Saturday, February 13, 2010

Olympics Opening Ceremonies

The opening ceremonies overall were well done, and can be summarized as follows.

There was an initial countdown yelled by the crowd, a great snowboard video that let to a snowboarder sliding down a ramp and jumping through the olympic rings with a high drop then sliding to a stop and voicing a welcome to everyone.

This person was not identified. I guess we are supposed to recognize him.

Introduction of Governor General and the President of the IOC. This seemed a little confused because all of the native leaders had not yet arrived to take their seats in this area.

The Canadian flag enters carried by RCMP in their red tunics.

The Canadian anthem is sung, but the arrangement is very different and I am sure a lot of Canadians are dissappointed in this. The whole thing was streached out and changed to more resemble some kind of pop song. I was just really wierd for me.

Next came a large display by the First Nations peoples, displaying their cultural costumes and a lot of interesting video special effects. Really quite cool.

The athletes of all nations then filed in and this took about an hour. Canada came in last of course to a huge cheer. Some nice team uniforms and some not so great.

Another large native peoples video display and then Bryan Adams and Nelly Furtado sing. Continued native video and light show with a huge spirit bear rising out of the floor. This is all covered in lights and with all the audience waving flashlights in the background, it was really quite cool to see.

Sarah MacLaughlan then sings, followed by a session of fiddle music and clogging or folk dancers. This was well done as well.

Next was a gymnast flying around on a wire hanging from above and this was well done. After this was a large video playing on tarps that represented mountains. Now there was a bunch of skiers and snowboarders hanging on wires as well. A little corny for me, but I guess you had to use your imagination to make this believable.

Then came a speech - Define Canada - this was great and the fellow delivered it very well. I may write this out in a later post.

Next was the official speeches and opening of the games. K D Lang sang and I was surprised to see her. Hadn't heard from her in probably 15 years so didn't thing she was one of Canada's most famous. They probably ran out of money for this spot.

The Olympic flag was brought in by eight of Canada's finest, athletes, singers, etc. Then an opera singer (a lot of screaming to me) followed by the athlete's pledge by Hayley Wickenheiser the captain of the women's hockey team.

A french singer that seemed a bit moody rather that upbeat and finally the olympic flame brought in by Rick Hansen, then Katrina Doan, Rick Nash and Waye Gretzky. Unfortunately one of 4 towers that were to raise from the floor had a failure and after a small delay the flames were lit. Huge structures and lots of fire.

Finally, Gretzky runs a flame outside into the rain, then in the back of a pickup, to take the flame to light the outdoor permanent flame down by the waterfront. The crowds outside seem to get a little unruly and Gretzky starts to look concerned, but finally they get ahead of the crowd and light the other cauldron.

And that's it for the Opening Ceremonies. Took about 2.5 to 3 hours. 


  1. We watched the entire ceremony and loved it all. I enjoyed the music and the stories. I loved the creativity, the lights, the costumes and native people. I loved the gigantic drum, and how it turned into flowing wheat fields and the boy that flew through the air was really cool. I cried and laughed. I always enjoy seeing each country and each athlete, one at a time, as they parade out. Seems it's the only time that, almost, the whole world, is in sync with one goal, to be the best they can be. And for the whole world to mourn for 1 minute, for 1 man, (Nodar Kumaritashvili) seems to me, to be something special.

  2. Oh, And K.D. Lang was great, as usual, and when the drum turned into the ocean and the whales swam through....we LOVED that!

  3. Yes, you are right about the world coming together and that is probably the most important part of the olympics. We can all forget about our problems and politics and just enjoy the competition and pursuit of excellence.