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I have been sneaking peeks at photos of the ceremonies on a couple websites, and they have peaked my interest in watching tonight.

Charlie
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Megan's fabulous notes on the Opening Ceremonies!

The Games come home, again!

Background (All taken from the commentary):
At 10 million people Greece is the smallest country to host the summer games in 50 years. The Opening Ceremonies showcase Greek history and culture. It is a tribute to the Games, since Greece was the first to organize and integrate sport into everyday life. No part of Greece is more than 85 miles from the sea. The middle of the stadium is covered by more than half a million gallons of water.

Ceremony:
Rhythm is the heartbeat, loved the dancing in the water, very unique and does tie to the Salt Lake City Games. Again, another tie to the 2002 games, a child, this time a 9 year old boy in a paper boat. The sculpture piece was beautiful, breathtaking. As they fell to the water they represented the 2,000 Greek islands. Loved the videos being projected on the pieces of sculpture. Loved the living statue portion. The costumes, looking like heavy paper and body makeup. Sculpture like human beings, tremendous amounts of well applied makeup. Breath-taking. The ancient Olympic running men, it's hard to believe that these are real people.

Parade of Nations:
In the order of the Greek alphabet. Unique, adding their own special touch. I loved how NBC had the upcoming countries right above the Team out in front. Also the map in the bottom middle of the screen turned to show where the country was.

Stripes are in this year! As is white and earth brown tones. A lot of the women had on what would probably be referred to as traditional clothing, not so much the man, although there were a few exceptions.

Select Country Clothing Comments:
Olympic themed: Cote D'Ivoire-Interesting outfits with the Olympic rings on it, China-Olympic colored/themed scarves and ties.

Notable women's outfits: India-Beautiful, cultural and colorful. Kenya-Nice dresses for the women. Israel-The women had beautiful necklaces, blue stones, looked like the Star of David

Those in pinstripes included: Central African Republic and Norway-Coats, Ireland-Suits, Morocco-Shirts, Croatia-Dresses.

Tasteful: New Zealand-Understated tops, simple black with a white leaf design. Nigeria-Head wraps/Hats all different but with the same green and white color scheme. Sao Tome and Principe-Understated elegance.

Hats! (I'm a sucker for hats!): Russia-Cream colored, Slovenia, Bulgaria-Hubby loved them, Uruguay and Great Britain-Cute bucket hats!, Turkmenistan-Flag bearer wore a great big fluffy hat.

Traditional: Tajikistan-Women, very formal like. Tonga-Very nice. Kazakhstan-Beautiful outfit worn by the flag bearer.

Colors: Andorra-White, cool and cold looking. Brazil-Almost a lime, a great bright color for their jackets! Colorful skirts and ties. Germany-Outfits reminded me of the Australian outback. Romania-Subtle with a splash (or as my hubby said, target) of color for the women. Uzbekistan-Great print for the ladies. Virgin Islands-Very pretty blue ocean print. Poland-Great outfits, earth tones but colorful.

USA!-I thought our outfits were a little too casual, they looked like baseball jerseys. But I love the hats! And could Roots advertise themselves just a little bit more? I feet like everyone was dressed so much nicer!

Greece-A little pause and then it was a party! A little bit reserved, but still a party. Most carried the Greek flag and laurels/olive branches. The women all had nice leather purses.

Serious portion:
Bjork sang and of course she had a get up on, but the skirt of her dress unfolds to cover the athletes and it's a map of the world, very cool. A very cool symbolic piece of how this was the first global torch relay, with flying torch bearers flying towards a globe that had a ticker of the names of the places the torch visited.

Olympic Flame: How it was lit, the last runner climbed a flight of steps as the cauldron, shaped like a giant torch, tipped towards him then it went back to it's upright position to flame towards the sky.

Very nice ceremony and I especially liked seeing all the athletes march in.

=) Megan
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I didn't catch all of the ceremony--caught a bit of the start, and then the last hour or so.

What worked: The parts that tied to Greek history. The human statues looked great. The mythic Hermes-wannabes flying through the air at the end were wonderful. Very effective, very classy, reminds everyone where the Olympics originated.

What didn't work: The torch. Ugh. Boring and ugly. (My wife said it looks like a giant dildo.) It's going to be a long time until we see a torch lighting anywhere near as dramatic as Barcelona's arrow shot.

Random off-color comment: Bjork can now say she's had 10,000 Olympic athletes go up her dress.

--WP
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(My wife said it looks like a giant dildo.)

We had compared it to a huge joint.

I still wonder where Cheech and Chong were at a moment like that.
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