Vancouver 2010 Olympics – DAY 1 – Opening Ceremony

Tonight was the official acknowledgement that the world is watching Vancouver. The whole world is AT Vancouver, and such a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and experience is much to be proud of. I am proud of being a Vancouverite.

In celebration of the 2010 Olympics Opening Ceremony at BC Place, I wore red to my volunteer shift at Canuck Place, and spent the night in front of the TV with the kids, family members, and fellow volunteers. The show started promptly at 6:00pm. It was quite amazing to watch it, knowing that what we saw on the TV screen had happened just a few seconds ago, so nearby.

Overall, the ceremony had highlights and downfalls, to say the least.

Some highlights included:
1) The sight of a sea of white from the white-poncho-wearing-audience and snowy stage – this was very very amazing.
2) the sight of 66000 little lights waving in the dark.
3) The minute of silence for Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili. It was breathtaking to see the silence in the stadium on TV, and I can only imagine how powerful it must have been live.
4) KD Lang’s performance of Hallelujah.
5) The parade of the athletes.

As proud of Vancouver and Team Canada as I am, I couldn’t help but remember the downfalls of the ceremony even more:
1) Variety of performances – it is true that the aboriginal peoples are a big part of Canadian heritage, but the multicultural mosaic is arguably even more important today; in my opinion, multiculturalism defines current day Canada. To my great disappointment, there was no performance that highlighted Canadian multiculturalism. There was only a slight mention of ‘multiculturalism being part of our tapestry’ in the slam poem. I think the program planners were missing something.
2) Length of performances – as amazing as the moving screens and glowing images are, it started getting quite repetitive and some of the performances carried on way too long. One such example was the twirling skiers/snowboarders on the screen mountain.
3) The lighting of the internal cauldron – it was such an embarrassment as a Vancouverite to see the malfunction of the pillars of the cauldron. While the cauldron itself is quite stunning, the missing pillar will be the thing that engraves itself in the world’s minds when recalling the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.

Despite the ceremony’s many ups and downs, it was so beautiful to see the sportsmanship and respect the athletes have for each other, and I think that is the most important thing to remember. Good luck to all athletes at the 21st Winter Olympic Games, here in Vancouver!

(Above picture courtesy of media.nola.com & sports.yahoo.com, respectively.)

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