My Olympic Winter Games Opening Ceremony Commentary Part 1

I have heard a number of people who have seen the dress rehearsal for the ceremonies say how amazing it was so I decided to give it a try. I doubt I will get through all of it tonight. I decided to blog my play-by-play observations and opinions.

  • The ceremony opens with beautiful vistas of wintery scenery. Too bad that does not represent Vancouver (well okay, maybe last February). Cause seriously dude, someone stole our snow.
  • Listing all the places where winter olympics have been held while we watch a snowboarder in virgin snow. No doubt encouraging all those who like to go out-of-bounds. The snowboarder arrives by snowboarding through the Olympic rings. Tacky.
  • Hmm, they keep calling it the Vancouver Games.
  • Is it just me or does it seem that the national anthem is being sung very slowly? It is actually almost unrecognizable! Way too over the top.
  • I am glad to see that VANOC had the 4 First Nations who have inhabited this land historically welcome people their territory. Excellent – they are welcoming the first nations before anyone else.
  • It is only symbolic I know but they gave head of state status to the Chiefs of the 4 First Nations who lived here historically.
  • The big drum is great!
  • They welcomed the Metis nation. That is so amazing as traditionally the Metis have not been recognized as an Aboriginal nation. Let’s hope this signals a change in that regard.
  • The formation is amazing as are the large welcoming poles.
  • I love that the First Nations welcomed the athletes.
  • A surprisingly large contingent from Australia.
  • Bermuda has a team for the winter games?
  • apparently Vancouver is the most multi-cultural city to host the Olympic winter games.
  • Ethiopia? Isn’t it a desert?
  • The Georgian team came in with black armbands to honour their fallen team-mate. I cannot imagine how difficult it must have been for them to come. I am sure the luging community must be very afraid of the track. I hope they are able to make sure this does not happen to another athlete.
  • 153 athletes from Germany! I am sure many of the other countries are just a bit intimidating.
  • Apparently the team from India did not even have matching uniforms and the South Asian community in Metro Vancouver raised money for uniforms, training, spending money etc.
  • Fast-forwarding through the athletes marching in.
  • Oops missed most of the Canadian delegation coming in…I was busy clipping Clio’s nails.
  • Nelly Furtatdo looks gorgeous in her blue satiny dress. I am not a big Bryan Adams fan. The song, “Bang your drum” was ok in a poppy kind of way. I am sure they could have dug a little deeper into our musical talent.
  • Some strange tribute to winter it would seem. Oh it is called the hymn to the North. There are these things falling. I am not quite sure what they are supposed to be. It seems like it is different waves of people coming through perhaps to recognized the different waves of immigration and the arrival of refugees.
  • Lloyd Robertson says we have “come to the part of the program where you suspend logic and let your imagination take over.” No freaking doubt! Apparently there is an energy ring… It is beautiful but I am not sure what it is trying to convey.
  • Native constellations, White Buffalo – north, Eagle – east, Great Wolf – South and bear for the West. Oh my! A very, very large spirit bear puppet has emerged from the floor. This is all very strange!!! Now the ice is breaking apart and the actors are panicking….apparently we have gone through the Atlantic Ocean and now we are at the Pacific. A and I agree that perhaps we are not suspending our imaginations well enough. Now whales turn into salmon. Ya! we have a narrator now. All is well now – Sarah McLaughlin is singing. One thing for sure Sarah can sing and sing well. The necklace she is wearing is huge and full of diamonds.
  • people dancing in and around the big trees works far better than the first part did.
  • This whole ‘cultural’ segment seems short on authenticity and long on technical tricks.
  • Now we are exploring the transformational ability of the trees and nature on us and culture etc. I am sure glad that someone is telling us what these things are supposed to be about because frankly I would have no clue otherwise.
  • Now the fiddling traditions of Canada and fall colours. This seems much more accessible for your average Canadian. The first fiddler is amazing. I wonder if Ashley MacIssaac will play? Loreena Mckennitt is singing but I don’t see her anywhere.
  • The female fiddlers inspire!
  • The tappers are great! They are making tapping look like a subversive cool thing to do. The costumes and the tapping is amazing.
  • We have just been informed that the lead tapper is Ashley MacIsaac!
  • I think it is really the last 1/2 of this that has represented Canada well. I loved the big maple leaves falling and the tappers are a force to be reckoned with.
  • Now we are apparently o to the prairies. Someone is reading quotes from famous authors. The voice is vaguely familiar. I predicted correctly that the prairie one was W.O. Mitchell and then Joni Mitchell’s clouds begin to play. It looks like so much to be the person dancing in the air suspended by a belt around the waist.
  • I wonder if Joni Mitchell is live? Somehow I don’t believe so as they have not shown her. It would seem to me that if you are going to all the trouble and expense of these ceremonies you could get one of Canada’s most famous and iconic singers to perform live.
  • Again, so much technical stuff like horses moving as they are projected on a ‘field’ of grass.
  • I am really not sure how we would understand all of this without the benefit of the TV commentators. How on earth could we discern that a ‘mountain is being born.’ I wonder how the people in the audience are able to figure out what is going on. No people just tech projections and set design.
  • Oh my, I am now officially embarrassed for us! Skiers and snowboarders are now dancing in the air with wires hold them up on a fake mountain.
  • Now the fake white mountains are being used as a backdrop to project footage of real athletes engaged in sport. A just pointed out that we have skiers and snowboarders doing somersaults in the air. Some of the Canadians look bored. Now there are skaters…trying to look like speed skaters but going very slowly. Oh, not to be out done, here come the hockey players. Oh and the skiers and snowboarders are still spinning in the air.I hope they don’t’ get motion sickness. I suspect I really do not get this cultural stuff.
  • The poet is awesome! He gets Canada and seems to be able to express what Canada is. I love the stuff about how polite we are.

Well that is all I can handle for now! There may be more tomorrow.

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Published in: on February 12, 2010 at 11:19 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. OK, I did watch this in the end, from about 7pm on, when I got home from work. I liked the orcas and the tree thing. I agree with about Nelly Furtado – she looked great – but the song was cheap pop crap and I think they totally could have done something better. I don’t think Loreena McKennitt was there live and I was really disappointed! I recognized her music right away, but she wasn’t there. I thought Sarah McLachlan sang and played very well and I also enjoyed KD Lang’s performance very much. The prairie section was boring, and I agree with you about the skiers/snowboarders on the fake mountain thing. I had to snicker when the fourth arm of that indoor cauldron thingy malfunctioned! Too funny!

  2. I liked the first nations dancers, the fiddlers and the neat orca effects on the floor. Not a fan of the wheat field modern dancer, or of the nelly and brian adams song.
    Erika


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