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‘None of the cliches’: Memories of a ‘groundbreaking’ opening ceremony

Twenty years on from the Sydney Olympics, the man behind the iconic opening and closing ceremonies says it was groundbreaking for Australia. 

Artistic director and producer David Atkins reflected on the 20th anniversary of the opening ceremony.

“In some ways it’s like it was a lifetime ago, and in some ways it’s like it happened yesterday,” he told Jim Wilson.

“There were none of the cliches, none of the things the tourism industry would normally propose to demonstrate what Australia was.

“Instead you had Ned Kellys, people dancing on rainwater tanks, lawn mowers… things that were uniquely Australian.

“Even though there were things that were quite alien to audiences overseas, they loved them.

“It was like a window: looking through a lens they’d never seen the country through before.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

Image: Getty/Inpho Photography 



Two decades on: Remembering the Sydney Olympics