Friday, February 12, 2010

The Games Open

Simply magical...  the lights the costumes.  The bear pictured here left is quite impressive. The technical aspects of these ceremonies are growing with each year of the games.

At this point we are waiting for the lighting of the flame from the tourch and see who has the honors this year.  Who?

Ah, it is brought into the stadium - and handed off to a series of four Canadian sports heroes — all-time hockey great Wayne Gretzky, skier Nancy Greene, speedskater Katrina LeMay Doan, and basketball All-Star Steve Nash who all participated in lighting the indoor cauldron.  With some unfortunate technical hitch, the flame has been lit.  Now Gretzky will take the flame to an outdoor cauldron across town to to do the final honors.

Tomorrow / Saturday's Events - All Times Eastern

Alpine Skiing
At Whistler Creekside
Men's Downhill, 2:45 p.m.

At Whistler Olympic Park
Women's 7.5Km Sprint, 4 p.m.

Freestyle Skiing
At Cypress Mountain
Women's Moguls Qualification, 7:30 p.m.
Women's Moguls Final, 10:30 p.m.

Women's Hockey
At UBC Thunderbird Arena
Sweden vs. Switzerland, 3 p.m.

At Canada Hockey Place
Canada vs. Slovakia, 8 p.m.

At The Whistler Sliding Centre
Men's Singles Run 1, 8 p.m.
Men's Singles Run 2, 10 p.m.

Short Track Speedskating
At Pacific Coliseum
Men's 1500 Heats, 8 p.m.
Women's 500 Heats, 8:45 p.m.
Men's 1500 Semifinals, 9:24 p.m.
Women's 3000 Relay Semifinals, 9:49 p.m.
Men's 1500 Final, 10:18 p.m.

Ski Jump
At Whistler Olympic Park
Individual First Round (normal hill), 12:45 p.m.
Individual Final (normal hill), 1:45 p.m.

At Richmond Olympic Oval
Men's 5000, 3 p.m.

Sandra Behne / Getty Images photo credit

Tragic beginning

Just hours before the 21st Winter Olympics tragedy struck as Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili lost control during a training run and flew off the final corner at the Whistler Sliding Centre striking a pole that was part of the structural couture of the course. Efforts to resuscitate the young athlete were unsuccessful.

Surely there will be some tribute to the luger during the opening ceremony. But the kind of suspense that we are normally thinking about at this time is what the ceremony will look like. Each host city seems to have a higher bar to reach artistically just as the athletes attempt to stretch the limits of their abilities. And who... what one person will be given the opportunity the light the caldron?