Commonwealth Games 2022 opening ceremony: Top moments from Birmingham CWG opener

Besides Prince Charles’ classy entrance and Malala Yousafzai’s powerful speech, the opening ceremony at the Alexander Stadium celebrated Birmingham’s diversity on Thursday.

Here is a look at the top moments from the Commonwealth Games 2022 opening ceremony in Birmingham.

Here is a look at the top moments from the Commonwealth Games 2022 opening ceremony in Birmingham. | Photo Credit: AP

Besides Prince Charles’ classy entrance and Malala Yousafzai’s powerful speech, the opening ceremony at the Alexander Stadium celebrated Birmingham’s diversity on Thursday.

The Birmingham Commonwealth Games were finally thrown open during a swanky opening ceremony at the Alexander Stadium on Thursday evening.

Here’s a look at the top moments from the dazzling ceremony Birmingham.

Red Arrows get ceremony in motion

The RAF Red Arrows performing a flypast during the Opening Ceremony.

The RAF Red Arrows performing a flypast during the Opening Ceremony. | Photo Credit: Alex Davidson

The evening began with a flyover by the Red Arrows - the aerobatics display team of the Royal Air Force.

Princely entrance

Britain’s Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall arrived at the Alexander Stadium in a vintage Aston Martin.

Britain’s Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall arrived at the Alexander Stadium in a vintage Aston Martin. | Photo Credit: Aijaz Rahi

Prince Charles arrived with his wife Camilla in his personal Aston Martin during a segment highlighting Birmingham’s rich history of motor manufacturing.

A huge ensemble of cars adorn the stadium as Prince Charles and Camilla make their appearance.

A huge ensemble of cars adorn the stadium as Prince Charles and Camilla make their appearance. | Photo Credit: AP

Malala’s message for the Friendly Games

Malala Yousafzai, who moved to Birmingham when she was 15 after surviving a Pakistani Taliban massacre, opened the song Hear My Voice to the massive audience in the stadium. The youngest Nobel Prize laureate then said: “The young athletes who will compete over the next two weeks represent millions of girls and boys across the Commonwealth. Our shared hope for the future. A future where every child can go to school. Where women can fully participate in society. Where families can live in peace and in dignity.

“As we watch the incredible athletes of the Commonwealth Games, remember that every child deserves the chance to reach their full potential and pursue their wildest dreams.” 

—  Malala Yousafzai

during her speech at the Birmingham CWG 2022 opening ceremony

Birmingham Bull rages on

The ‘Raging Bull’ makes an entrance.

The ‘Raging Bull’ makes an entrance. | Photo Credit: David Ramos

The Birmingham Bull was a showstealer during the opening ceremony. The bull was introduced to spectators at the Alexander Stadium by female chain makers, pulling the bull along into the centre of the arena.

This was a reference to working conditions in the 19th Century, where some women would work long hours in uncomfortably hot outhouses for peanuts to make small chains.

The performance makes way for healing too as the bull’s armour is lifted away, as if to suggest his (the city’s) baggage dissolving.

Queen’s Baton delivers in its trail

Tom Daley carrying the Queens Baton during the opening ceremony.

Tom Daley carrying the Queens Baton during the opening ceremony. | Photo Credit: REUTERS

While the evening celebrated Birmingham’s cultural diversity and tolerance, Britain’s Olympic diving champion Tom Daley, who came out as gay in 2013, used the moment to remind everyone that some Commonwealth nations still enforce homophobic colonial-era laws.

Homosexuality is a criminal offence in 35 of the 56 nations that make up the Commonwealth where punishments include whipping, life imprisonment and the death penalty.

The two-time CWG gold medallist, who is not competing in Birmingham, ran the Queen’s Baton into the darkened stadium as LGBTQ+ flags lined his path.

Sindhu, Manpreet lead the Indian brigade

Two-time Olympic medallist PV Sindhu and men’s hockey team skipper Manpreet Singh led the Indian contingent during the Athletes’ parade in the opening ceremony.

Legends unforgotten

The opening ceremony also displayed caricatured puppets of English legends; composer Edward Elgar and writers William Shakespeare, Samuel Johnson.

A giant puppet depicting Edwin Elgar during the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games.

A giant puppet depicting Edwin Elgar during the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games. | Photo Credit: AP

Dazzling finish

The opening ceremony culminated with a visual spectacle of fireworks and music from local rock band Duran Duran which followed Prince Charles’s message on behalf of the Queen contained in the Baton which officially threw the Games wide open.

Fireworks during the Opening Ceremony of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at Alexander Stadium.

Fireworks during the Opening Ceremony of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at Alexander Stadium. | Photo Credit: Shaun Botterill

With inputs from agencies.

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