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kevzz

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Posts posted by kevzz

  1. 3 minutes ago, Olympian2004 said:

    Now that the Paralympics are getting more and more spectacular and professional, they are not an afterthought to me anymore. In fact, I'm always glad now that not everything is over after the Olympic cauldron gets extinguished.

    I think it will be refreshing. It will be great giving the Paralympians the first stage and then end with a bigger bang with the Olympics. 

  2. Watched some of the beach volleyball, swimming and badminton. It is utterly sad that the venues are empty. Feels so wasted to build all these temporary seating only to not use them. Surely they can allow even just 10%/ 20% capacity with plenty of space between spectators just to give it down atmosphere? 
     

    Adam Peaty of Team GB already said this morning after his heat that it doesn’t feel like the Olympics. 

  3. 3 minutes ago, Ikarus360 said:

    China will do a bombastic show for sure, just to dab at Japan and add more salt to the wound. :angry:

    I trust Zhang Yimou will be smart and emotional intelligent enough to give us a poignant and classy ceremony that doesn't look so cheap and basic like Tokyo's, that acknowledges the pandemic and the sufferings of the last two years. He is a film director after all and creating emotional drama is his thing.

  4. Review from the Telegrah, in case anyone can't read cos of paywall

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/olympics/2021/07/23/tokyo-olympics-opening-ceremony-live-2020-news-2021/

    Imagine there’s no Covid. There was no way anyone watching Friday night’s Opening Ceremony at Tokyo 2020 could. Reminders were everywhere on a truly bizarre and ultimately rather poignant evening in Japan’s capital.

    From the deserted stands in Tokyo’s 60,000 seat National stadium - stands which are sadly destined to remain empty for the next fortnight - to the meagre delegations that attended the athletes’ parade, to the pockets of protesters camped outside the stadium shouting “Cancel the Olympics”.

    By the time a collection of international popstars delivered a recorded cover of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s famous anthem to peace, it was difficult to imagine much beyond the fact that these next two weeks are going to be trying for all concerned.

    If the job of an opening ceremony is to reflect the spirit of the moment then this one succeeded. It was rather beautiful in its own way. Simple. It did not try to match the power or scale of Beijing 2008, when thousands of drummers banged the Games open with military precision. Or the charm or originality of London 2012 with its Danny Boyle-inspired history of Britain that had the rest of the world bemused and amused in equal measure - not least when Her Majesty was pushed out of a helicopter by James Bond. This ceremony was not a carnival of colour and samba beats like Rio de Janeiro five years ago. It was a reflection of the times we live in.

    An Olympics dogged by controversy, delayed by 12 months, but still taking place in the grip of a global pandemic, opened with minimal fanfare, certainly by the standards of these mega-events. This must have been the first Olympic opening ceremony where volunteers outnumbered attendees. Just 900 stakeholders and VIPs, and 3500 members of the media were in the stands.

    Roughly the same as the number of athletes, in fact. With most of them terrified of catching Covid-19 or being identified as ‘close contacts’ of those who do - a fate which has already left six Team GB athletes confined to quarters for an indefinite length of time - not many were prepared to take the risk of leaving the relative safety of the Olympic Village.

    Just 23 of Britain’s 376-strong delegation showed up, although even with so few attending, the reliably interminable athletes’ parade lasted almost 2hrs. 

    It is a desperately sad state of affairs for a country which hosted such a magnificent Rugby World Cup 20 months ago, and a people who could not have been more welcoming or excited about the prospect of hosting the Greatest Show on Earth.

    There were moments of hope, of levity; the Argentinean delegation bouncing around excitedly, reminding us that this is the biggest moment of these athletes’ lives as sportspeople and they are right to grab it with both hands. Pita Taufatofua, the Tongan taekwondo practitioner and skier, who marched shirtless five years ago and was back with more baby oil than ever. Britain’s Moe Sbihi, a 6ft8in rower, towering over his fellow flagbearer, 5ft2in sailor Hannah Mills. The blue smurf-like figures doing their pictograms of the different Olympic sports was fun. And the ‘drone globe’ -  1,824 drones flying in unison above the stadium in the shape of the Earth - was inspired. 

    But mostly it was rather sad. Japanese police had erected a perimeter around the stadium to keep spectators away. Thousands turned up anyway, waiting patiently outside without anything to watch. They were interspersed with pockets of protesters. Not many but enough to be heard every time there was a silence in proceedings inside the stadium - such as for the moment of remembrance for loved ones no longer with us. 

    It was a poignant reminder that those who want these Games to take place cannot get in, and those who do not cannot stop it. Nothing can stop this now. The hope is that it does not run out of control and that for the next two weeks the world’s best athletes, from Simone Biles to Adam Peaty to Naomi Osaka - the face of the Games ,who ultimately lit the cauldron at close to midnight local time - will offer moments of genius and wonder and joy and make us forget. Imagine there’s no covid? I wonder if we can. Let the Games commence.

  5. 9 minutes ago, Athensfan said:

    My final verdict: Not wonderful, but pleasant. The "gentle and welcoming" tone was achieved. The drones were magical. The pictographs were quirky. The cauldron was serene and beautiful. It is too bad there wasn't a more cohesive, mature artistic vision -- a la Papaioannou (my hero) -- but for pandemic Games delayed by a year, it's not a bad beginning. 

    I mentioned earlier that I thought Athens 2004 was actually the perfect pandemic ceremony. It involved much less performers than Tokyo yet achieved a way more powerful and beautiful effect. 

  6. Have to say the cauldron design is beautiful. But the lighting itself is so lacklustre. Naomi Osaka seems to uninterested in doing the honour, with her slow walk up the stairs and that half turning to each side at the top. She looks bored. The music choice is bad as well, Bolero, really??

     

    Overall a very disappointing ceremony. Worst ever in my opinion. Japan could have done so much better, and I know they can. Just that they were bogged down by Covid. Feel sorry for them to having to host this.

    • Like 1
  7. 1 minute ago, Athensfan said:

    Well, there are a couple things to keep in mind.

    1.) No one has EVER had to figure out how to stage a ceremony in such bizarre conditions. A year late, no spectators, social distancing, a world that's unified in its isolation from itself.

    2.) For the last two years it really hasn't been clear what the final conditions would be. How do you prepare when you don't know what exactly you're preparing for? When you can't really rehearse? It's not surprising to me that the most successful parts of the ceremony (projections, drones) are technological and could be planned and rehearsed during social isolation. 

    3.) There has been a great deal of tumult and turnover with the creative leadership for these ceremonies. That compounded the aforementioned problems. In addition to changing circumstances, their was a constantly changing vision and direction. 

    In summary, I don't think it's fair to be super critical of Tokyo 2020. Japan is offering an amazing gift to the world by following through on staging these Games. If the US had been hosting in 2020 I'm not sure we would've handled any of this so well. The IOC should be kissing Japan's feet for a long time to come. 

    Incidentally, I think Japan WILL host again. I'm not sure when. But I think most people -- including Japanese nationals -- will accept that it was the pandemic more than anything else that created their problems. 

     

    This shows why the Games should be cancelled in the very first place. It's not fair to the Japanese to host in such situation. IOC has been very selfish and unkind to the Japanese organising committee. 

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