Saturday, August 9, 2008

Opening Ceremonies Recap

Modern technology has certainly upped the ante at the Opening Ceremonies.  Most of what made last night's spectacle so spectacular, wouldn't have been a possibility even four years ago, because of the vast advances in video, computer, and other technologies.  I would say you also need to keep in mind that China essentially told the creator of the Ceremonies, "Here, have as much money as you want, and as many people as you need, to do whatever you think will wow the pants off those doubting Westerners."  (According to NBC, the Ceremonies included 15,000 individual performers - no duplicates throughout the night - and cost $300 million dollars... 10x what Athens spent in 2004.)

That said, the Opening Ceremonies did wow my sweat pants off.  Cynics will say that it was weird, and over-hyped - phoeey.  You get 5,000 guys dressed in white to form perfect circles without any guiding tape on the floor, or a giant sphere to float in the air (no roof - where did it hang from!?!?!?!?) while people run around it in unison.  You make either of those things happen - then you can talk to me about what you would have done differently.  List below are some various photo galleries, that while not coming close to doing the event justice, will start to give you some idea of the magnitude and beauty.
Highlights of the Opening Ceremonies:

~ The light up drums that started off the evening.

~ Eating Chinese food for dinner in honor of the Chinese Olympics.

~ The Coke commercial where little animated birds fly around collecting straws in order to make their own mini "Bird's Nest" replica of the National Stadium.

~ President Bush sitting with his jacket off like he's at a Ranger's game (I so expected him to wave a five dollar bill in the air for the peanuts and popcorn guy), and getting caught checking his watch during the Parade of Athletes.

~ President Hu Jintao of China sitting in the dignitary box with his own pair of binoculars, a water bottle, and what looked suspiciously like a Cup O' Noodles container... 

~ The McDonald's commercial where a kids' soccer team loses, but wins in the end by taunting the opposing team with their Happy Meal's raised high above their heads.

~ The outfits that the Hungarians felt represented themselves best to the world (whoa!)

~ The 9 year old earthquake survivor (read his amazing story here) who marched beside Yao Ming when the Chinese athletes entered the stadium (and then later said in perfect English to a reporter who had concluded an interview with Ming, "Thank you, thank you very much.")

Overall, well done China, well done.  I'd certainly hate to be Vancouver, Canada and have to follow that show.


Becky August 9, 2008 at 9:35 AM  

We had Chinese food for dinner too while watching the opening ceremonies, only we didn't really plan it.

It was a fabulous show. I don't know how other countries will be able to top that.

Anonymous,  August 9, 2008 at 12:32 PM

You need to add this to your Olympic coverage...

Macy's mom

Anonymous,  August 9, 2008 at 12:33 PM cut me off...add .html


Macy's mom

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