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GB's Vancouver 2010 Paralympics Opening Ceremoy Live Chat


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Actually there's not very much to add to Mattygs' very good review. I found it quite appalling as well how corny the ceremony was. Having a low budget shouldn't mean that there's a kitschy and uninnovative concept.

And yes, the ceremony was much too wordy. The absolute lowpoint was Aimee Mullins' and Chantal Petitclerc's lengthy lecture about the origins of the Paralympic Games. Firstly, because these are things which every interested viewer could easily look up on the internet (or has probably already been told told by his TV commentators at that point), and secondly: A Paralympic (or Olympic) opening ceremony is a very inappropriate setting for a university lecture.

In this ceremony, I only had one "Wow" moment -- namely when Michaelle Jean was led into the stadium by those children holding her hand, and when she was included as a performer. But from that point, the ceremony went straightly downhill for me. Maybe also because our German TV commentators were very talkative during most parts of the ceremony, which created (together with the overall wordiness of the ceremony) the very annoying situation that almost everytime someone was talking or you couldn't even really hear what was said by the announcers or how the music sounded. Can't one simply shut up from time to time and let the segments speak for themselves? And that applies to both our German commentators and to the announcers and some of the performers at the opening ceremony. That "Oh, we must explain that in every explicit detail" (for example, having a sign language translator for the Canadian anthem -- who was, interestingly enough, never shown in a close-up in the international broadcast) almost came across like saying, "Oh, you viewers out there must be really mentally disabled".

Furthermore, the lighting of the cauldron was very underwhelming. The idea of having a ring of torch bearers was actually not bad, but it was poorly executed and rather anti-climatic (especially since those torch bearers weren't included in the actual lighting of the cauldron). The lonesome centre part of the original indoor cauldron looked poor. And the camera work was once more terrible (like during the extinguishing of the outdoor cauldron at the Olympic closing ceremony) -- the final torchbearer tipped his torch to the base of the cauldron, and when they cut to the whole cauldron, the flame was already fully ablaze. The lighting "mechanism" was also ludicrous. They didn't even try to pretend as if the flame travelled from the base of the cauldron to the top. That boy simply tipped his torch shortly to the base, and suddenly the cauldron was lit.

Overall, I was left with the impression that the organisers thought, "Well, these are only the Paralympics -- so give them a tiny budget and with that little money, create a very uninspiring, stale and sometimes even tacky opening ceremony". That said, I almost don't want to know what the closing ceremony will look like.

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Well, Sky Sport screened the ceremony live here in New Zealand, which was quite impressive, so good work to them. Ummm, a little bit disappointed, but I guess good in the context of the budget and tha

Actually there's not very much to add to Mattygs' very good review. I found it quite appalling as well how corny the ceremony was. Having a low budget shouldn't mean that there's a kitschy and uninnov

I think from memory they said the outdoor cauldron would be remote lit, so I guess it just burst into flames randomly.

There seems to be less effort for the Paralympics to at least pretend that the flame has directly lit the cauldron. The same was the case in Sydney's opening ceremony where they created a supposed *relay of flames* going from the mini cauldron in the middle of the field to the main cauldron.

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I just watched an interview with Friedhelm Julius Beucher, the president of the german paralympic committee - he said about the opening ceremony, that it was a very moving ceremony - he was especially impressed about the biker and the wheelchair artists, who made these stunts in the halfpipe...

And he was very impressed about the cheering audience in the hall

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Vancouver seems to stage ceremonies who unveil their true magic not before being watched a second or a third time. I say that because I just rewatched the Paralympic opening ceremony on paralympicsport.tv -- and I have a definitely more positive impression this time. Still, that lecture about the history of the Paralympics, the lighting of the cauldron and other segments like Nikki Yanofsky's cheesy song are a disappointment, but Fefe Dobson's performance and the halfpipe stunts were actually quite cool -- and the change of pace and volume, leading to the Paralympic flag and speeches segment with very calm, relaxing music was a very nice idea as well.

So all in all, my impression of the ceremony isn't all that bad anymore. Maybe it helped that the commentators on paralympicsport.tv kept their mouths shut more often than our German TV commentators and let the segments speak for themselves.

As a result, I might finally watch (or rather tape) also the closing ceremony tonight. Although I fear that it will resemble the Torino 2006 closing ceremony which was also staged on a medal plaza only and was a very, very unpassionate and stale ending for the whole adventure of Torino hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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Although I fear that it will resemble the Torino 2006 closing ceremony which was also staged on a medal plaza only and was a very, very unpassionate and stale ending for the whole adventure of Torino hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Me too. I hate the idea of the Paralympic closing ceremony at the medals plaza. Hopefully Sochi can take it back to the stadium.

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Me too. I hate the idea of the Paralympic closing ceremony at the medals plaza. Hopefully Sochi can take it back to the stadium.

I agree. The closing ceremony should've been back at BC Place. Maybe they're getting ready to tear down the roof at BC Place already.

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I'm curious about the handover now that GB has published the article talking about the ceremony. Perhaps we'll get to see Sochi this time? :P

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