Korean TV station leaks Beijing Olympics opening ceremony rehearsal

London, July 31 : Korean Television station SBS has broadcast a rehearsal for the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games', taking place at the Beijing National Stadium.

It all happened after a television journalist somehow managed to breach the fearsome security apparatus at the stadium, which is also known as the Bird's Nest, and film long sections of the rehearsal.

The footage was telecast on SBS, and later put on the Internet by News Limited, and Australian media group.

The video shows a mock procession of athletes being followed by exquisitely choreographed dance routines, and powerful images of massed ranks of kung fu fighters dressed in white.

The organisers of the event gave no immediate response to the leak.

Sun Weide, the chief Olympics spokesman, said that he had only just been made aware of the broadcast and had nothing to say.

"We hope to surprise the world with an excellent performance," the Telegraph quoted him as saying.

The newspaper report reveals that the organisers have imposed a complete black-out on images of the rehearsals, and that people who are allowed in are searched and made to sign contracts saying that they would not describe the contents to anyone.

The report even says that employees have reportedly been threatened with jail sentences of up to seven years if they breach confidentiality.

"I totally have to keep what I see secret. I was so lucky - I was the only one of my groups of volunteers to come out of the draw," said a Games volunteer who had won a lottery that enabled him to sit in on the third rehearsal.

Story first published: Thursday, July 31, 2008, 14:08 [IST]
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