Sunday, 3 August 2008

Rungnado May Day Stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea

When neighbours South Korea were handed the Olympics in 1988, North Korea’s barmy dictator Kim Jong-Il decided whatever they could do, he could do better. So, he built a venue that was twice the size of Seoul’s Olympic Arena - Rungnado May Day Stadium
With a 150,000 capacity it is the biggest stadium in the world, and will probably never see a sporting spectacle worthy of that scale due to the country’s isolationist policies. Still, it’s the perfect location for all those preposterous military displays that Kim is rather fond of.
The biggest two shows to date have been somewhat strange. The latest was the Dear Leader’s 60th birthday party in 2002, which involved an astonishing 100,000 participants and was largely designed to overshadow South Korea’s World Cup opening ceremony celebrations.
The other, in 1995, was the biggest ever attendance for a wrestling event, where a scarcely believable 190,000 grappling aficionados piled through the gates to watch some obscure Japanese C-grade wrestlers in action.

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