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Heads Of Government/state At The Opening Ceremony


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Which leaders will be attending the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Opening Ceremony?

Canada, as host, will have a number of high ranking delegates including BC Premier Gordon Campbell, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and Governor General of Canada Michaelle Jean, who will open the Games.

The USA is sending Vice President Joe Biden.

Who else?

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I only know that neither German president Horst Köhler nor chancellor Angela Merkel will attend the ceremony. They will not even attend the Olympic or Paralympic Games -- although at least Köhler attended at least all Paralympics since he took office in July 2004. But this time around, he can't make it due to other appointments.

So I'm very curious whom they will show in television greeting the German athletes during the parade of nations. Probably only some spectators waving the German flag. ;)

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I only know that neither German president Horst Köhler nor chancellor Angela Merkel will attend the ceremony. They will not even attend the Olympic or Paralympic Games -- although at least Köhler attended at least all Paralympics since he took office in July 2004. But this time around, he can't make it due to other appointments.

So I'm very curious whom they will show in television greeting the German athletes during the parade of nations. Probably only some spectators waving the German flag. ;)

If they can find those rarest of creatuers.

Edited by Faster
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Excuse me, what do you mean?

should be find not kinda, don't know where that came from. Might have to do with learning about a million parasitic strategies and being tired as hell.

Germans aren't overly patriotic. With the exception of the World Cup in 2006, flag waving Germans are not exactly a dime a dozen. You people are imbibed with more guilt than Catholics and for Bavarians that is just compounded guilt.

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But even before the 2006 World Cup, I regularly saw German supporters waving our flag at sports events -- also on foreign soil. Maybe we have less "flag wavers" than Canada or the United States, but it's not that unusual actually. And since the 2006 World Cup, the attitude of us Germans towards our flag has noticeably relaxed. We'll be able to witness that during the World Cup this summer, with the tons of car window flags being driven around again. ;)

So I promise you: There'll be German flag wavers in Vancouver, especially in the strong German disciplines like luge, bobsled or biathlon.

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The Netherlands will be represented by the Prince of Orange (the Crown prince and IOC member) and his wife Princess Maxima will come along wih him. Also his daughters, the three little princesses, go to Vancouver and will atted some speed skatin distances.

Also our prime minister, Balkenende, will be in Vancouver February 11th till 13th, and attend de opening ceremony.

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From Norway:

12.02.2010Olympic games in VancouverTheir Royal Highnesses The Crown Prince and Crown Princess attend the Olympic Games in Vancouver (12 - 17 February)

Denmark:

Kronprinsparret er til stede ved de olympiske vinterlege i Vancouver i perioden 11. – 16. februar og vil bl.a. overvære åbningsceremonien samt forskellige konkurrencer i løbet af vinterlegene.

Crown prince and his wife (the prince is an IOC member now) will also attend.

Sweden:

fredag 19/2–söndag 28/2 Närvaro vid vinter-OS, Vancouver, Kanada – Kungaparet, Prins Carl Philip

Swedish royal couple and prince Carl Philip will attend second half of the Games.

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I would have expected better from Germany.

I expected high officials from Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy, and Belgium because of the close ties that transcend transient government relations. The Dutch have not disappointed, Germany certainly has and the other 3 have yet to be confirmed. But someone lower than Francois Filion would be insulting.

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Well, in the past it wasn't common either that the German President or Chancellor attended Olympic opening ceremonies. I only know of these ceremonies being attended by the respective German head of state or head of government:

Garmisch 1936 (not surprisingly, being attended by You-know-who)

Berlin 1936 (ditto)

Munich 1972 (not surprisingly, being attended by both President Heinemann and Chancellor Brandt)

Barcelona 1992 (being attended by President von Weizsäcker)

Athens 2004 (being attended by President Köhler)

Torino 2006 (being attended by President Köhler)

So, despite the good relations between Germany and France or Germany and Norway or Germany and the USA, no German President or Chancellor attended the opening ceremonies of Albertville, Lillehammer, Atlanta or Salt Lake City -- just to name a few. And you Canadians don't have to feel offended just because our President and our Chancellor stay away.

At least, there's one of the most important ministers of the German government present -- which isn't common in Olympic history either. But one has of course to mention as well that de Maizière's visit also fulfills the purpose of campaigning for the Munich 2018 bid in Vancouver.

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With Germany I think I am more disappointed because, as with Australia, our relations have suffered greatly this past decade. So it would have been nice to use the games as a way for our governments to meet again. Though in the next breathe, without a new government here it would have been a gesture not returned.

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