A rollercoaster start
Yesterday was hard.
We all expected the whole day to be a complete celebration of sport and yet a horrible tragedy in Whistler changed the focus entirely. As the opening ceremonies approached I couldn’t help but feel less than excited.
I’ve already placed a certain amount of blame and don’t feel I need to reiterate how I feel about Nodar Kumaritashvili’s death, but needless to say I was in a sombre mood heading into the evening. A young man came to our country for the dream of a lifetime and will not be going home, and it was affecting me.
But when that ceremony began at B.C. Place, my feelings began to change.
I have to admit I was eyeing the opening ceremonies as a real opportunity for Canada to screw up. I have no idea why either; maybe it was the fact we had to follow Beijing, who choreographed one of the most amazing spectacles ever witnessed, or maybe it was that standard Canadian humbleness I’m always hearing about, which by the way I’ve never once been accused of. And I mean ever.
But regardless of where the inclination came from, I was definitely not expecting anything close to what I saw.
As far as I’m concerned, Canada nailed those ceremonies.
I don’t care what age group you belong in and even less about what type of entertainment you normally indulge, there was something in that show for everyone.
For some I’m sure it was Sarah Mclaughlin or Kraft Dinner Lang but for me it was Ashley MacIsaac, who is without a doubt the best fiddle player on the face of this rock. That was the most punk rock moment in history of the Olympics. Although I personally would have liked to see them go right nuts and bring in SNFU, a longtime punk band out of Edmonton, but their lead singer purposely spits on people and might have been considered offensive.
Of course shots of MuchMusic DJs in a hot tub with underage girls found a way on air, so what the hell do I know about censoring?
Anyway, the point I’m starting to get away from is that organizers of Friday’s festivities knew this nation is full of every walk of life and they had to be very creative in order to please everyone.
They even did an exceptional job of keeping the final torchbearer a secret. And just to be sure us in the media weren’t leaking anything important, someone clearly had a false-informant spread a rumour about a holographic Terry Fox making the final run, because that was all I heard from other media in the hours leading up.
Thankfully, after my adventures on Thursday went against me, I was acting rather cautious and only told a handful of people what I heard was going down, as opposed to announcing it from the usual mountaintop.
But the moment I truly began to cheer up and feel the excitement was when Georgia walked out into that stadium after speculation in the afternoon had the team withdrawing. Those seven remaining athletes became honourary Canadians tonight and I watched as tears filled the eyes of so many around me.
It was really a great moment.
Of course, we were all in for more greatness as the Great One himself, Wayne Gretzky, took the torch the final couple of kilometres to light the cauldron on the waterfront, which will stay ignited until the closing ceremonies on Feb. 28.
I’ve been saying since before these Games began that I would likely have the craziest time of my life while I’m here. So far, crazy has brought his friends.
I wonder what will happen today…