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Oly Fan Survey: Opening Ceremonies


GamesBids Olympic Fan Survey: Opening Ceremonies  

54 members have voted

  1. 1. What's your favourite Olympic Games opening ceremony?

    • 1980 Moscow
      0
    • 1984 Sarajevo
      0
    • 1984 Los Angeles
      0
    • 1988 Calgary
      0
    • 1988 Seoul
      0
    • 1992 Albertville
      2
    • 1992 Barcelona
      4
    • 1994 Lillehammer
      0
    • 1996 Atlanta
      0
    • 1998 Nagano
      1
    • 2000 Sydney
      9
    • 2002 Salt Lake City
      2
    • 2004 Athens
      15
    • 2006 Torino
      0
    • 2008 Beijing
      5
    • 2010 Vancouver
      3
    • 2012 London
      8
    • 2014 Sochi
      5
    • Other (specify)
      0


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Yeah, but this is "favourites" not "best" (which I think is an impossible discussion anyway). I didn't vote London, but I can se how it could rank as a favourite, even for non-Brits. It's one of my f

How London has 3 votes is beyond me. Overall didn't make a lot of sense and arguably the ones with less votes should be a little higher on the list .

That's fair. "Favorite" needs no justification.

I think this is a really good point. Humanity definitely has a dark side that the Olympics and especially the OCs (for the most part) pretend doesn't exist. Humanity is typically romanticized and idealized to what I usually feel is a very unrealistic extreme.

I'm not saying the OC's should be dark and depressing (they shouldn't), but at times they can start veering into almost cultish humanism that makes me uncomfortable. This even happened for me in Athens' OC, which is my favorite one.

I'm not expecting this post to resonate with many on these boards, but I still wanted to make the point.

I remember you starting a thread on whether the Olympics was too humanist a while ago. It was not a thought which had crossed my mind before and you're right that it doesn't resonate with me because the Games are a celebration of ultimate human achievement above all else. But it's still an intriguing talking point and a million times better than the bitchfest this thread has turned into. How would you envisage ceremonies changing to be a better mirror?

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I remember you starting a thread on whether the Olympics was too humanist a while ago. It was not a thought which had crossed my mind before and you're right that it doesn't resonate with me because the Games are a celebration of ultimate human achievement above all else. But it's still an intriguing talking point and a million times better than the bitchfest this thread has turned into. How would you envisage ceremonies changing to be a better mirror?

I don't think that's a question that can easily be answered. It's probably different for every OC. I do think there's a place for humility and acknowledging limitations/failings/struggles. If that happens, it tends to happen in a very symbolic way (Atlanta's hydra representing the Civil War or Sochi's red period). The only vivid exception to this I can think of is London showing the class oppression and dehumanizing effect of the Industrial Revolution.

Athens just seemed to go from strength to strength and that didn't sit well with me. Still loved the show though.

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@A-Fan

i like to dream and be uplifted at an OC.......

it is a pinnacle achievement that any city survived and flourished to reach that ceremony time, so of course it colors life's journey and relationships in rose hues.

we don't need to see sausage made (or eaten) an an OC do we.

however i agree its all so unreal and the sugary BS can get very thick, but the charade is required or one would never be selected to host.

Edited by paul
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How London has 3 votes is beyond me. Overall didn't make a lot of sense and arguably the ones with less votes should be a little higher on the list .

Even Atlanta made more sense then London, the only amazing thing was the first 20 minutes.

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How London has 3 votes is beyond me. Overall didn't make a lot of sense and arguably the ones with less votes should be a little higher on the list .

Yeah, but this is "favourites" not "best" (which I think is an impossible discussion anyway). I didn't vote London, but I can se how it could rank as a favourite, even for non-Brits. It's one of my faves in terms of actually enjoying it.

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Yeah, but this is "favourites" not "best" (which I think is an impossible discussion anyway). I didn't vote London, but I can se how it could rank as a favourite, even for non-Brits. It's one of my faves in terms of actually enjoying it.

That's fair. "Favorite" needs no justification.

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Having said that, I was under no illusions about how this thread would go...

;)

Indeed - still as polarising as ever! I've loved all the ceremonies since 1980 - all have had their moments! In terms of heart Beijing & Sochi didn't quite get there but the money spent came across!

For me London was amazing (well I was in it!)! But my favourites are Athens (1st) & Barcelona (2nd).

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Of the 18 ceremonies, I watched 17 of them (missed Moscow). But I'll be damned if I have a sufficiently complete memory of most of them to properly judge and compare them. Most I only saw once-- that would be 30 years ago for the earliest. How posters on this board, even with the help of YouTube, can sort through 18 3+ hour ceremonies is beyond my understanding, as well as capability.

The best I can do is recall some high and low moments from the 17.

The high:

- Albertville: Cocteau-esque floating figures, beguiling costumes, Generally high and sophisticated French art. Unforgettable.

- Barcelona: Caldren lighting is best ever.

- Lillehammer: Pulled off the folk culture aspect well. This opinion may be a case of grass-greener syndrome, seeing as I've hated folk culture aspects of ceremonies closer to home.

- Atlanta: Jesse Norman- not shabby.

- Nagano: Traditional Japanese culture- drum pounding, rope spinning, etc. Looked like a religious ceremony of some sort.

- Athens Great history, modernized. Beautiful.

- Beijing: Everything.

- Sochi: High culture, beautifully rendered.

The low:

- LA: extraterrestrial robot (or whatever that was)-- this could have been the closing ceremony. Either way, an embarrassment.

- Atlanta: chrome plated pick up trucks. Really?

- Sydney: some scruffy old coot strumming guitar and singing is gruff voice

- London: tons of vulgar pop culture that wasn't even funny (the modeling/billboard/advertising industry, QEII parachuting) and odd and obtuse historical references (Nat Health System... I think)

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For me I just loved Athens with the water. Sydney was also memorable being so close to New Zealand.

I loved Summon the Heroes in Atlanta and also really enjoyed Barcelona.

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Atlanta's opening was awful...then again so was London's. (Here comes Tony E. with a rebuff).

Barcelona will always be my favorite opening.

LA84 will always have a soft spot with me, my first real Olympics experience...Didn't even matter the Eastern Bloc failed to show up.

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@Dave

LAs rocket man (OC) and spaceship (CC) were both HUGE hits at the time. It was another era and they felt futuristic and Hollywood-esque. The crowd loved both.

Nowadays they might seem kitschy, but at the time they were cutting-edge and awe-inspiring.

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I find that Western Ceremonies celebrate their cultures and frankly don't give a damn about what the rest of the world thinks...or that may be me.


Atlanta's opening was awful...then again so was London's. (Here comes Tony E. with a rebuff).
Barcelona will always be my favorite opening.

LA84 will always have a soft spot with me, my first real Olympics experience...Didn't even matter the Eastern Bloc failed to show up.

I thought a good portion did? Just not the 'Showcase' nations.

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I find that Western Ceremonies celebrate their cultures and frankly don't give a damn about what the rest of the world thinks...or that may be me.

I thought a good portion did? Just not the 'Showcase' nations.

The Soviet Union and its satellites, including Cuba, mostly stayed away. The notable exceptions were Yugoslavia (which had just hosted the Winter OG in Sarajevo), Romania (not so much a communist state as a personal playground for the Ceausescu family) and China, as keen in 1984 as 2014 to show its independence from Moscow.

AF's "futuristic and Hollywood-esque" sums up the OC nicely- Return of the Jedi had only been released the year before, and OCs are a natural outlet for Busby Berkeley glitz.

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Yugoslavia wasn't a Soviet satellite anyway, Tito had fallen out with Moscow already in the 50s or so.

And Romania seized the opportunity for an unprecedented medal haul with their brother states being absent.

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Atlanta's opening was awful...then again so was London's. (Here comes Tony E. with a rebuff).

Barcelona will always be my favorite opening.

LA84 will always have a soft spot with me, my first real Olympics experience...Didn't even matter the Eastern Bloc failed to show up.

I think that is one of the reasons why I remember Atlanta so well as it was my first real Olympic Experience.

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  • 3 weeks later...

SOG-

Athens- It was sublime, universal, calm and majestic. I am a history buff so that helped. Not everyones taste.

The Pandemonium section from London is my favourite SOG section- for its energy, symbolism and emotion and the vivid way the green and pleasant land was literally ripped apart to create it. HOWEVER the rest of London's opening was a complete mess and let down.

Sydney - because I was there just above Juan!

WOG-

Sochi- The Russians really know how to put on a show- their land, people, history, music, dance, visuals are first rate, and an unlimited budget didn't hurt.

The Soviet Era section was not only technically and visually stunning, from the modern art to the social scenes, but paid repect to a difficult era that still resonates today with millions of Russians.

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