China wasn't the first Olympics to cheat a little on the authenticity of its opening ceremony, Australian media reports revealed Friday.
The orchestra which gave a bravura performance at the opening of the Sydney Olympics in 2000 was miming to a tape recording, officials said in reports.
The Sydney Symphony Orchestra, whose stirring performance was one of the highlights of the Sydney opening, mimed to a tape recorded by their members, and others from the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
Melbourne orchestra managing director Trevor Green said pre-recording had been essential to prevent bloopers in a live performance.
"If you've got an event the size of the Olympics, and you've got billions and billions of people watching it, you definitely have a backing track and mime to it, because anything could go wrong," Green said.
"It's just a safety first thing...You cannot take the risk."
China attracted international condemnation when it was revealed that pig-tailed Lin Miaoke, who gave a pitch-perfect performance of "Ode to the Motherland" at the Beijing opening ceremony, was mouthing words performed by seven-year-old Yang Peiyi.
Peiyi was deemed to be not pretty enough to perform for a worldwide audience.
Sydney Symphony Orchestra managing director Libby Christie said the orchestra also used pre-recordings at the 2003 Rugby World Cup and 2006 Commonwealth Games.