I love watching a fantastic spectacle, and since there is none bigger than an opening or closing Olympic ceremony, watching the 2010 Olympics Opening Ceremony was must-see TV. It was well understood by everyone after the Beijing games that no other ceremony in our lifetime is likely to even come close to the enormity of its grandeur. However, with the expectations set appropriately, the Vancouver opening should still have been, well, “Olympic”.
Or so I thought.
There were a few good moments, but a lot of it seemed to miss the mark. The overriding problem was that it was held indoors. A Winter Games ceremony should be held outdoors. End of story. Pumping snow in the air during the show and keeping the temperature cold enough inside so that the athletes wouldn’t get heat exhaustion while wearing their fancy uniforms didn’t make up for it.
The beginning of the program suggested that it was unlikely that there would be innovation in presentation. It was a welcome from the local so-called “First Nations” (Indian) tribes. Lord love them, but doing a specific Indian segment is now cliche for Olympics in North America. It’s been done enough. A better way to demonstrate inclusion and diversity would be to do something with all the different ethnic groups mixed together. However, I must admit they sure put their hearts into their dancing, doing it the entire duration of the entrance parade of the athletes.
The athletes’ entrance is always interesting, seeing people from the various countries that are represented. Some enter very conservatively and some enter with a lot of excitement. One example of an excited athlete was Stephane Lambiel (above), a Swiss figure skater and that country’s flag bearer. He whipped his flag around and you could tell he would be putting a lot of spin are flare in his performances on the ice as well.
The entrance of Team USA was marred by the appearance of their Ralph Lauren uniforms. The huge polo pony brand emblem was incredibly tacky. However, cute little J.R. Celski, one of the American short track speed skaters, looked okay in his.
After the athletes entered, the entertainment part of the show commenced and for the most part it dreadfully dull. People wandering around the floor or hanging from wires for interminable lengths of time. Even the musical numbers were dull, other than the fiddling and the dancing to it. By its nature it added a little more fervor, but it certainly was nothing more than what you could see in a run of the mill Broadway show. The most interesting effect was the use of the video projectors on the floor and other structural surfaces. The use of the video on the floor during the performance by the solo aerialist Thomas Saulgrain was kind of cool.
I didn’t think I would be blogging about it, but my full assessment at the first link above.