Stazjia’s Commentary

Olympics Opening Ceremony

Posted on: August 8, 2008

Chinese gymnastics champion Li Ning lights up the cauldron of the Beijing Olympic Games during the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing Olympics held in the National Stadium, also known as the Bird\'s Nest, in north Beijing, China, Aug. 8, 2008.

Chinese gymnastics champion Li Ning lights up the cauldron of the Beijing Olympic Games during the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing Olympics held in the National Stadium, also known as the Bird's Nest, in north Beijing, China, Aug. 8, 2008.

Well, the Chinese produced a particularly spectacular event today. I watched pretty much all of it. The first part where they had so many people absolutely synchronised was incredible. I wonder if only a totalitarian regime can produce such a level of group movement.

The parade of the athletes representing their countries was quite tedious but it always is. The end of the whole thing culminating in the lighting of the Olympic cauldron and then the firework display was stupendous. I just loved the way the torch lit a flame in a channel that went up to the cauldron and then lit that. It was quite a spectacle. Having the athlete with the final torch on a wire and hauling him into the air, then making it appear he was running around the rim of the stadium as a scroll unrolled was particularly clever.

Apparently the organisers of the London Olympics were there in Beijing for this ceremony. I bet they are wondering how to top that. We are good at traditional stuff like the Changing of the Guard and processions but it’s going to be very hard to do anything half as good as the Chinese opening ceremony.

Now that the opening party is out of the way. Will any of the athletes show support for Tibet? There has been talk of some form of protest by medal winners but will principle outweigh the joy of winning an Olympic medal, especially when you consider that most of them have trained hard since they were children to win one?

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