Travel TopOfBlogs Past and future wanderings of a travel bug . . .: We are more. Canada welcomes the world!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

We are more. Canada welcomes the world!

I unexpectedly found myself watching the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics Games in Vancouver last night. What an amazing spectacle! We sure put on a show. It certainly made my heart swell with a bit of national pride. While I can't say I loved all of the artistic elements overall I thought this was very well done and the VANOC did a very good job of representing Canada and Canadians. The participants in the ceremony read like a laundry list of who's who in Canadian athletes and artists. We were treated to appearances and performances by Bryan Adams, Donald Sutherland, K.D. Lang, Rick Hansen and Wayne Gretzky just to name a few. It is easy to forget that we have so much homegrown talent in this country when like the rest of the world we are so overwhelmed by the American media. But talent we have in spades.

As Canadians we are often asked what defines Canada. The poet Shane Coyczan couldn't have said it better than in his poem "We are More." He shared his poem by performing it at the ceremony last night. For me, this expression of Canada was the highlight of the ceremony. If you want to read the poem you can do so here. The event concluded with our own "Great One", Wayne Gretzky, lighting the Olympic Cauldron. Sadly the festivities were overshadowed by the death of a young luger from Georgia earlier in the day. Tribute was paid to him during the ceremony was done with grace in several ways including a minute of silence in his memory. His team stays on carrying his Olympic dream with them. I salute them for this.

It's been several years since I have had the pleasure to visit Vancouver. It's a vibrant city with much to see and do. But for the next twelve days or so it is the Olympic city that welcomes the world! So welcome, enjoy and if you have never visited I hope that seeing these games will inspire you to visit!


  1. I thought the ceremonies were a bizarre mix of grandeur and simplicity, a mix of over the top and almost watered down. There were elements I loved, and elements that seemed too long for their own good. It must be hard for a committee with no experience, having to come up with something bigger, better and more spectacular than has ever been seen before. Favorite moments: The lighting of the cauldron (and the entire "relay" leading up to it), k.d. Lang singing Hallelujah and the graceful tribute to the fallen athlete.
    Least favorite moments: not seeing Leonard Cohen, the hydraulic arm not working during the lighting of the cauldron, and not seeing MORE canadian talent on the stage! We really do have talent oozing out all over the place, and it's a shame that there simply wasn't enough time to showcase all of them!

  2. I was not overly impressed with the ceremonies, personally. I was watching on an American station though, and they were very quick to point out issues.

    I thought it was quite underwhelming though. I agree that the poem was the highlight. Other than that, seeing Gretzky's face go from megawatt smile to the verge of tears was pretty entertaining.


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