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» Friday, February 12, 2010O Canada (and Everyone Else)!
Just finished watching the parade of nations in the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics. This was preceded by a tribute to the four First Nations tribes of the area around Vancouver, followed by representatives from all of the Canadian tribes. So many strikingly beautiful costumes!
This is a far cry from the last Winter Olympics, when we were still in the process of packing and moving. At this point four years ago,, we were five days from the "official" move, but had been moving things into the house for over a week.
So I've been looking forward to this—not just all the great snow sports, but the fact that it's up in Canada. I love Canada, and I've only seen a very small part of it: what was left of Expo 67 in 1969, twice in Quebec (driving the flat route from Montreal to the city of Quebec and once south to Maine), the lovely little village of Niagara-on-the-Lake and the Canadian side of Niagara/Horseshoe Falls and the farmland in between, and Canada's Wonderland. Would love to go to Vancouver; the opening scenery tonight alone is to die for.
Very sad hearing about the Georgian luge participant who died today. Both luge and skeleton, not to mention bobsled, look terrifying; I've been watching them for weeks on the Universal Sports Channel. Apparently the chute they are using in Vancouver is especially slick. They showed the accident at the beginning of the broadcast. No chance to save himself at all. The Georgian team still marched tonight, faces sober and tense.
[Later: For months we have heard speculation about "What can they do to outshine Beijing?" Now I enjoy these opening and closing ceremonies, but they have gotten increasingly spectacular year after year. Heck, I can remember when there were a couple of speeches and a parade of athletes and that was Opening Ceremonies. I know the Olympics are about competition, but I don't see why there are some who expect that every Opening or Closing has to outdo the last. All that is required is to give a good show. And with projectors, light, dance, music, colors, three rings of fabric, and hundreds of stunning performances, they made Magic. Loved the aurora borealis, the whales, the aerial prairie ballet, and the jagged mountains that transformed into skyscrapers, but mostly those wonderful maple leaves. Merci beaucoup, thank you so much!
Cool ice-crystal torch, too! Fire and ice.
Only complaint: look, NBC, I know this costs money. In fact, I understand you lose money on the Olympics. But, dang it, can't you find some sponsors with pride who don't insist you interrupt the proceedings abruptly So Damn Often?]
Snow ended about nine o'clock, by the way. It's an ice-crystal world outside, too. :-)