2011 Asian Winter Games opening ceremony
An estimated 30,000 were in attendance at the venue. There were an estimated 700 performers.
- Faisal bin Al Hussein - Prince of Jordan
- Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan - Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi
- Ahmed Al-Fahad Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah - Current IOC member representing Kuwait and president of the Olympic Council of Asia 
- Nursultan Nazarbayev - President of Kazakhstan 
- Jacques Rogge - President of the International Olympic Committee 
- Roza Otunbayeva - President of Kyrgyzstan
- René Fasel - President of the International Ice Hockey Federation 
- Imangali Tasmagambetov - Current mayor of Astana
- Alexander Zhukov - Deputy Prime Minister of Russia and President of the Russian Olympic Committee 
A dramatised performance based on traditional Kazakh epic poems accompanied by a group of ethnic drummers, which was followed by a volley of red fireworks began the show.
Parade of Nations
According to the Olympic Council of Asia's protocols, countries will march in order of their IOC Code. Below is list of countries that are confirmed to compete and their national flagbearers during the ceremony. All the countries were given warm receptions by the crowd, however a deafening welcoming roar was given to the home team.
|1||Afghanistan||Unknown||Chef De Mission|
|4||North Korea||Ri Song Chol||Figure skating|
|5||Hong Kong||Wang Xinyue||Short track speed skating|
|6||India||Tashi Lundup||Cross country skiing|
|8||Iran||Alidad Saveh-Shemshaki||Alpine skiing coach|
|11||South Korea||Park Woo-sang||Ice hockey|
|13||Lebanon||No Flag bearer*||-|
|14||Malaysia||Haniff Mahmood||Ice hockey|
|17||Palestine||Mohammed El Batta||Alpine skiing|
|18||Philippines||Zhaira Costiniano||Figure skating|
|19||Qatar||Thamer Al-Mohannadi||Speed skating|
|20||Singapore||Lucas Ng||Short track speed skating|
|24||United Arab Emirates||Ice hockey|
*During the Opening Ceremony Lebanon was announced to the crowd and a Placard bearer came out, but was followed by no members of the delegation. ** Indonesia had no athletes competing, rather officials participating.
Kazakh opera diva Nurzhamal Usenbaeva then performed a song specially composed for the Games opening an impressive show that involved more than 700 actors and dancers including Belgian singer Lara Fabian singing her new song "Always".
Also included in the cultural show was the history of Kazakhstan, with a bird’s eye view from an eagle swooping over the vast plains. With dance, song and distinctive musical instruments, the props came to life – notably when water cascaded from the top of the set and lighting transformed the stage into a rough sea to rock the boat looking for new lands.
Also, "The gift packs for the visitors inside the 30,000-seat indoor football stadium included a bag of four snowball-size white sponge balls. Taking their lead from a band of tiny-tot performers dressed as flowers towards the end of the cultural show, the audience opened their packet of “snowballs” and proceeded to pelt anyone and everyone in sight"
Entry of the Olympic Council of Asia Flag
6 famous athletes and coaches carried the flag. They were:
- Hwan Mai - Coach
- Serik Konakbayev - Former Olympic silver medalist in boxing for the USSR at the 1980 Summer Olympics.
- Kenzhe Sarsekenova - Coach
- Lyudmila Prokasheva - Former Olympic bronze medalist speed skater for Kazakhstan at the 1998 Winter Olympics.
- Vladimir Smirnov - Former multiple Olympic medalist cross-country skier for Kazakhstan and the USSR.
- Aliya Yussupova - Multiple gold medalist rhythmic gymnast at the 2006 Asian Games.
Opening remarks/Official Opening
The mayor of Astana Imangali Tasmagambetov gave a speech. "The Asiad is being held by Kazakhstan due to the initiative of President Nursultan Nazarbayev. The victory of an athlete is the victory of the country".
This was followed by president of the Olympic council of Asia Ahmed Al-Fahad Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah also giving a welcoming speech. "Kazakhstan is a very respectful member of the international sport community. The Olympic Council of Asia congratulates President Nursultan Nazarbayev, the Government of Kazakhstan, mayors and people of Astana and Almaty".
Lighting of the Cauldron
The Olympic torch relay, which had criss-crossed the country during January, arrived at its final destination at the Astana Arena, with a group of the country's most decorated sports veterans jointly lighting the Games flame.
Finally, another barrage of fireworks that lit up the night sky of the Kazakhstan capital to close the show.
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