Opening ceremonies both sombre and joyous

Georgia team wears black armbands in athletes parade


The opening ceremonies started with a snowboard jump and a welcome from Canada’s First Nations. But the most moving moment so far was the arrival of the Georgia team, wearing black armbands. They walked through stadium but then left the building, choosing not to celebrate. Organizers say the ceremonies are dedicated to 21-year-old Nodar Kumaritashvili, who died in a luge accident early Friday morning.

Toronto Star


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Opening ceremonies both sombre and joyous

  1. Our beautiful Canadian National Anthem was crucified in front of the entire world. Heads will roll over this! Never mess with the anthem – who decided to 'jazz it up'? The crowd of 60,000 people couldn't join in because they were never sure if Nikki was about to 'scat' – a total disgrace – for a moment that SHOULD have sent shivers down the spine of every Canadian.

    • Eileen, I agree completely. Nikki Y has incredible talent. It is a shame she was told (given license?) to butcher the anthem like that.

      • we had 20 houseguests at our place to celebrate the opening events,each and every one of us were disgusted with the Butchering of our National Anthem,, also one couple from Europe wanted to Know why we had French first, then English in the commentaries AND even the signs they carried identifying the Teams Countries had French on top, English on the bottom..I know, I know, we have 2 official Languages.. But English First..What a Disgrace..What? is B.C. now a colony of France,or Quebec now? was one of many comments made by my International Friends…sooo embarrassed!!!!

        • It because it is a rule of the International Olympic Committee. It has nothing (or at most little) to do with Canada's bilingual policy. French and English are the official languages of the IOC, and French has to appear first.

          • Thankyou for clearing that up for us, now my guests can blame the I.O.C instead of the Govt. or Politicians, or any other person that just might look like a Govt. Representitive (whew) Now we just have to try and get over the PopRock version of O Canada…..That was just '' Wrong '' No excuses on this , Dont mess with the National Anthem …..

        • I'm astonished you'd be upset about French being first over English. How petty can you get! It's trivial comments like this that give Quebec separatists their "raison d'être".

          • Petty no! Just seemed to make sense that English would be first and French would be secondary, just like on say Currency ,travel brochures, money orders,,heck go in your own cupboard at home and randomly take a can or box of something out and lo and behold…English on top (1st) & French on the Bottom (2nd). Thanks to Edward (2comments above yours) for ''nicely'' explaining to us Petty complainers that it is I.O.C. Policy on the French first issue.,and as far as what the Separatists think of my comment,, I dont care..there separatists !! Ihope this clears up any misunderstanding.!

        • Hey ya..
          As an anglophone (English first!) gal, I can see why you may have been irritated by the fact that commentaries and signs began in French followed by English… Just so you are aware, this had NOTHING to do with the fact that Canada is a bi-lingual country but that this is a rule created by the IOC… In Geneva, when they created the rules, the decision was made that whenever a country hosted the Olympics, everything would be said or displayed in French first, and then the host's country.. So for example, in Greece, everything was French first, and then Greek… I'm surprised your European friends didn't recognize this… At any rate- don't despair- this was not a dig at English, but in fact a rule created long long ago… )

          • Thankyou Catherine and Edward, I am now informed,, But I still do not think they should have messed with our National Anthem though !!!

  2. Rather than cause us to "swell with pride" the Vancouver Opening Ceremonies made my family feel sick with embarrassment. Were we the only ones who thought that the show was pretentious, slow, boring, and not representative of the country's culture? Did punk-tappers, a slam poet, First Nations peoples forced to dance for more than an hour without rest, or unoriginal aerialists and drapes with projected images really create a show worthy of the Olympic Games? The only message we saw contained in the ceremonies was Diversity. A laudable message to be sure, but Canada is so very much more, a great deal of which could have been presented in more imaginative and exciting ways.

    Yes, there were some stunning visuals and electronic tricks. Yes, the very sad passing of Georgia's young slider was handled with dignity. Yes, k.d. lang and Sarah McLachlan sang beautifully. However, I think the momentum and spirit that grew in the final hours of the Torch Relay were lost in strange scenes, the first of which were four "welcome totems" immediately giving the impression of ice-carved phallic symbols rising from the stadium floor. The Olympic Anthem, an important and stirring song, was presented by an opera diva who, although she has a wonderful voice, only succeeded in making the words incomprehensible. Leaving "Oh Canada" aside, why did Nikki Yanofsky not sing the song written for the Olympic athletes, her #1 hit, "I Believe"? Where was the stirring of Olympic spirit for athletes and spectators alike? Out of curiosity, I tuned in to the American broadcast near the end, to find their anchormen struggling to find kind words to say about the ceremonies. They were incredibly generous given the circumstances, particularly during the ludicrous extension of the flame ceremony when Wayne Gretzky was unceremoniously driven on the back of an ordinary truck, in the rain, to an outdoor location for the lighting of the "real" torch. He certainly looked embarrassed, and the only things felt in my household were similar embarrassment, a sense of missed opportunity, exasperation over the self-proclaimed "creative" forces behind the show, and regret that we wasted more than four hours of our time.

  3. What song was sung for the Canadian Nationa Anthem. That was disgraceful. The person who gave the go ahead should be brought on the carpet , named and repay all monies paid to him or her.

  4. An American Idol performance and arrangement of Canada's national anthem isn't as lame as the fact that all the performances were pre-recorded. When you have talent like kd lang and others on stage you should not be afraid to let them sing live. It's a sham to lip synch as they did for the opening.

  5. I have spoken to friends and relatives of all ages from across Canada. We all agree: the "variations on the theme of our National Anthem" was disrespectful and disgusting!

    A singer given the honour of singing the anthem is supposed to LEAD the crowd, not perform. How could anyone sing along on Friday? Even our prime minister (we know he can sing, remember the Arts Centre?) was tight-lipped.
    An anthem is not meant to make a singer look good, it is meant to be sung by ALL.

    While we're at it, I think VANOC should also have provided a wardrobe for ALL singers that was more in keeping with the themes of the opening ceremonies and blended with all the beautiful costumes seen throughout the show.

    • On behalf of our family and friends that we have discussed this with ''BRAVO'' and my hat is off to you and yours!!! Some things are best left alone, and a National Anthem is on the top of the List!!!

  6. Overall I enjoyed the opening ceremonies. However, I do have two observations….firstly, I find the Olympic song incomprehensible and secondly I too believe that O Canada should be sung as it was written. No, I do not believe in artistic licence when it comes to my national anthemn.
    It is very unlikely that Nikki Yanofsky, a huge talent, had anything to do with the choice of arrangement. It would have been handed to her with the admonition to"do the best you can with this abomination".
    Do not ever again insult all Canadians in this manner.
    Do it in French or English and even abbreviate if you like but deliver it as it was written and we will all join in, our hearts bursting with national pride.
    You effectively poured cold water over the passion, pride and joy that we feel in O Canada.
    Ed in BC
    PS-I was there Wed for the dress rehearsal and watched again with friends on Friday. We are all truly perplexed.

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