Vancouver 2010 – Opening Ceremonies

By Bryan • canada, sports • 13 Feb 2010

Some bizarre scenes from the pre-shows running up to the opening ceremonies included MuchMusic making its first and probably last appearance in a supporting role to CTV’s Olympic media juggernaut.  VJ’s, hot tubs and bikinis?  Body shots?  As a TV segment just before the Opening Ceremonies?  Oh my…

Showing the luge crash???  Bad taste.

Off to the show.

I could have swore the opening snowboarder was former Alpine Olympian turned Whistler ski bum Rob Boyd.

Rather phallic looking totem poles…

We say Z?  Oh boy…talk about an inside joke that only Canadian viewers would understand.  Could have left that one out. I think there was a missed opportunity with that poem.  If a new understanding of Canada was the goal, one should avoid stereotype references.

Switching over to NBC during the athlete entrance was interesting.  NBC operated a graphic map which would centre on the  USA and then zoom out to the relevant country situating it nicely in the minds of our neighbours to the south.  

Great light snows.  Nelly and Bryan lookin’ good.  Ohhh…Hallelujah?  Good voice, not the best song choice.

pillarsHydraulic failure, well, that is what you get when you let a pod of whales swim through your mechanics. As we concluded at our Olympic Potluck last night…3 out of 4… and you know, in Canada…that ain’t bad.

 

Rumor has it that immediately after the mechanical fiasco, Gordon Campbell’s head exploded and VANOC CEO John Furlong was last seen being eaten by a giant spirit bear.  The loss of top leadership resulted in a complete breakdown of VANOC torch management and decision-making.  With Catriona Le May Doan frozen in disbelief at the strange absence of her pillar, Rick Hansen bound by his wheels, Steve Nash smiling with fear and Nancy Greene screaming that Senators don’t run anything there was only one person left to take the Olympic Flame…

Quick!  Do something Wayne!

No self-respecting Canadian would ever attempt to steal the torch from the Great One. Not even the most bitter, cynical protestor…it would be safe with #99.  Only Gretzky would be able to run the rainy public gauntlet to the outdoor cauldron.

And it was so.

gretzky VANOC, notoriously infamous for it’s top heavy, micro-management,   Goebbels-style control of all things Olympics.  VANOC, with a billion dollar security budget…15,000 troops, police and private security operators decided to take a little risk…and freakin’ let loose.  I think they just got tripped out by their own massive light and hologram show.  

Awesome…

I think it was, by far, the best part of the Opening Ceremonies.  It took the opening ceremony playbook of  exclusivity, wrapped in around a doobie-like torch, doused it in seal oil and lit it on fire.  Polish and production be dammed.  Maybe it was planned, but approach and execution was completely adhoc.  From Gretzky stuck in the exit doorway at BC Place, to the pick-up truck, to zero crowd control and hastily erected police blockades.  Even the video cameras didn’t have time to set up proper angles. 

People just poured into the route, right up to the torch.  Brilliantly raw, in-your-face Olympic.  I can’t think of anywhere else that an opening ceremony could have closed like this. 

Nice show.

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2 Responses

  1. Andrew

    I owe you a drink for this post. You made my day even more than seeing that Penny Arcade comic about Rock Band: Nirvana coming with a playable shotgun.

    • Rock Band: Nirvana? Hah hah hah

      I’ve been searching around for photos/video from the end torch run…there are barely any out there. Granted, it’s still early, but I really think no one had any idea it was going to go down like that.

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