It’s the Olympics, baby! Wahoo! The opening ceremonies have been on for 2 hours now, and I needed something to do to co-entertain me. So here are my reactions to the opening ceremonies, at the time (Central, of course) in which they occurred. It’s two and a half hours of commentary goodness, so it gets kind of lengthy. Like all my other posts.
8:27 pm: Hot pants, Azerbaijan.
8:27 pm: Bermuda actually wore Bermuda shorts. Awesome.*
8:29 pm: Brazil has a president with one name (Lula)? Who does he think he is, Madonna? Not until I see him in the cone bra do I believe he earns the prestige of going by one name.
8:30 pm: Cayman Islands.*
8:32 pm: McDonald’s sponsors Team USA? McDonald’s sponsors some of the greatest athletes in the nation? Well, if that doesn’t send mixed messages…
8:36 pm: Ethiopia.*
8:37 pm: Finland competes in the World Sauna Championships each year. Yes, I could do that. WHOA! Update: last year the temperature of the sauna got to 230 degrees. Nevermind, I could not do that. Could not, could not, could not.
8:38 pm: Georgia enters, having lost an athlete from a training accident today. No jokes about this one. To have a delegation of only 8, and to lose an athlete at the young age of 21, I have great respect for this delegation continuing to participate in the opening ceremonies.
8:41 pm: Ghana’s first winter athlete enters. Very cool.*
8:43 pm: Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated places on earth, sending one athlete.*
8:44 pm: Iceland has never won a medal. Strange, as they have almost the most winter on the planet.
8:46 pm: SHOCKED that Iran is sending more athletes than Ireland.
8:48 pm: The Jamaican bobsled team didn’t make it this year?! Well, this Olympics is a total bust now…
8:49 pm: The stylistic similarities between the Japanese and Canadian flag made for an actually pretty cool display when Japanese athletes came in to BC Place waving both flags.
8:53 pm: I can’t believe they put a commercial over the entrance of Kyrgyzstan! Blasphemy!
8:54 pm: Mexico’s only athlete is a 51 year old skier. Very cool!*
8:56 pm: Montenegro.*
8:57 pm: Morocco. One of five African nations at the Olympics.*
8:58 pm: Kudos to Nepal for bucking the flag system and not having a rectangular flag (It’s two triangles, side by side).
8:59 pm: What do you get when 99 blondes enter the room? Norway.
9:00 pm: Pakistan also here for their first time.*
9:01 pm: Portugal.*
Sometime during the McDonald’s commercial: Senegal.*
9:09 pm: Switzerland. Meh, I have neutral feelings towards them, Apparently though, they have an athlete that looks JUST like Harry Potter.
9:10 pm: Dear China, they’re Taiwan (not Chinese Taipei). And deserve to fly their own flag at the Olympics.
9:12 pm: Sharing the longest friendly national border in the world (with Canada, of course!)– The USA! Proudly sending 216 athletes, with Minnesota the most represented state. Wooohoooo!
9:14 pm: Poor Uzbekistan. Shoved between the US and host nation Canada. Poor Uzzies.
9:14 pm: The Canda-hoovians. Who apparently only want to win the hockey medal. Sounds like they forfeit the rest of their events, eh?
(Musical performance with a Disney-like “Go get ’em, buckaroo” beat and lyrics. Also of note, the First Nations cast members have been jumping/dancing for over an hour at this point- yikes)
9:26 pm: It’s all dark, foggy, and a deep-voiced actor speaks mythically. Every Olympics Open Ceremony has a scary part. Why?
9:30 pm: Ooooh, a starry Bison! Go NDSU!!
9:34 pm: The “whales” going across the stadium floor are phenomenal. Even though we only ever saw them from the shore, watching the whales migrate off the coast of northern California was one of the most amazing things from the natural world I have experienced.
9:44 pm: Interesting that they are giving homage to Quebec, seeing as that region has attempted to separate itself from Canada several times.
9:50 pm: a punk-rockin’ tap dancer with mountain man beard? Only in Canada.
10:06 pm: Feeling a very subdued mood compared to China’s raucous Opening Ceremonies in 2006.
10:19 pm: Ooooh, a feel-good speech. I like this very much. Even if it is only for 2 weeks, the nations of the world seem to hate one another a little less during the Olympics.
10:23 pm: I feel like Canada is the world’s “favorite uncle.” Just the nice guy in the family, who doesn’t really do anything rude or overly exciting.
10:27 pm: I would like to someday be President of the International Olympic Committee. Even if just for a day.
10:31 pm: I understood way too much of the French… whoa, kickback to high school. It’s like those ridiculous listening and comprehension exams, except not on a dilapidated old cassette player that skipped every other word.
10:36 pm: I thought I loved “Hallelujah” when Rufus Wainwright did it, but k.d. lang’s rendition tonight was pretty darn powerful.
10:45 pm: Interesting that Gen. Romeo Dallaire chosen as a “highly respected” individual to carry in the flag. Gen. Dallaire has done a lot of good things for Canada, and even the world, but his position within the UN at the time of the Rwandan genocide in the early 1990’s makes him an interesting candidate on the global stage tonight.
10:48 pm: This is an epically long ceremony. I was interested in climbing into bed, oh, an hour ago.
10:56 pm: The idea of the “mystery cauldron” for the Olympic flame makes this feel suddenly like a Harry Potter event.
11:02 pm: I have been watching this since 6:30, blogging since 8:30, and I am exhausted. Good night all. And good luck, athletes!
* Countries with only one athlete. I can’t imagine it is easy to be the only person your country is hoping will bring home a medal, but what an honor for these athletes. The global community should be proud of these brave trailblazers.