2010 Olympics: day one

February 13, 2010 at 2:20 pm (News, Sports and fitness) (, , )

Since the Olympics are much more interesting than anything that happened to me this week, I thought I would recap day one of the 2010 Games rather than post my usual fare. The first day of events in Vancouver was quite the roller coaster.

The extreme low was obviously the Georgian luge athlete who died after an accident during his practice run. I can’t imagine being a part of the country’s Olympic team arriving at the opening ceremony without him, though good for them for continuing on instead of just packing up and going home. I was glad to see a moment of silence in his memory last night.

The opening ceremony of the 2010 Olympic Games.

The ceremony to kick everything off is always a highlight, perhaps the most-watched event of any Games. This is the first time Canada has hosted in my memory (though I was three years old when it was held in Calgary), so it was exciting to see how my country was portrayed and how it opened up its arms to the rest of the globe.

I wasn’t able to watch the whole ceremony, but a friend discovered a link where I could tune into live coverage outside Canada so I caught the last hour or so. There was some Spanish commentary to make it interesting, but it was totally worth it to see the Olympic caldron lit at the same time as the rest of the watching world.

As for the lighting, it was too bad there was some technical difficulties – only three of four planned supports came out of the ground. But I thought the whole process was fabulously done anyway, and the final torch bearers (Wayne Gretzky, Catriona LaMay Doan, Nancy Greene and Steve Nash) were good choices. I was rooting for Betty Fox to be one of them, but instead she carried in the Olympic flag along with famous Canadians like Romeo Dallaire, Anne Murray, Julie Payette and Bobby Orr.

I'm so proud to be Canadian!

I’ve already heard complaints that k.d. lang’s Hallelujah was too sombre for such a celebration, and that Aboriginals were over-represented (which may be true, but the Games are also taking place partially on First Nations land so it made sense that they were involved). I can’t imagine being one of the coordinators trying to include as much as possible; besides, no matter how incredible the final talent and performances, there will always be critics.

Moving on from the opening ceremony, I discovered Colombia will be represented at a Winter Olympics for the first time, though the skier competing is not a native Colombian. They have participated in summer Games before, but never winter. I’ll be rooting for her!

But what I am most anxious to see is how many medals Canadians can take home in their own country. This estimate put our total at 27; I don’t think we’ve ever earned more than 20.

What about you: how many medals do you think Canada will snag? How much of the Olympics are you planning to watch? What did you think of the opening ceremony and choices for torch bearers?

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