Saturday, February 13, 2010

Olympics, 2010

So, did you watch? What did everybody think?

I thought I'd give you a little rundown on my thoughts.

Of course there was a shadow cast across the opening ceremonies by the tragic death of Gorgian luger, Nodar Kumaritashvili. The footage shown of the accident was difficult to watch for sure. Just a baby really, at 21 years of age. The sight of his 7 remaining teammates marching stoically into the stadium in the Parade of Nations to a standing ovation and thunderous applause brought tears to my eyes. My heart truly goes out to them, and to his family as well.

There has been much criticism since the accident. Is the track truly too dangerous? I'm generally one that sides in defense of those criticized when a sporting type accident occurs. I mean, after all, they knew what the risks were, right? But this time, I'm not so sure.

These athletes are the best in the world at what they do. Thousands of hours of training and perfecting their craft, with relatively minimal accidents or injury. Yet, on this track during practice runs over a dozen crashes occurred. One leaving one of the athletes unconscious for a time. And 15 months ago when the worlds elite came to familiarize themselves with the track, there were 73 crashes during training runs. SEVENTY THREE! Add this to the fact that Canada refused to let athletes from other countries start practicing on the track until this past week kinda moves me out of the corner of "Team Canada" on this one. I mean, even other racers had been talking about how dangerous the track is, and how they were fearful even before this accident. Did I mention, the sleds have been clocked reaching speeds up to 95 mph? It all seems a little insane to me.

So what do you think? Do you think there should be something done before competition starts on this track? Try to make it safer? Slower? Should the events be postponed? Cancelled?

The games have also been criticized for moving forward with the Opening Ceremonies last night. I really disagree with this. I feel that a postponement would have been unfair to the hundreds of other competitors, as well as everyone who had purchased tickets for the event, all the people who had coordinated to be there for this night. I know one U.S. hockey team member had an NHL game then flew in for the Ceremonies then immediately flew back out for another NHL game tonight. He wanted so badly to experience last night that he was willing to do this, and I'm sure he's not the only athlete that made these types of arrangements. So I think that the decision made to move forward was a good one. And using the night to honor the fallen athlete was particularly appropriate.

As for the ceremony itself...I quite enjoyed myself. The Parade of Nations is always interesting to me. Athletes just amaze me, and I see these young people who are realizing the dream of their lifetime and it just makes me feel all glowy inside!

I thought the presentation was spectacular. The special effects, the dancing, the singing, I loved it all. Almost. I didn't really care for the Slam Poetry. I can't really stand Slam Poetry as it is, but it seemed a little out of place in the majesty of the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics. Just me, but I could have done without that! Also, although I love K.D. Lang's voice, and I thought she did an amazing job last night, I didn't care for the message of the song. I've never really listened to the lyrics of this song, but listening last night, they seemed to kind of have an undertone of anti-faith, anti-putting your trust in God kind of a message, so I didn't love that. It's supposed to be a message of peace, but - whatever.

Other than those 2 things, I was thoroughly entertained and awed by the whole show. Some of my favorite moments: The tap dancing fiddlers with flames coming from the soles of their shoes, The Bryan Adams/Nelly Furtado performance - LOVED the song written by Bryan Adams. I'm going to see if it's available for download. The way they transformed the stage with all the projectors was beyond cool. Especially when the "floor" broke apart into all these little ice bergs, and pieces of floating ice that carried the performers away - that was awesome!

I remember always watching the Olympics here and there growing up, particularly figure skating. But since the games came to Salt Lake in 2002, I have been a true fan. Those 2 weeks were some of the most fun days and nights I've ever had! I went up town several times, and visited all the fun venues. We had tickets to Award Ceremony dress rehearsals, which were awesome, and just the whole spirit and atmosphere during the games was magical. Plus, those of you who know of my crush on Mitt Romney know that the 2002 Olympics was when I first became aware of his existence. I am keeping my fingers crossed for another Winter Olympics in SLC.

So, if you watched last night, what did you think? Go team U.S.A!!!


Macey said...

I didn't watch, because I'm really one of those jerks that hates the Olympics...but that's only because when I was growing up, we had 2 channels and when the Olympics were on they were on both channels and we couldn't watch anything else. So I was selfish.
Anywho, the athletes are always amazing...I can't imagine putting so much time and dedication into your body, because it is a precise instrument, really, when you are an Olympian. It really represents, I think, what a fine machine God created.
The KD Lang thing, well, she's weird. But I love her voice, too.

Rachelle said...

Oh man, I must be totally out of it this year. I completely missed last nights ceremony. I've never been a huge watcher of the Olympics but there are a few of the sports that I try not to miss. I think it was appropriate for the ceremony to be on time instead of postponed. I'm always amazed at what those athletes can do!

Koko said...

I blogged a little about the Olympics too...we love the Olympics! I was thinking they could at least pad the poles on the luge track. I agree that they shouldn't have postponed the opening ceremonies (which they didn't, of course). I HATED the remake of "We Are The World" that they did...thought it was TERRIBLE! I loved how they showed where each country was in relation to the U.S. I need to improve on my geography!

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Don't hate me. I didn't watch. I used to love watching the Olympics. I just don't get into it anymore. If I knew when the women's figure skating would be, I'd watch that, but I don't even know who is skating for the U.S. Kristi Yamaguchi was my all time favorite figure skater ever. :)

Rhonda said...

I can't believe I missed opening night! Ugh...that is so sad and tragic about Gorgian luger! Hopefully I can catch some of it and let the boys watch. I used to watch ice-skating a lot growing up! Happy V-day weekend!

Emmy said...

I haven't actually watched it yet, we went out for v-day last night. But I agree, even with the tragedy they need to keep moving forward with the event.

Another blog I read, her husband is one of the camera people at the Olympics and it sounds like NBC's coverage of it didn't show off how really amazing it was and they missed a lot of good things.

Amy said...

I was sadden about what had happen to that young man. I did enjoy the show. It was amazing. My two year old loved it..


I was saddened at the young mans death. I thought the coming together of the cultures with the indigenous nations was way cool, loved the tap dancing best and Sarah McLaughlin...did not like the Slam Poetry...loved the flying guy...BUT...thought the lighting of the flame was weak. It was just not what I was expecting...I mean a guy shot and arrow and lit it, a guy flew and lit it, Mohammed Ali lit it...and Gretsky's big moment was flat. Overall I am excited that it is here. I love the winter Olympics. GO TEAM USA!

Sami said...

I LOVED the visual effects last night too! I thought the coolest thing was when the ice started "breaking apart" and then it looked like people were swimming in rapids. VERY cool! I didn't get to see all of it, but I sat there the whole time Bryan and Nelly were singing, and since I had missed the announcement of who it was...I kept saying "his voice sounds familiar." I figured it out, and it made me want to watch Robin Hood.

Lisa Anne said...

I missed the opening ceramony, we were at dinner with our neighbors. But I'm watching speed skating right now!

FrouFrouBritches said...

I had a date with my husband so we watched/listened to it on DVR yesterday while we painted. I only saw a little bit of it. I did love the part where the floor looked like it was breaking into icebergs. VERY COOL!

I have to say, I am one of those who doesn't really enjoy the whole Olympic thing much. I'll watch a few events and then I'm DONE! I know it sounds terrible, but it disrupts my whole TV schedule. UGH! My Hubby watches it CONSTANTLY or DVR's it and I get bored and spend all my time in the other room. UGH! BUT, I did actually enjoy this open ing ceremony, for the first time ever.

Did you see the We Are The World? I cried the whole time. I can't get through it without crying. I'm such a big ole baby.

While I don't LOVE the Olympics, I do enjoy when USA wins a metal. The metal ceremony ALWAYS makes me cry. ALWAYS! I am always so proud of those young uns following gtheir dreams and doing well. But, I also cry like a baby when they lose and you can see the heartbreak on their faces. I'm just a big ole baby!

Unknown said...

I watched most of the Opening Ceremony (went to bed when the Olympic president started talking). I liked most of what I saw, though I did think some of it was pretty out there!
I agree with you, if they would have postponed it, it wouldn't have been fair to all the others who made arrangements to be there that day.