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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:17 am 
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I find it sad to say but I was fairly unimpressed with the opening ceremony. On the other hand, I rarely find much value in the opening ceremonies :).

However, the performance of Cohen's Hallelujah made up for a great deal, and seeing Gretzky light the final torch was pretty much the most that could be hoped for. :).

All in all, I'm greatly looking forward to the next two weeks.

That, and I watched Miracle, which retells the story of the 1980 US hockey team, which always gets me excited for winter sports :D

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Last edited by halplm on Mon Feb 15, 2010 11:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 4:11 pm 
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I don't think I've ever watched an opening ceremony to anything!

No wait, I take that back. I did watch part of the opening ceremony to the 1992 Olympics.

I also learned that South Africa is participating in the Winter Olympics, with a single participant in the alpine skiing and another in cross-country skiing.

Don't expect to hear anything of either of them. :D There really isn't any skiing spots in South Africa, so we're just not that into it. ;)

I hope to catch some curling, though. I'm all curious now.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 4:14 pm 
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How much did the death of the Georgian luger in a training run put a pall on the ceremonies? Was the Georgian team even present?

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 4:24 pm 
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They were there, with black armbands and a black ribbon on their flag. The event was dedicated to the luger, and after the Canadian and Olympic flags were raised, there was a moment of silence as they were lowered to half-staff.

I was impressed with the ceremony. They produced incredible effects just by projecting images onto the stage. (I think it must have been from underneath somehow.) And the First Nations people were very prominent.

And a great rendition of "Hallelujah," I agree. There was one year where I think the song must have been used at the end of a tragic episode of every drama on television (I saw at least two, and I don't watch that much TV drama!), but the song is much better than that.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 4:45 pm 
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Lord_M and I went grocery shopping so I missed most of it.

I guess I hope this thing is a success. As a BC taxpayer, I'm stuck with it, one way or the other.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 5:36 pm 
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Another thing I enjoyed, and expect to continue to enjoy, is all the gorgeous scenery. They must have flown helicopters around, over, and through every lovely bit of country up there. A lot of it reminded me of shots from LotR. In HD it is just breathtaking. The city, too.

However well the Games go, a lot of the world is probably deciding to take a trip to BC sometime soon.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 5:49 pm 
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Primula Baggins wrote:
Another thing I enjoyed, and expect to continue to enjoy, is all the gorgeous scenery. They must have flown helicopters around, over, and through every lovely bit of country up there. A lot of it reminded me of shots from LotR. In HD it is just breathtaking. The city, too.

However well the Games go, a lot of the world is probably deciding to take a trip to BC sometime soon.


The thing is, a lot of the world already takes trips to BC. The tourist industry is huge here. Whistler is always 1st or 2nd on the list of "Best Ski Resorts".

I'm not going to drag politics and economics into a fun thread, but . . .


Not one person I know is going to any events. Mostly because, A, we didn't have a chance to just go and buy tickets, and B, who could afford it, anyway?

My sister-in-law got tickets to some figure skating practices. My mum would have sold her grandchildren to get tickets to some figure skating, but she still couldn't get any.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 6:13 pm 
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I know. We were in L.A. for the 1984 Olympics, and nobody I knew got to go to any events. Too hard to get tickets, and even if we could, they cost too much for the grad student/lab tech crowd. So many locals left town to avoid traffic, etc., that the city felt sort of deserted, once you got away from the Olympic venues.

Nevertheless, I think the Games will probably increase tourism even above what it is, for a while. I'm sure there are plenty of people who up to now thought of Vancouver as a gray little city on a gray little inlet, covered with rain all summer and snow all winter, and crawling with Mounties.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 10:14 pm 
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The first winner of the Olympic Games is Swiss!!!

Ski jumping Simon Amman - he also won gold twice in Salt Lake City... a really, really nice guy.

I'm happy. (And a bit proud)

(And for big sport events: when the European football championship was in Geneva, it was not easy to get tickets, but not impossible and they built a huge infrastructure like a fan zone so even without going to the three matches played in Geneva, it was very present in the city and very nice. When I was in Berlin this summer for the World championship in athletics, it was the same).

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 10:25 pm 
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When the U.S. Olympic track and field trials were in Eugene in '08, they did that: set up a fan zone outside the field, with food and vendors and big-screen TVs showing the action inside. It turned it into an event for the community, not just the ones lucky enough to score (or able to afford) tickets. I wish they'd done something like that for the L.A. Olympics—although now that I think about it, there wasn't the technology, really, not in 1984.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:17 pm 
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The technology exists now, certainly. And there are a number of such free zones in and around Vancouver and Whistler.

Unfortunately, VANOC has made it very difficult for people to get into the city.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:23 pm 
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I hope we hear from Lurker at some point...wasn't he spposed to be involved with Vancouver 2010?

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 11:23 am 
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It was a little the same during the Sydney Olympics in 2000 - tickets to stadium events were very hard to come buy, in some cases they almost went to a kind of lottery. The only event I did end up seeing was some of the marathon, and that's because it ran through my suburb, so I could just walk down to the end of the street and watch all those athletes running by. :)

Hal, I sat up much too late last night (actually, this morning to 2am) to watch the opening ceremony. Usually I'm not much of a one for these things, but I liked the way it was choreographed, I liked the integrated inclusion of the First Nations people, and I liked the music, including the Goth tap dancers. I actually think it was better than the opening ceremony in Sydney, which was slightly kitschy.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 5:24 pm 
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Yes, we trot our First Nations people out for these little occasions and then as soon as the visitors have gone home we go back to ignoring them.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 5:58 pm 
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I still haven't watched the opening ceremoney. Guess I should at some point.

Vison

The could always do a realistic First Nations/Native American show, 'I was sitting in my house, some guys came in and took my stuff, said they had found me, then gave me a piece of my land back to live on. Now every so often they ask me to do a dance number at their olyimpics, I say sure because I still haven't gotten my stuff back yet...I think they're illegal aliens'

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:24 pm 
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vison wrote:
Yes, we trot our First Nations people out for these little occasions and then as soon as the visitors have gone home we go back to ignoring them.


Which sounds a little like the way Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders were represented at ours... though we packed them off home once they'd done their number, and I don't recall that there was a welcome to country.

I thought it was good that there was representation not just on the stadium floor, but also on the dais with your GG. However such a thing is done it will be tokenistic, and, yes, exploitative. I still think it was well enough done, again relative to that other opening ceremony I've seen.

It's an interesting question though - how do you acknowledge without it being just as Vison describes?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:14 pm 
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Some thoughts so far....

I was finally really excited Saturday when actual competition began. I started with watching the Swedish/Swiss Women's hockey game, and it was on from there.

I'd just like to say, when the Canadian Women's hockey team came out, it was a vast relief to see Hockey played the way it's supposed to be.. No offense to the Swiss or Swedish teams, but the Canadians are on an entirely different level. And also hats off to the Slovakian Goalie, who had 49 saves with almost no help from her teammates.

Another thought... is there a more crazy/fun race to watch than any short-track speed skating event?

And of course, the day ended with the US winning its first gold (sorry Canada), which couldn't have been better.

Sunday I was out and about and didn't get to watch much, but I figure most of the day was Figure skating, which is not my favorite.

However, the US did win its first ever medal in Nordic Combined (crazy oldschool European sports :P ) with the silver, and also finished 4th and 6th... which I think probably makes the US a favorite for the relay in that sport :D.

And did I mention I absolutely positively HATE NBC? They're complaining that they're going to lose like $200 million on the olympics... and all I have to say is... well, maybe if you treated it like a SPORTING event instead of a human interest sob story, more people would tune in. Then again, when they know the outcome 3 hours ahead of when you show it, there's not a whole lot of incentive. That, and they never ONCE showed the medal ceremony for the Women's Moguls, so I had to look it up online two days later... sigh...

Curling starts tomorrow, I need to find a way to watch at work that won't get me in trouble... :D

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For the TROUBLED may you find PEACE
For the DESPAIRING may you find HOPE
For the LONELY may you find LOVE
For the SKEPTICAL may you find FAITH
-Frances C. Arrillaga 1941-1995


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:46 pm 
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I was watching moguls and snowboarders and figure skating. I don't know how it is possible to judge some of those athletes against each other. The Chinese couple against the second American couple - perfection vs perfection. And the jumps on moguls! To me, surviving the course is worthy of a medal.

I wonder what it feels like, to have such control over your body.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:07 pm 
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Am I the only American here getting absolutely tired of all the negative reporting? Seriously. Every second article on Yahoo seems to be on how much this Olympics sucks and how much the opening ceremony sucked compared to Beijing and how the Olympic Village is all cramped and blah blah blah. WTF?

One of my labmates is South Korean. I had way too much fun needling him about the short track results this morning. =:)

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:13 pm 
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=:) Serves them right for costing Ohno the Gold in '02.

And yes, the negative reporting is lame. Frankly all the reporting is lame. I wish they'd just show the sports and move on.

ETA: Frelga, I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes I can see what the judges are seeing, but usually only on slow-motion. For moguls, for instance, I've learned over the years that whatever happens on those two jumps barely matters, it's all about how well they keep their knees together while skiing, which I can usually see.

As far as figure skating goes, I can't really care as much any more, as it all seems rigged.

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For the TROUBLED may you find PEACE
For the DESPAIRING may you find HOPE
For the LONELY may you find LOVE
For the SKEPTICAL may you find FAITH
-Frances C. Arrillaga 1941-1995


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