Friday, February 19, 2010

My thoughts on the Olympic opening ceremonies!

Don't miss my Olympic giveaway! It's the post below this one!

I know I am a week late with this post but my computer problems have put me way behind in my blogging schedule! These are some of my thoughts on the opening ceremonies - a little bit of randomness for a Friday morning!

The games started on such an awful note. Nodar Kumaritashvili tragically died when he crashed on the luge track in a training run. Our thoughts are with his friends and family. It took so much heart for the Georgian team to walk in to the opening ceremonies.

As the teams started to come in I saw a familiar face! One of the team doctors for the Albanian team lives around the corner from me. His son was born at the same time ours was and our little ones have gone to the same baby programs in town. The funny thing is I bumped into a friend who works for him the other day and she didn't mention he was gone and she was getting a 'boss break'.

I loved how the athletes came in before the show started! I never understood why they are made to wait in a parking lot then brought in at the very end!

I must find out where the team from Azerbaijan gets their uniforms! I simply have to have a pair of these pants! My golf teacher is coming back from down south in a few weeks so I need to get my golfing wardrobe ready to hit the links. I think these pants would be the perfect addition! The Suburban Prince called them Azerpajammies!

The funniest commentary of the evening was about Dow Travers of the Caymen Islands. The announcers on NBC had us chuckling through the whole show and we burst out laughing when they said, "He was born in the Caymen Islands, went to school in England, attends Brown and now trains in Aspen. Despite this life of hardship has managed to make it to the Olympics!"

To clear up any confusion - Michelle Jean is the Governor General of Canada. She is the highest ranking official in the country and was appointed by the queen. Stephen Harper is the Prime Minister of Canada which makes him not the elected leader of the country (like the way it works in the US) but the leader of the elected party. Notice he was not sitting with the other heads of state? That may be his own fault since he has shut down Parliament and Canada effectively doesn't have a federal government at the moment. In my personal opinion the country does just fine without them!

Are there enough words to describe just how phenomenal KD Lang is? When she burst onto the Canadian music scene many many years ago she was wild and wacky! Now she truly is one of the most talented singers in the world. She has always defied definition - much like Canada! Here are some her videos, including her performance at the 1988 Olympics! Hallelujah was written by Leonard Cohen and he is reported to have said she performed it to "its ultimate blissful state of perfection."

When I was in high school we had to read Who Has Seen The Wind by W.O. Mitchell. The segment of the ceremonies depicting the young boy running through the prairie while Joni Mitchel's Both Sides Now played was just as painful as reading the book. Don't get me wrong, I love the song but teamed with one of the most boring books ever written...snoozefest!

At one point the Canadian channel had us suffering through a French singer who obviously was not told this is meant to be fun and uplifting and who performed something I would expect to hear at a funeral or some other dirge appropriate time. We decided to see 'What the Americans were saying about him' but NBC was airing a long Coke or Apple commercial.

Could there have been any more problems with the cauldron? I heard the final torch bearers had earpieces so they were hearing from the technical people to just hang in there but they still looked very awkward! I wonder if they rehearsed the cauldron beforehand! When Wayne Gretzky was leaving the building it looked like the door wouldn't open! At this point I could feel the entire country holding it's breath! Didn't it look like the flame went out when the second cauldron was lit? I gasped then sighed with relief!

I was very happy to see both of Terry Fox's parents involved with the games. His father ran with the torch earlier in the day and his mom was one of the flag bearers.

Anne Murray. Hmpfh. Does anyone in Canada like this woman?

The light show was just incredible! Whoever created it did an amazing job! The whales and the ice both blew me away! So simple but so powerful!

I loved how the audience was a part of the show - having everyone wear the white ponchos was brilliant! Creating a blank canvas in the stands certainly allowed the show to expand beyond the stage!

I need to figure out how to rig up some falling snow/leaves in my house! It looked so beautiful! One of the commentators said it perfectly - 'It is like sitting in a snowglobe!'.

The First Nations are the actual hosts of the games this year since they are being held on Aboriginal land. Canada is a complicated country! I was so impressed at how the dancers performed for the entire time the athletes were coming into the stadium! That's stamina!

Did you notice the northern lights in the middle of the stadium? I have googled but cant find a photo of it. Since I have never seen the northern lights I had no idea what the big thing above the show was supposed to be!

Did you think the fiddlers looked like street people? For a moment I thought they let the protesters in! I hope the rest of the world doesn't think this is what all Canadians look like! Speaking of the protesters...when we saw the torch in Toronto the protesters we saw were all Caucasian - and the actual hosts of the games are the 4 First Nations...hmmmmm interesting.
(The Suburban Prince just pointed out that I didn't explain why this is interesting....well...the protesters are protesting the games being held on native land!).

Have a fabulous day!


Pink Martini said...

When are the Olympics? I'm kidding! I'm kidding! :) Truth be told, I have seen very little. I have been indoctrinating Mr. P.M. to the past seasons of Mad Men so I try to get in the DVD's before he falls asleep on the couch. I did happen to see Apollo Ono win a race but that was just by chance. I guess I'll have to come up to speed (no pun intended) this weekend. Have a good one. :) xoxo

MCW said...

I loved reading this from a Canadian's point of view!

hostess of the humble bungalow said...

I loved the Joni Mitchell song, the whales, and the First Nations involvement at the opening ceremony.
At school we have "Painted the School Red" have the TV on the Olympics all day, muted for the most home Mr. HB and I catch up on the events and try to watch the hockey...there are truly some amazing performances. I admire the dedication and efforts of all the athletes and find their attitudes of humble-ness refreshing.

OceanDreams said...

Ohh I can't wait to watch this this weekend, sounds amazing and I'll be sure to watch for those amazing pants and the northern lights. ;)

Anonymous said...

I loved it. It is cool to read this from a Canadians perspective. I have been enjoying watching all the events. It really makes me want to take a vacation in BC!

HeidiG said...

Thanks for sharing - I've been waiting for your thoughts. Love the Suburban Prince's line about the Azerpajammies!!

Snooty Primadona (Liz) said...

I'm in total agreement with everything you said! Unfortunately, I had to miss the opening ceremonies because we went out with friends & I forgot to set the DVR. duh!

I'm a total nut for the winter Olympic Games. I do think it would be difficult to top what was done in Greece for the games. That was the best opening ceremony ever!

I never realized that you are in Canada. For some reason I thought you were in Texas, but don't know where I got that from. I'm slow to get things sometimes, LOL!

I've been SO PROUD of our American athletes this year & I've had a blast watching... even though I watch alone. Hubby has to put his earplugs in & then goes to bed, while I scream through all of the ski runs. Yeah. I'm a bit exhuberant.

Anyway, I loved reading your take on the Olympics!

Semi-Slacker Mom said...

I like those pants too! Seriously.

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

Hey! I love Anne Murray! I grew up watching her as a young woman on Singalong Jubilee and then watched as her career expanded. She's an amazing singer who promoted Canada musically in a time when the rest of the world didn't know we existed. She's also a really classy lady. I thought it was perfect seeing her in that lineup.