Pop icon Shakira starred in the opening of the Euro 2012 Olympiysky stadium in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. The President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, was also present in the inauguration ceremony.
Shakira performs during the opening ceremony of Olympic stadium in Kiev October 8, 2011. The stadium is set to host the final match of the Euro 2012 soccer tournament. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich (UKRAINE - Tags: SPORT SOCCER ENTERTAINMENT)
Shakira was chosen as the performer to open the event in order to carry on with the South Africa World Cup 2010 fever that she has stirred up with her single, 'Waka Waka'. The famous singer of Hips Don't Lie performed for 40 minutes with her other songs and various renditions of popular songs as well.
Shakira was just one of the many artists that have joined forces for the opening of the Euro 2012 Olympiysky stadium in Kiev. The night was filled with cultural performances from local artists to feature the colorful and vibrant Ukraine folklore and traditions.
The 70,000-seater stadium is going to be the central attraction in the finals of the Euro 2012 football championships. The stadium was reconstructed from its former Soviet age look back in the years 1937 to 1941 and has been created to be one of the most important milestones in the history of Ukraine, most especially that it is the first time that the country is going to host the sports event.
"The reconstruction and opening of the stadium demonstrates to the whole world that we can have business in the Ukraine," said the President of Ukraine.
Mr. Yanukovych has been proud with the latest achievement of his country as has expressed his excitement with the rest of the guests and audience during the elaborate opening ceremony. There were previous concerns on the completion of the stadium however; all the facilities were finished just in time.
The government of Ukraine as well as the UEFA have spent over 585 million euros for the renovation of the stadium for the very special Euro 2012 event.
The people of Ukraine are hoping that the Euro 2012, along with the renovation and construction of all the other facilities in and around Kiev, will boost tourism in the country and enhance the image of the former Soviet Union territory.
Ukraine is in partnership with Poland in the hosting of Euro 2012 matches.
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