Saturday, February 13, 2010

One Tenth But Big

I was curious to see how Vancouver would follow up the spectacular opening ceremonies that Beijing put on. I couldn’t even imagine that they would even try. There was no way that Canada could put up that kind of money and manpower. From what was reported, Vancouver’s opening ceremony cost was one tenth the size of Beijing. For the amount they spent, it had the potential to be just as great as Beijing’s.

The ceremony started out great. Vancouver used an array of projectors that along with three dimensional objects created some stunning visuals. The stories that these visuals were trying to capture seemed interesting and relevant. They had a strong start but the presentation started to peter out. When they got to section covering the prairie provinces using Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now, I was bored—almost to sleep. Really, though, that wasn’t the big problem.

The most painful and awkward moment was during the lighting of the stadium cauldron. The plan was to have four pillars come out from the stadium floor. They would then tilt until they touched together around a central main column. Four torch bearers would then light the four columns simultaneously which would then cause the central and main cauldron to ignite. Unfortunately one of the columns failed. After a few minutes, I guess they decided to go ahead with their three functioning ones.

Some other things:

Unlike the summer Olympics, the parade of nations comes at the beginning. Personally, I think that this is a better idea. If I was an athlete, I’d want to be in the stadium watching the show rather than milling around in a parking lot somewhere.

The Queen of Canada didn’t make herself available to open the games, leaving it to her Governor General, Michaelle Jean. I know Queen Elizabeth II will probably do so for the London games, but c’mon, I think that’s a royal snub for a realm she rarely visits in the first place.

The ceremonies also called attention to Georgian competitor, Nodar Kumaritashvili who died earlier in the day on a luge training run.

I haven’t heard any music from Sarah McLachlan since the 90s. It was nice to hear her perform once again.

Oh, and GO TEAM USA!

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