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Everything posted by mr.x

  1. These Youth Olympic Games will hardly be watched by anyone, that's the sad truth. The tv viewership will likely remain well under 100-million for Singapore 2010. It doesn't share the same prestige that the real Summer and Winter Games have, nowhere close. It's far too small and especially amateurish, IMO, to gain and develop the same type of interest the big Games have. But it is a great little civic event for Singapore to celebrate on its own. Baron's 2.85-billion figure for Beijing is quite accurate, all of China was practically tuning in for its own Olympic Opening Ceremony. Coverage was available to about 4-billion people worldwide. Beijing's Summer Games ratings were inflated quite a bit because of China's domestic ratings and general worldwide interest for the Chinese Games. Ratings for the Summer Games are usually at around 2-billion. For Vancouver and Salt Lake, 1-billion tuned in for the Opening Ceremonies....800-million for Torino. Coverage is available to 3-billion people worldwide.
  2. While projections should be an important part of the ceremony, and they definitely the projections, I thought there was too much of that - it was far too projection dependent. It certainly was a beautiful ceremony, it was most certainly intimate. But it was far too much of that, there should've been an epic part to it...like a massive fireworks display at the end or something. Who cares if Beijing already did a big fireworks splash, or if it's an indoor stadium. It's not like the spectators at Stadium Australia in Sydney could see the Closing Ceremony fireworks all the way at the Harbour Bridge nor could the spectators at the MCG at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games see fireworks going off at the downtown buildings and the boat parade in the Yarra River. Th It was too much of an artistic test of a show, many may not be able to interpret that, there should have been something for everyone...everyone loves the epic element of a show. Countdown/Fire on the Mountain And while the opening countdown video with the lone snowboarder going down the mountain looked great on tv, it was an awful experience for the spectator in the stadium. The snowboarder jumping through the rings wasn't that impressive....great concept, but there should've been more to that to the countdown segment right after he jumps through the rings. O Canada A total f@ck up on our national anthem. It sounded like something out of High School Musical. First Nations Welcome The welcoming of the local four host First Nations was good, but the whole welcoming all of Canada's First Nations dragged on way too long. It was beautiful and appropriate, but WAY too long. I would've liked to have that sped up to have an actual First Nations artistic performance just before the athletes start walking in. Athletes Parade Great music. A lot better than Beijing's pipes or Torino's ghastly 70's pop tunes. Bang the Drum/Nelly and Bryan The song created a great celebratory mood in the stadium (though I thought the lyrics are pretty sh!tty), but why were there only First Nations "welcoming" the world? This was a perfect segment to have brought in Canada's multiculturalism, have people from all corners of the world banging different drums instead with the First Nations. Huge oversight in not having a multiculturalism segment... Hymn to the North Definitely beautiful with the whole ice breaking, the northern lights, and the whales. Sacred Grove Far too dependent on projections. Ordinary Miracle and Fantasy Ballet/Sarah Mclachlan Beautiful, but perhaps it was a little too long. Rhythms of the Fall I loved this segment. The pace and the celebratory feel to it, and the hundreds of dancers. People power. Both Sides Now/Joni Mitchell - Canadian Prairies Very beautiful, and had actually been one of my favourite songs for quite awhile. I was a bit surprised that it was part of the ceremonies. It most certainly did showcase what the Canadian prairies were like: Storm Loved it, thank god the audience knew what they were suppose to do. Peaks of Endeavour It was great, well done. We Are More/Slam Poet WTF WAS THIS??? It was embarrassing. Nationalism forced right into your throat. Sure, every Olympic ceremony has a nationalism element to it but it's always done in a tasteful and artistic way rather than a literal one. And it certainly wouldn't be easily understandable by the worldwide audience, there were things an international audience would not get whether it be culturally or with the whole speech being an English language rant. Many foreign broadcasters didn't bother translating because it was too difficult to translate. Sure, involve English Canadian poetry into the Ceremonies...that's what the whole Donald Sutherland narration did at the start of each segment, that was beautiful but the slam poet at the end was not. And this slam poetry ended the Vancouver cultural segment with a HUGE anti-climax. Instead it should have ended in a big splashy way, something that would be artistically and theatrically epic. This epic finale should also have solely showcased urban Canada, its cities. Olympic Anthem I didn't like Misha's operatic version of it, prefer a choir. Hallelujah/Song of Peace Performed by KD Lang right after opening declaration, Hallelujah was not a song about "peace". Sure, it was beautiful and the doves towards the end were really top notch but it had nothing to do with peace...too much of a religious overtone too. Lighting of the Cauldron WTF??? First in Sydney, then the same mishap in Vancouver? (not only that but the mishap was even more obvious than Sydney!) Fireworks Could use a lot more fireworks.
  3. http://outsports.com/jocktalkblog/2010/05/05/new-zealand-olympian-comes-out/ New Zealand short track speed skater Blake Skjellerup, who competed in the Vancouver Olympics, has come out as gay in an interview with writer Lee Suckling in the Australian magazine DNA (disclosure: I am quoted in the article). Skjellerup says that he walked around Vancouver during the Games hand in hand with his boyfriend and also visited PRIDE House, the gay meeting place at Whistler. I was a bit shocked that I was the first competing gay athlete from these Olympics to visit, especially since I wasn’t able to make it there (owing to scheduling conflicts) until after I had finished competing. But it was great to see such a thing. If I had felt like I needed a space to be myself away from the Olympic village, it would have been there. I hope the idea can grow from Olympics to Olympics. Skjellerup, 24, was New Zealand’s only short track speed skater, a super fast-paced sport that can sometimes resemble roller derby on ice. He did not medal, with his best finish being qualifying for the quarterfinals in the 1,000 meters. He has spent the last 18 months at a training program in Calgary for skaters with immense potential but limited facilities at their home countries. His boyfriend is also a competitive athlete, though his name and sport are not given in the article (Skjellerup says one reason he likes living in Canada is that the two can legally marry). Skjellerup said he would have told any interviewer during the Games he was gay if asked, but he felt coming out publicly before might have affected his focus and potential sponsors. Blake’s teammates knew he was gay and, although some didn’t want to hear about it, in no way was he discriminated against. “The first real issue was that I was there to compete – to focus on my skating – and to not have the focus on my sexuality,” he says. “We are not yet at the point in society where being gay sportsperson is not a big deal. If I was asked during any of my twenty-something interviews at the Olympics whether I had a boyfriend or a girlfriend – in the same sentence – I would have replied honestly, but I may have replied hesitantly.” As for sponsors, he says that his feeling is that he would not want to be associated in the first place with any company that “choose not to sponsor me because of my sexuality.” Skjellerup said he suffered homophobic taunts from some fellow athletes early in his career, but that he gets along with them well now. As for homophobia in sports, he acknowledges it exists, which makes role models all that more important. “Gays are too often given a stereotype. Back when I was 18, and becoming serious about my sport and my Olympic goals, if I could have seen an athlete like myself out there – with whom I could relate to – my journey would have been a lot easier. “[American figure skater] Johnny Weir meets a specific stereotype, I meet a specific stereotype and [Welsh rugby player] Gareth Thomas meets another. Being gay is just like any other personality trait: it’s multifaceted. I can’t personally relate to Weir or Thomas, and nor will many other young gay athletes out there. But maybe some of them will see something in me to relate to. The more types we provide, the more we’ll appeal to people [who are struggling with their sexuality.”
  4. Can't wait to see how much drugs they'll pump into their athletes for 2014!
  5. I've listed my criticisms in another topic here, but another one I'd like to add is Fire in the Mountain. As someone that has paid to watch the ceremony, I didn't appreciate the welcome segment being on frickin video.
  6. I just remembered...when the Olympic torch arrived first arrived in Canada at Victoria in October, they had major issues with lighting the community cauldron in front of the legislature. It took them maybe 4-minutes??? Nevertheless, we should've known it was a sign of things to come....from the front cover to the back cover. Perhaps this was Bombardier's fault, afterall they were given the contract to design the torch, community cauldrons, and the main cauldrons.
  8. B.C.'s Olympic costs are quite low, especially compared to previous hosts. This was a Games all about building what was necessary, building a sustainable post-Games legacy....not building excess.
  9. ^ Granville Street actually extends into Downtown over the Granville Street Bridge. The pictures above were taken from the bridge deck, looking north towards the mountains and the massive crowd on Granville Street in Downtown. By 5 pm on the last day, the City shut down all car traffic on several bridges and major artery roads entering Downtown including the Granville Street Bridge because there were too many people in the city core. So people took transit to the outer skirts of the city centre and walked across the bridge to join the big closing and hockey victory party in Downtown...there had to be tens of thousands that did walked over the Granville Bridge.
  10. lol, the normal curve to future cities going broke.
  11. Granville Street was a bit run down before the Olympics, but it received a $30-million overhaul with just in time for the Games. It's increasingly becoming another "high" street in the city, lots of world-class retailers are starting to set up on the street. During the Olympics, Granville was one of the places to be....and it was certainly the centre of everything when Canada won the ice hockey gold: This was how it was for about 12 city blocks on Granville, and on another 12 blocks in other city streets in the Downtown peninsuala when we won hockey gold.
  12. Hmmm...I'd wager that the budget for these Ceremonies is in the ballpark of US$10-million? The IOC and Singapore organizers must be kidding themselves to think that they'll reach a worldwide television audience of a billion...nowhere close. Not even the Commonwealth or Pan Am Games attract those kinds of ratings. LOL...I had to laugh when I read articles that mentioned how the show would be much smaller than the Beijing Ceremonies. Is that really needed?
  13. Singapore will deliver a great event, it's a beautiful city with determined people that have turned a small plot of land with zero resources into a thriving metropolis, but there is no doubt in my mind that the Youth Olympics concept will be an abysmal failure in that it will fail to attract sufficient international interest nor promote sport among youth. It dwarfs the real Summer and Winter Games, and it's these two larger and grand scale events that youth will look up to. You could argue that many countries without winter climates or ski slopes don't follow the Winter Games, but there is sufficient demand for the rings of glory on snow and ice - it's a completely different event from the Summer Games. It's also an expensive event...when it welcomed bidders, the IOC had estimated it would cost about US$100-million for a host city. Singapore's bid estimates were the same. The real cost today is closer to US$300-million. If the IOC wanted to get kids into sport, make it mandatory for the real Olympic Games organizing committees to create even broader and expansive education and youth inclusive programs.
  14. Thanks SkiFreak. Does anyone also have the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony soundtrack? It might be the Commonwealth Games, but the Opening Ceremony they produced was most certainly Olympic calibre...and the soundtrack was quite good.
  15. The Sea-to-Sky is seen as a project that would have happened regardless but was bumped up the schedule a few years early for the Olympics. In addition, the road was quite dangerous and needed improvements anyway.
  16. ^ probably. LOL @ the comments made by the Brazilians in this topic and their constant references of "boring, not enough dancing".
  17. The federal government paid more than $600-million for security, while the BC provincial government is responsible for something around $250-million. In 2003, the federal government contributed ~$210-million towards the expanded $880-million convention centre and ~$400-million towards the $2-billion SkyTrain line to Richmond and the airport. Both projects would have been built regardless of the Olympics. The federal government also contributed ~$250-million towards the ~$500-million for the cost to build the sports venues...the remaining $250-million was picked up by the BC government. Off the top of my head, the federal gov't also contributed $20-million to the Opening/Closing Ceremonies (VANOC provided the remaining $29-million from non-public revenue sources) and $25-million for the cross-country torch relay.
  18. The half-billion figure spent by the City of Vancouver is inflated by non-Olympic costs, it's all politics. Competition venues: many of which were aging old community and recreational centres that needed replacing regardless. All are well used by the public. The curling venue for instance is replacing a major community centre/ice rink/aquatic centre across the street with a new facility with curling sheets, ice rink, major indoor pool, major outdoor pool, gymnasium, public library, and community space. Olympic Streetcar, yes. Road repairs? You've gotta be kidding me... Renovation of theatres? Even the theatre managers were surprised that it was an Olympic cost considering theatre renovations were planned since the early-1990s! As if it's in an investment that would go away. This is infrastructure for a future city neighbourhood. The Olympic Village is just 1/5th of the entire new neighbourhood. All in all, the City of Vancouver's Olympic costs are much, much, much less than the ridiculous half-billion figure. There's a lot of politics within the City. The same can be said about the provincial government's costs. It will be far, far less than the ridiculous $3-6-billion figures anti-Olympic activists have been spouting with.
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