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Boyle’s challenge was daunting: To be as memorable as Beijing’s incredible, money-no-object opening ceremony of 2008, the costliest in Olympic history.

“Beijing is something that, in a way, was great to follow,” Boyle said. “You can’t get bigger than Beijing, you know? So that, in a way, kind of liberated us. We thought, ‘Great, OK, good, we’ll try and do something different.’”