Rehearsal for Olympics opening ceremony on August 2

Society Materials 28 July 2008 10:43 (UTC +04:00)

The dress rehearsal for the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games is scheduled for Saturday, Chinese organizers confirmed Monday.

The opening ceremony, where more than 80 world leaders are to participate, is one of the highlights of the August 8-28 Games, reported dpa.

China's Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) said the August 2 rehearsal would not be the last. The spectacular show at Beijing's National Stadium is envisioned by Chinese star director Zhang Yimou.

A gigantic firework accompanied a rehearsal on July 11, where among others, actors dressed up as soldiers from China's famous terracotta army could be seen.

Organizers rejected reports that a dress rehearsal scheduled for last Friday and Saturday was cancelled at the last moment because of fears of a terrorist attack.

"No rehearsal was scheduled," a BOCOG spokeswoman said. A German paper reported that about 20,000 participants had waited for several hours but were sent sent home on short notice, resulting in some commotion.

A French technician was quoted as saying that foreigners were told there had been indications of an attack. The spokeswoman denied these reports.