The 14th Men’s Hockey World Cup got off to a memorable start with a glitzy 3-hour opening ceremony at the Kalinga Atheltic Stadium on Wednesday. The event introduced not only the teams and their captains but also featured performances from Bollywood celebrities such as Shah Rukh Khan, A R Rahman and Madhuri Dixit.

With the powerful message of ‘oneness of humanity’ conveyed throughout the event, the ceremony showcased first-of-its-kind theatrical production- The Earth Song which featured Madhuri Dixit as the Mother Earth.

Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik declared the tournament open amidst the stunning fireworks and captivating performance of the artists. The felicitation of India’s 1975 winners was applauded by 10,000 audiences present in the stadium.

The crowd erupted in joy when Shah Rukh arrived the stage standing on a chariot, talking to the crowd before signing off on the stage with 16 captains, delivering his famous dialogue from the iconic movie, ’Chak De India’.

The music maestro, A R Rahman with his spell-bound performance presented a fitting musical climax to the three-hour show.