attendance not enjoying a live performance from the three popular artists.
Meanwhile, those around the world will also be able to appreciate the effort as they watch plenty of singing and dancing during the upbeat song.
For nation known for its musical nature, you can be certain that the opening ceremony show will be filled with plenty of energy.
The event will feature hundreds of performers looking to showcase the nation's history and culture through dancing, singing and various other methods.
FIFA provided a glimpse of what has gone into the preparation for the event:
Each of the country’s treasures is represented in the show by characters and props. The focal point of the show is a central, “living” LED ball made up of more than 90,000 light clusters producing a luminance of 7,000 Nits.
While the ceremony will last 25 minutes, the organisers estimate that 20 hours of preparation will go into each of those minutes, with around 84 hours of rehearsals taking place before the big day.
The official World Cup Twitter account also showed one of the rehearsals, which included trampolines, stilts and other things you might only otherwise see at a circus:
While the World Cup usually does not match the Olympics when it comes to opening ceremonies, you can imagine that Brazil is going to come close on Thursday.
Memorable Opening Kickoff
While this event will mostly be a preparation for the opening match between Brazil and Croatia, one part of the show will be something that will go beyond sports.
Danielle Elliott of Grantland describes the upcoming moment:
On June 12, during the opening ceremony of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, eight paralyzed individuals will come onto the pitch. Seven will be seated in their wheelchairs. One of them, however, will be standing. He’ll walk a few steps toward a soccer ball. When he reaches it, he’ll hitch back his leg and then strike the ball. It may roll only a few feet, but that will be enough to officially kick off the Cup. To accomplish this astonishing feat, all he’ll have to do is think about walking. A bionic exoskeleton controlled by his mind will do the rest.
Brazilian neurologist Miguel Nicolelis has developed the technology that could allow a paraplegic person to walk again by using an exoskeleton that is controlled by the mind. The opening ceremony will be the biggest showcase of this new technology.
Andrew Nystrom of Nike provided a computer-generated image of the event:
Although this will have little to do with the World Cup, anyone watching can appreciate the momentous occasion.
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