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2010 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony

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Photo by bakanoodle via Flickr

Photo by bakanoodle via Flickr

The 2010 Winter Olympics kicked off with a bang this Friday and although some are quick to note its inability to match Beijing’s spectacle, it remained packed with memorable moments of its own.

The first of these notable moment’s being the placement of the historic parade of nations where nations take their turn in the spotlight, representing their country and sharing in the comradery of the festivities. While the parade of nations is notably set towards the end of the opening ceremonies, Vancouver set the parade at the beginning of the ceremony where Olympians were actually able to sit and enjoy the show in its entirety.

The opening ceremony began with the honoring of Canadian natives through a display of traditional custom, attire, and song. As actors took their places,  four larger than life totems rose from the ground. Dressed in traditional attire and performing traditional dance and song rituals, Canadians honored their ancestors while welcoming all countries and spectators to their home.

While visually appealing and entertaining, as a spectator, I lost sight of the significance of honoring the natives and was instead focused on the hopping around in circles in extravagant costumes.  That being said, it was still incredibly memorable.

The innovation and creativity of the virtual floor was also one of the most impressive highlights of the night. Well into the show, the three dimensional floor of ice broke apart before millions of spectators revealing an ocean filled with fish and swimming life. It was technologically astounding, combining the latest effects to present a life like change of elements that left everyone in awe.

Photo by ronocdh's via Flickr

Photo by ronocdh's via Flickr

Equally memorable was the honoring of late Olympian Nodar Kumaritashvilli, who tragically died from a luge practice run that Friday morning. While the opening ceremony was planned and scripted to the second, they rightfully took the time to honor the late Olympian with a moment of silence and addressed the tragedy during the opening speech.

Unfortunately not everything went flawlessly as the planned lighting of the four part cauldron by four of Canada’s most beloved athletes suffered from technical difficulties. While hockey legend Wayne Gretsky, NBA MVP Steve Nash, and champion in Alpine Skiing Nancy Green were able to successfully light their respective cauldrons, speed skater Catriona Lemay Doan was left standing while a mechanical error left her cauldron static. An unexpected sour ending for the otherwise enlightening 2010 opening ceremony.

Ultimately billions of viewers gathered round to share in the universal truth that regardless of color, culture, language, and nationality we are all human and all connected through a common bond.

There is much more to look forward to as the games continue today. Check back with the Entertainer for highlights on our local athletes and their impact on the games.

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