It was not a nice day. The weather was cool and overcast, predicted to rain in the evening. Which it did, but that didn’t stop me from going down to David Lam Park in Yaletown to watch the opening ceremony. My jacket had a hood and was waterproof, but I could have used a layer or two more. At the end I was starving, shivering, and my legs and neck were killing me.
But it was totally worth it. The ceremony was beautiful and stirring, a wonderful showcase of our country’s culture and diversity that, dammit, made you proud to be Canadian!
The bad: the embarrassing mechanical hiccup at the end, cheating Catriona Le May Doan out of her part in lighting the cauldron. Boy, someone’s head is gonna roll over that.
And Nikki Yanofsky’s rendition of O Canada was incredibly annoying. She’s a great singer, but the anthem doesn’t need all those frills, which messed up everybody who tried to sing along. Though I appreciated that she switched between French and English.
(Come to think of it, the whole ceremony was very bilingual, with all announcements and introductions done in French first, but the countries were introduced in alphabetical order according to their English names. Usually that doesn’t matter, but then you’ve got Netherlands vs. Pays-Bas, or Uzbekistan vs. Ouzbékistan.)
The meh: Nelly Furtado and Bryan Adams’ duet. The song was alright, I guess, but I’m not a fan of those two. Also leaving me cold was Measha Brueggergosman’s rendition of the Olympic Hymn. Sorry, she’s got some incredible pipes, but I couldn’t understand a word she was singing. I could tell some parts were in English and others in French, but that’s about it. I’m not even sure she wasn’t sneaking other languages in there.
The awesome: pretty much everything else, really. The First Nations greeting and dance was stunning, Ashley MacIsaac kicked so much ass, and k.d. lang blew me away. Not to mention the outstanding visual effects, with the whales, and the breaking ice, and the trees, and the audience participation, and the… everything.
So hey, I finally caught the Olympic spirit!