View Full Version : The Olympics Opening Ceremony

13 Feb 10,, 05:33
What do you think?

13 Feb 10,, 06:20
Well done Canada....I wish I was there

13 Feb 10,, 08:13
Wasn't there some sort of fiasco during the opening ceremony with some hydraulic pillars not moving?

Here's what my social website had to say about it

Are any other Canadians Facepalming over this opening ceremony? It's like a variety show in the 80s : reddit.com (http://www.reddit.com/r/reddit.com/comments/b1irf/are_any_other_canadians_facepalming_over_this/)

13 Feb 10,, 08:49
The ceremony was actually done by the two Australians who did the 2000 opening ceremony - David Atkins & Ignatius Jones. This explains why a) It looked great & b) there was a mechanical failure (anyone remember the awkward pause at Sydney when the cauldron stopped for a few minutes?)

Opening Ceremony dazzles with fire and ice

It began with a flying snowboarder bursting through the Olympic rings, involved audience participation, a 20 metre LED light covered spirit bear puppet and not one, but two cauldrons. And if there were a gold medal tonight – it would have gone to the mourning team of Georgia.

The opening ceremony of the Vancouver Olympic Games had more twists and turns than an intricate ice dance. Viewers were taken on an emotional and scenic journey, crossing the landscapes of Canada, experiencing octane highs during acrobatic performances and reflection during poignant moments.

Nothing less than what one would expect from the Australian ceremonies whizz kids David Atkins and Ignatius Jones (also master minds of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games). They intelligently harnessed the elements of surprise, enthusiastic spectators and traditional elements of Canada to match the standard set by the past two Olympic Opening Ceremonies in Beijing and Turin. .

This was the first Olympic Games in which a country recognised its indigenous people as partners. Following the lone snowboarders’ dramatic entrance into the arena and the flag raising by the Canadian Mounties, the night began as Canada first began, with indigenous people.

Four Host Nations First Chiefs - on whose traditional lands the games are taking place, took the stage with traditional welcome figures, whose arms raised in welcome.

The welcome didn’t end there, with Aboriginal youth pouring onto the stage, pounding a massive central drum representing the sound of a heart eat – the heart beat of the pow-wow.

It was an adrenalin fuelled start to the athlete procession, which began as tradition dictates, with Greece. There was a noticeable roar as Australia was announced, led by flagbearer Torah Bright.

But the most moving point of the night soon followed, as the bereaved Georgian team were announced. Minus luger Nodar Kumaritashvili, who died in a training accident earlier today, they walked unsmiling and shocked with flag lowered, sporting black armbands. They were greeted by the crowd with an extended, spontaneous standing ovation, a respectful pause amongst the celebrations. The Australian athletes also wore black armbands to show their respect.

Later in the evening, as the Olympic torch approached, a visibly shaken Jacques Rogge extended sympathy and announced the ceremony dedicated to Kumaritashvili. A minute’s silence was held and the Olympic and Canadian flags lowered to half mast, where they remained for the rest of the evening.

Head of the organising committee John Furlong then spoke passionately of Canada and the countries whole focus of delivering a great Games. The whole Ceremony recognised the nation’s new found confidence and belief.

Once athletes were welcomed and seated the lights dimmed, white confetti rained like snow flakes, mist swirled on the stage and amongst this haunting imagery, white clad figures walked, the refugees who now call Canada home.

Together they created an energy, depicted by light, which became the aurora borealis, or Northern Lights, which appear in Canada above the Arctic Circle. Light washed over the stadium, while the audience bearing lights were the night sky.

Sky became the ocean and in the ultimate crowd pleaser, orca whales were projected, actual spouts of water ejecting form the floor. The nature theme continued as salmon became totem poles, which in turn became forest trees, under which the Alberta Ballet danced.

Many of the touches during the evening were pure, unexpected Canada. The melodious voice of Sarah McLachlan, the depiction of Quebec folklore La Chasse-Galerie, the symbol of fiddle against a moon immediately recognisable (to Quebecois), an ensemble of punk rock fiddlers amongst autumn leaves, for Canada is, of course, a nation of fiddlers.

Tappers too, as a tap dance fiddling duel ended in an explosion of fireworks and maple leaves. From maple leaves we head to the prairie fields and a Niki Webster moment – a youth took flight, exploring his surrounds – not the Australian waterscape but the Canadian prairies – the only disappointment in originality from Atkins & Jones.

Which they immediately atoned for, as the prairie became the Rockies and snowboarders and skiers descended on harnesses for a bewildering display of acrobatics while illuminated figures skated beneath.

The evening ended with a bang, the lightning of the cauldron, which was supported on polycarbonate and furnace glass struts made to look like ice. Rumour surrounded the identity of the cauldron lighter, which was revealed to be ice hockey player and Canadian icon Wayne Gretsky.

It was the culmination of a Torch relay that spanned ever corner of this huge country but more importantly inspired and touched millions.

The Olympic gold medallist then travelled to an external cauldron in Charcoal Harbour, in downtown Vancouver. For the first time in Olympic history there will be two cauldrons lit. BC Place will remain as a focal point for the Games for all Victory Ceremonies from events in Cypress and Vancouver.

The ceremony managed to link the disparate but distinct threads of the elements that constitute Canada. This was summed up in a line during the evening. “A lifetime is not enough to explore this country, a man is not big enough to feel its size”.

Which, to our athletes, must have sounded a lot like home.

Flip Byrnes
AOC - Vancouver

Vancouver 2010: Opening Ceremony dazzles with fire and ice (http://www.olympics.com.au/news/opening-ceremony-dazzles-with-fire-and-ice)

13 Feb 10,, 10:55
I like the "personal" touch, very refreshing for the overwhelming summer game opening. Then again, folks in Canada are generally referred in the US as low-key.

13 Feb 10,, 18:07
I actually had a tear in my eye watching the native section of the cerimonies, the fact that this was held in-doors was fully taken advantage of, and a real theatric show was the result.

The fiddles and tap-dances was awesome! The only hiccups were the hydraulic pillar not working, and the Native Leader were late.

All in all, I was impressed.. however, the national anthem!?!? When did our anthem turn into a jazz song? /facepalm!

Great, some goons out to spoil the show. The usual granola crunching anti-captalisms hippies.


13 Feb 10,, 18:37
The fiddles and tap-dances was awesome!

Me too. Loved that part.

The orcas "coming out of the floor" was an awesome sight.

I thought one of the best parts of the ceremony was after it was over and probably wasn't even planned as part of the artistic bit. It was Wayne Gretzky on the back of a truck heading off to light the cauldron in the city, and you had people on the streets coming out of the bars running alongside the truck and hailing the Great One. It was just a simplistic touch that looked great to me.

13 Feb 10,, 23:25
I think its fair to say that Australia's contribution to the WInter Olympics has already peaked. ;)

14 Feb 10,, 00:10
I'm not much of a K.D. Lang fan but I really enjoyed her performance last night

14 Feb 10,, 00:22
I was kinda hoping for Celine Dion..... had a bottle of scotch on-hand just for that. :biggrin:


Officer of Engineers
14 Feb 10,, 00:33
I would have lost a 42 inch TV if SWSNBN showed up.