Friday, August 8, 2008

Olympics - The Opening Ceremonies

So, I'm sitting here watching the Olympic Games Opening Ceremonies.

Breathtaking is the only way to describe them. Truly, truly outstanding. I'm so impressed by how they were put together. The art, the meaning behind the dance, the choreography - I won't ruin it for those who haven't seen them yet... but I'm so impressed. Good dancing Jehovah. Not to mention the beauty in the pundits keeping their mouths shut and allowing the ceremonies take place by themselves!

Then came the parade of athletes, one of my favourite parts of the Opening Ceremonies. Greece first, as always. Then Yemen came out... then Guinea. What? Ron McLean and Peter Mansbridge later explained that the teams were coming out in "Chinese alphabetical order". Which didn't make sense to me for two reasons.... firstly - I thought it was either Mandarin or Cantonese? Secondly - I didn't think there was a given order to either language's alphabet. Thirdly - I didn't think there was an alphabet. Sorry for my ignorance - if someone could explain that to me it would be spectacular.

The CBC managed to get a mobile phone into the Canadian athletic group, and it's incredible to hear the athletes' impressions immediately during the march, absolutely fantastic. This is what the Games are about for me, the athletes representing themselves and their countries on the world stage, they fucking love it. Good for you guys!

On the downside, Peter Mansbridge can't seem to keep the politics to himself. Every couple of country he goes into a bit of a tirade about how China is politically questionable. For future, leave out Mansbridge, or teach him to talk when appropriate. He managed to singlehandedly overshadow the entrance of multiple countries, whose athletes had to put so much in to get to the Olympics! Ron McLean's corniness managed to save Mansbridge's seriousness.

Anyways, spectacular Opening Ceremonies, and save Peter Manbridge, spectacular parade. Bring on the Games!!!!!


Jo said...

I agree, the opening was spectacular. I think they overdid the quantity, but the quality was just wow.

As for the alphabet thing: I am in no way fluent in Chinese (Mandarin or Cantonese), but the announcers were right. There is no true Chinese alphabet. According to my mom, what they do is take the first sound of a word, and associate it with the most soundalike letter. (eg. if China were 'China' in Chinese, it would be under C, for the Ch sound).

That's how I've come to understand it, but I still don't understand the fact that they are likely representing only one side of the Chinese (Mandarin or Cantonese).

Anonymous said...

Of course one must not forget the beautiful lip syncing and computer-generated fireworks.

Amrit Ahluwalia said...

Hahaha in my defense, I found out about that after writing this article and couldn't be bothered to change it up.