Saturday, February 13, 2010

2010 Winter Olympics: Day 1 Recap

The 21st Winter Olympics are now under way. It is my goal to do a daily recap of what is happening and some of the great stories to come out of the games.

The first day of the Olympics got started with a somber start. The death of Nodar Kumaritashvili, the Georgian Luger. I think it was a great touch that is fellow Georgian athletes still walked in the Opening Ceremonies in his memory with black scarves and black armbands.

The Opening Ceremonies itself left me with mixed emotions. There were some great highs for me, but also some parts that really left me questioning the games.
Throughout the whole Olympic experience, from the moment the Olympic bid went in, there has been a great focus on the Aboriginal people of Canada. Now I do understand that they are a part of our heritage, and they continue to be part of our country, but the focus of them was just to much. I think the real image of Canada almost got forgotten about.

This focus was brought into the Opening by a entire section being dedicated to the Aboriginals of our land, and also having the 4 chiefs be regarded as "Olympic royalty"

Now for the great parts! I love watching the athletes come into the stadium. This year it was great to see the Canadian athletes that would be competing the next day still be able to be part of the opening as it really is part of the Olympic experience.

The other part that I really love is the lighting of the cauldron. This whole process leaves everyone guessing as to who will be the one to do the lighting. Included in this process is the entrance of the Olympic flag. This year there were 8 people chosen to carry the flag, and I think that all 8 people were excellent choices. Former hockey star Bobby Orr; musician Anne Murray; champion race car driver Jacques Villeneuve; Betty Fox, the mother of cancer research champion Terry Fox; actor Donald Sutherland; gold medal figure skater Barbara Ann Scott; UNAMIR commander Roméo Dallaire; and Julie Payette, Canadian astronaut, carried the flag into the stadium.

After that came the actual lighting of the Olympic cauldron. This year there are 2, one indoors and one outdoors. The outdoor one will remain a permanent fixture in the city, while the indoor one will only be up until the closing ceremonies.

This years caldron was light by 5 people, the first time that a sole person has not done the lighting. Wayne Gretzky, Steven Nash, Nanct Green Raine and Catriona LeMay Doan were selected to light the tourch, with Rick Hansen selected to bring the tourch into the stadium.

The cauldron was supposed to rise from he floor with 4 pegs, and a middle cauldron. Unfortunetly only 3/4 rose and left Gretzky, NBA star Steve Nash and Olympic gold medal skier Nancy Greene Raine to simultaneously light the cauldron while fourth torch bearer, speed-skater Catriona LeMay Doan, was forced to stand by.

Later Gretzky was driven down to the waterfront to light the other cauldron.

I think overall the Openings were a great start. There were a few dry moments, but there seems to be with all Openings. One of my favorite parts was a poem that was read about being Canadian. I am still trying to find it online, and when I do will post it.

Hopefully the rest of the Olympics will go off great. And be sure to stay tuned for more daily recaps!

1 comment:

Dee said...

Here is that amazing poem:

VANCOUVER, B.C. - A transcript of Shane Koyczan's poem, "We Are More," as delivered during the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Olympic Games:

"Define Canada

You might say the home of the Rocket

Or The Great One

Who inspired little No. 9s and little No. 99s

But we're more than just hockey and fishing lines

Off of the rocky coast of the Maritimes

And some say what defines us

Is something as simple as 'please' and 'thank you'

And as for 'your welcome,' well, we say that, too

But we are more than genteel or civilized

We are an idea in the process of being realized

We are young, we are cultures strung together then woven into a tapestry

And the design is what makes us more than the sum totals of our history

We are an experiment going right for a change

With influences that range from A to Zed

And yes, we say 'Zed' instead of 'Zee'

We are the brightness of Chinatown and the laughter of Little Italy

We dream so big that there are those

Who would call our ambition an industry

We reforest what we clear

Because we believe in generations beyond our own

Knowing now that so many of us

Have grown past what we used to be

We can stand here today

Filled with all the hope people have

When they say things like 'someday'

Because we are more

Than a laundry list of things to do and places to see

More than hills to ski

Or countryside ponds to skate

We are the abandoned hesitation of all those who can't wait

We are first-rate greasy spoon diners and healthy living cafes

A country that is all the ways you choose to live

A nation that can give you variety

Because we are choices

We are millions upon millions of voices

Shouting, keep exploring

We are more

We are the surprise the world has in store for you, it's true

Canada is the 'what' in 'what's new'

So don't let your luggage define your travels

Each life unravels differently

And experiences are what make up

The colours of our tapestry

We are the true North

Strong and free

And what's more

Is that we didn't just say it

We made it be"