Saturday, February 13, 2010

42 - Olympic Opening Ceremonies

23 million Canadian viewers watched the Olympic Opening Ceremonies on television.  My wife and I were supremely fortunate to be able to attend the event in person, albeit in the "cheap" seats.  No matter, as there was not a bad seat in the house.

If you've seen the show, it was absolutely amazing.  The Canadian entertainers were at the top of their form, and provided a first rate example of our national talent. 

The venue, BC Place, is a familiar location for sports.  As such, it's never been an optimal stage for cultural events.  The cloth roof wrecks audio and prevents the use of large pyrotechnics, although it is very good at keeping the rain out.  The underground spaces for storage and logistics are small and cramped, which means that you cannot have a marshalling area for large stage pieces or crowds of talent more than a few dozen performers.

Given these limitations, the Olympic Committee overcame hurdles by using clever collapsible set pieces and an absolutely mesmerising light show.  Even the audio was decent, thanks to a carefully designed overhead speaker rig.    

The media is making stories about the problems we had lighting the Olympic torch.  Yes, the ceremony was not perfect.  What we did do, though, was show our strong Canadian spirit.  There were problems, and we overcame them to put on the best show possible.

This was an event of a lifetime, truly memorable, very much a love letter from Canada to the rest of the world. 

The ceremonies were dedicated to the memory of Georgian luge athelete Nodar Kumaritashvili, who was tragically killed during a practise run only a few hours before the ceremony. 

The Georgian team is pictured above, their national flag below.