Monday, 17 October 2011

Opening Ceremonies Part 3

With the racquetball competition at the games beginning today I thought it prudent to slap my hiney into gear and finish writing about the opening ceremonies so that I can get right into racquetball news going forward. Now where was I...

Following our lap around the stadium floor we were seated just off to the side and watched the rest of the countries enter. Each new entry brought the entire stadium to its feet, screaming in excitement and jubilation. Just when you thought it couldn't get any louder... in came Mexico.

The sound was beyond deafening. It was so loud you could barely tell it was cheering! It was just... noise. Noise that brought your hands to your ears as protection and awestruck wonderment at the sheer volume. It was easily the most exuberant and tumultuous sound I've heard in a sports venue (although from stories I've been told, south american soccer games take the cake, I've just never been to one). The mexican uniform was something else too. In true caballero style they entered in tight pants, belt buckles that would impress Chuck Norris and sombreros that unconsciously prompted a mental playback of "home on the range" which only a concerted and conscious effort could subvert. They also filled the circular track where most countries barely got to the halfway point. I regret to say that in my reverence of the spirited display of patriotism, I neglected to take a photo. I do have a video of the entrance, but the IOC guidelines prohibit me from posting video of the games. Those of you who really want to see it can contact me and I'll email it to you ;)

After the athlete entrances there were some speeches that were inspirational in their message but more importantly, were pleasant in their brevity. After this there were a few circus-style entertainment acts, a circular screen show, 3 musical acts (including Juanes - who I've actually heard of and have some music by!) and an interactive light show that was both interactive and highly impressive. The night concluded with a fireworks display that put everything else to shame. It lasted at least 15 minutes, after which the only thing hanging heavier in the air than the resulting smoke was astonishment. Below are the photos I took during the ceremonies, the quality of which I would not vouch for, but there is a great online article about them in the Vancouver Sun, the link to that article (which contains much better pictures and literary musings than my post) is here:

 The first acrobatic act of the evening. The circular screen above descended and shadows of the acrobats performing the various sports within the games were displayed.

 A kind of robotic dance number. It was fun and impressive but was used more as a lead in to...

The tubes! They were lit up with various colours, each corresponding to hand held lights that were given out to the respective sections within the stadium. Ours was orange thus when the tubes went orange we would hold up our lights as well as the section across from us, highlighting one section within the stadium at a time. It was really cool!

 Fireworks purveyed the show. These are some highlights.

A final number featured acrobats performing a butterfly-styled wire number. This was of course followed by more fireworks...

 And more fireworks...

 And more fireworks...

And more fireworks!

The night then concluded at it had began, with a long walk. This time back to the village. Boxed dinners were available for us at the cafeteria, though by the way some of the athletes were fervently muscling their way through the doors you would have thought there wasn't enough! Since it was well past 11pm by the time we finished gobbling down our meals we retired back to the room for a well deserved siesta. I look forward to reporting on Team Canada's opening day of racquetball competition later on tonight!


No comments:

Post a Comment