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Your Sochi Verdict


Sir Rols
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Y'all need to take a good long think 'bout what you be spoutin'.

Not all of us live in areas that are gifted with high mountains or bobsleigh tracks. Hell, cross country courses are hard to find and in my country you don't hand a 6 year old a rifle to practice biathlon (or a 12 yr or 14yr).

But where I live, I am within 2 hours of professional moguls, halfpipes, slopestyle and cross courses including a resort that is sufficient to host World Cups. And most people that live in cold climates in Europe, Asia and North America are also within a 2 hour distance of those venues. Whereas getting involved in other, more traditional, winter sports is a lot more difficult.

From my point of residence the closest bobsleigh course is in Lake Placid (natural training courses are sometimes built in and around the ski resorts in Quebec), the closest Ski Jump is in Park City. Serious about speed skating, 90 minutes to 2 hours away. Having ski cross, slopestyle, snowboarding in general and those other 'extreme' sports is not a negative but makes the Games a lot more universal. And they aren't made for television, they just happen to be very photogenic. If they ever had skate cross, than you can cry made for tv.

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Really quite pleasantly surprised by Sochi. Wasn't the all out Putin w@nk-fest I thought it would be. Russia showed us her softer side. Mind you with the Olympics out of the way I bet Putin goes back to his old ways.... just waiting for Russia to invade the Crimea now.

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No; the snowboard X-country has always been terrific regardless of who wins. It's not always coronations. SHaun White was shut out; Jacobellis flopped again, as usual. And new people took over.

Shaun White is Halfpipe. And it's called Snowboardcross. God you know nothing about sports.

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So many of you know more about Olympic organizing and presentation and I find all of these opinions interesting. I live near Lake Placid and in the past few Olympic cycles I have to stop myself and remember how far the winter games have evolved. When I think of tiny LP hosting the 1932 and 1980 games and how inexpensively they did both and then I look at Vancouver or Sochi, there is no comparison--none. It is almost as if there is no connection between Lake Placid in 1980, the last of the small games, and all of the previous winter games and every winter Olympics from at least 1988 and beyond. And I have to remind myself that Lake Placid was the only viable bidder for the 1980 games and had even offered to try to host in 1976 when Denver voted the games out. Basically, by the 1970's, it had become difficult to scare up a potential host. In a way, Lake Placid may have saved the winter games concept. It had its problems but it had its glories and may have kept the winter games alive. And look how far the Olympic winter games have come.

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So many of you know more about Olympic organizing and presentation and I find all of these opinions interesting. I live near Lake Placid and in the past few Olympic cycles I have to stop myself and remember how far the winter games have evolved. When I think of tiny LP hosting the 1932 and 1980 games and how inexpensively they did both and then I look at Vancouver or Sochi, there is no comparison--none. It is almost as if there is no connection between Lake Placid in 1980, the last of the small games, and all of the previous winter games and every winter Olympics from at least 1988 and beyond. And I have to remind myself that Lake Placid was the only viable bidder for the 1980 games and had even offered to try to host in 1976 when Denver voted the games out. Basically, by the 1970's, it had become difficult to scare up a potential host. In a way, Lake Placid may have saved the winter games concept. It had its problems but it had its glories and may have kept the winter games alive. And look how far the Olympic winter games have come.

Well, Trylon, that's not quite putting it correctly. LP 1980 showed a loss of about $7-8 million; the last Games held on US soil that lost money. And the taxpayers of NY State had to cover those loses. Peter Ueberroth learned from his LP Peter counterpart, Petr Spurney, who didn't run a fiscally tight ship. Give credit where credit is due. It was Los Angeles 1984 with its whopping $223 million that saved the Olympic movement. The Foundation that inherited and handles that surplus 1984 money can provide the seed money anytime Los Angeles is called upon to host...whenever that might be.

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That's a matter of opinion. I saw Athens as having much more emotional impact than Sochi.

It is indeed a matter of opinion. I just find it hard to understand why anybody would find two people at one end of a very large stadium, splashing in a very large puddle, more emotional than a balletic recreation of Natasha Rostova's first ball.

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It is indeed a matter of opinion. I just find it hard to understand why anybody would find two people at one end of a very large stadium, splashing in a very large puddle, more emotional than a balletic recreation of Natasha Rostova's first ball.

I found the ball beautiful, but not emotional. I have no idea what two people in a puddle you are referring to.

The charge of joy and enthusiasm with the entrance of the zembekiko was electric. The boy in the paper boat was whimsical and delicate. The animation of the cycladic head and the projected human images were awe-inspiring and humbling. Klepsydra was not especially emotional -- it was an intellectual journey, but the conclusion where people of all ages, eras and colors gather together, united and yet all individual in their DNA created an incredible feeling of connection. There were many other moments that were packed with feeling, but those are few highlights. Athens' slogan "Welcome home" was communicated so powerfully throughout not just the ceremonies, but the entire Games. I genuinely felt welcomed. And the momentousness of the location of the Games was powerful.

By contrast, I found Sochi colorful and aesthetically beautiful, but not especially emotional.

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I found the two people splashing in the water in Athens so touching because they were celebrating simple love, joy, the coming together of 2 people to create the next generation- it was a simple,accessible and universal moment on the biggest stage.

The recreation of a royal/ nobilities sumptuous ball (whilst tens of millions of serfs suffer out in the cold) is a grand statement but hardly pulls at the heart strings and can even be read as perverse. I love the grand Russian statements, but there is also a place for minimal, quiet contemplation on the Olympic Stage to give a ceremony contrast and poignancy.

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It is indeed a matter of opinion. I just find it hard to understand why anybody would find two people at one end of a very large stadium, splashing in a very large puddle, more emotional than a balletic recreation of Natasha Rostova's first ball.

I TOTALLY agree. As I've said before, I'm glad I didn't shell out mucho buckaroos to see a 'spectacle' but instead watch... that's it...TWO people in the vast expense of a stadium doing whatever it is they're doing...and ticket (say, $800 at that time) + Hotel + Airfare??? :blink: I mean I could've paid 2 people to do the same thing in my neighbor's pool for maybe 1/100th of what I would've paid had I gone to Athens.

I'd like to add that at least the Russkies, newbies that they are to capitalism, at least understood that if you're charging an arm and a leg for a show, you give them 1,000 arms and legs to do their thing. How sad Sochi's show would've been if during the Raising of the Russian flag at the OC, they had two people just flashing their red-white-and-blue LED vests in that 85,000 sq.ft. stage. :blink: Those 'minimalistic' moments are for set change-times...or when the TV cameras have to break for commercials. These Orthodox Russians got the idea of how stage 'Olympic' ceremonies right vs. their Greek Orthodox counterparts who didn't. And the Russians had TWO giant floating heads and hands instead of just one head!! ;)

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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Baron if I paid $950 (the real cost) to watch the equivalent of two neighbors splashing in their backyard pool, don't you think I'd be resentful? I've experienced buyer's remorse big time, but if I could pay to see that ceremony again, I would do it in a heartbeat. I'm sorry that such a breathtaking work of art was lost on you.

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The recreation of a royal/ nobilities sumptuous ball (whilst tens of millions of serfs suffer out in the cold) is a grand statement but hardly pulls at the heart strings and can even be read as perverse. I love the grand Russian statements, but there is also a place for minimal, quiet contemplation on the Olympic Stage to give a ceremony contrast and poignancy.

But it was a very particular ball, in which a teenage girl was seen moving between father, friend and potential new love. As for the serfs- they of course changed everything the moment that scene ended. And as for contrast- didn't you notice how low-key the start of that OC was?

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the conclusion where people of all ages, eras and colors gather together, united and yet all individual in their DNA created an incredible feeling of connection.

Thanks for drawing my attention to that part, because it is fundamentally wrong in two linked ways. Unlike at almost any other OC, all those people did not engage in any remarkable activity (making formations, dancing, playing music, waving banners etc.); basically they just strolled out of the water and round the outer track. That scene was followed almost immediately by the Parade of Nations, in which people from almost every nation in the world spent two hours strolling round the outer track, united and yet all individual, creating an incredible feeling of connection.

Worse, however, is the fact that almost every scene before it was also conducted at strolling pace- the pregnant woman, the Clepsydra parade, the traditional band, the marching band, the movements of the Cycladic Head and its pieces, even the throwing of a spear. The two splashing lovers were, for a minute or so, almost the most energetic performers in the whole ceremony (you mention the zembekiko- why did they play a dance tune without showing people dancing?) except that all the above-mentioned strolling crowd broke into a run when they were told to leave the arena.

In Sochi, there were fast bits, and slow contemplative bits, and warm bits, and chilling bits, and noisy bits, and quiet bits, and sight gags, and big formations, and a lone child performer used consistently, like Nikki Webster, rather than like the disposable boy in the Athens paper boat. And with the music and the storytelling, all that created emotional dynamism.

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For Athens. As someone that at first, in 2004, hated that ceremony. Than rewatched it years later after being exposed to more opera, ballet, classical music, art and dance, absolutely loved it. Athens has been the only Opening Ceremony I can rewatch. Sochi's was interesting, but artistically not that Russian. It relied too heavily on props and projections. The ballet was wonderful, but it was still cold. And it was remarkably joyless.

But, than again. I have a more simple, minimalist and clean.

Edited by faster
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I suppose different people with never agree on "ART" per se... there is no magic formula in ceremonies to please everyone. Perhaps each ceremonies pacing/ busyness etc reflects their country and city and by definition are different:

Sydney- open spaces, fun people, a bit frenetic and then lying on a beach, fire and water etc.

Athens- languid splashing around the ocean, deep and slow history of a proud and intellectual nation.

Beijing and Sochi- masses of people, grand statements from grand countries

London- the messy, busy, dirty and creative pulse of a metropolis...

ETC.... we should just enjoy them for what they are. They have all been pretty amazing recently.

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Athens- languid splashing around the ocean, deep and slow history of a proud and intellectual nation.

Actually, more warriors, then the decline, shepherding for many centuries; an inconsequential monarchy, and then a few billionaire shipping families and euro-defaulting gov'ts.

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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Thanks for drawing my attention to that part, because it is fundamentally wrong in two linked ways. Unlike at almost any other OC, all those people did not engage in any remarkable activity (making formations, dancing, playing music, waving banners etc.); basically they just strolled out of the water and round the outer track. That scene was followed almost immediately by the Parade of Nations, in which people from almost every nation in the world spent two hours strolling round the outer track, united and yet all individual, creating an incredible feeling of connection.

Worse, however, is the fact that almost every scene before it was also conducted at strolling pace- the pregnant woman, the Clepsydra parade, the traditional band, the marching band, the movements of the Cycladic Head and its pieces, even the throwing of a spear. The two splashing lovers were, for a minute or so, almost the most energetic performers in the whole ceremony (you mention the zembekiko- why did they play a dance tune without showing people dancing?) except that all the above-mentioned strolling crowd broke into a run when they were told to leave the arena.

In Sochi, there were fast bits, and slow contemplative bits, and warm bits, and chilling bits, and noisy bits, and quiet bits, and sight gags, and big formations, and a lone child performer used consistently, like Nikki Webster, rather than like the disposable boy in the Athens paper boat. And with the music and the storytelling, all that created emotional dynamism.

You are attempting to engage me in a pissing contest because I found London's OC so lacking. You're just veiling it by appearing to promote Sochi instead (a ceremony that, in my opinion, is far more respectable than London's, but did not rival Athens artistry or creativity).

Either that or you genuinely believe what you are saying, which would be pitiable.

You can claim Athens was crap and London was brilliant. That just makes it crystal clear to me that I have no respect for your artistic tastes and these debates are utterly pointless.

I will never change your mind and you will never change mine. Finis.

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