The XX Winter Olympic Games Begin

By Tim Butler | Posted at 12:45 AM

Well, another Olympic Games has begun, and I think it got off to a good start. Winter Olympics are always my favorites, and it seems like so long ago that we last had one. I know that other than with the occasional oddity in scheduling, the games pretty much fall every four years, but the last four years seem so eventful the last games seem almost as distant as Nagano.

I liked the opening ceremony this time around. I wasn't sure where they were going at first with the mass of people toward the beginning, but when they turned into a “giant skier” I was sold. I liked the placard bearers who “wore the Alps” — that was unique. As always it's nice to see the excited athletes from places that generally don't see snow too. The 80's music was interesting — I have to wonder exactly who decided that was the right mood for the parade. Hmm. The Renaissance scene with the floating sun and moon, Birth of Venus, etc. was creative and fitting. The strange, modern dance after that did nothing for me, however. The Ferrari was a creative touch that surely will remain unique to Torino. I also liked the acrobats who managed to get into the shape of a dove — that was really rather impressive.

But, the big highlights were at the end, in my opinion. The lighting of the cauldron is always exciting, and the spectacular method they had for this lighting was really impressive, I think. But the classy ending was perhaps the best surprise. Luciano Pavarotti did a marvelous job with “Nessun Dorma” in an impressive faux opera stage, that even included a chandelier.

Beijing has a hard act to follow in 2008.


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