Back on November 2nd, 2009 the Olympic torch relay came through our home town. Over three months later and after circum-navigating Canada the torch relay made its way to Vancouver and the 2010 Winter Olympic Games have officially started. Since Annika had a lot of fun during the relay I wanted to see what a 4-year-old’s reaction would be to the opening ceremonies and the lighting of the torch. As I mentioned in my blog about the torch relay, when it comes down to it, I love the Olympics. I was pretty excited today to see how Vancouver, the closest major city to our home town, would do in showcasing the city, province, and country to the world. I wanted to see how much excitement Annika would have during the ceremonies. Here are some of my thoughts and observations of the night.
It was great to see the First Nations of Canada have a big part in the ceremonies. Annika enjoyed the greeting and the native dancing. Annika has always had something for flags and the parade of athletes was a highlight in her eyes. The fact that the countries came into the stadium alphabetically was also something she thought was pretty cool. Her favourites for some reason were Ireland, Germany, Hong Kong, and of course Canada. Annika tuned out for most of the artistic portion of the ceremony but did jump out of her chair for the killer whales and the child who was flying over the prairies (oooh magic). It was a thrill for her to see the flame again and see the cauldron lit (she did not notice the technical glitch). All in all the significance of the event was almost completely lost but it did hold her attention better than any other non-animated show has.
Personally I thought it was a great show and it showed BC and Canada in a great light. Rumours around the opening ceremony were that they would honour the late great Terry Fox in some way and I was hoping that there would be some sort of tribute. I wanted an opportunity to tell Annika my thoughts about Terry Fox. His story of losing a leg from cancer and then deciding to run a marathon a day all the way across Canada to raise money for research is truly inspiring and is one that must live on with future generations. Terry’s mother did help carry the Olympic flag but I was hoping for more. We can’t have it all I guess. As a Canadian it is hard to argue with Wayne Gretzky with lighting the cauldron and the other participants were all excellent. Now I have to start scheduling my time around everything I have to do and watching the Olympic events.