The opening of the Olympics

I thought the drummers quite a war like opening number…It reminded me of the old movie 55 Days At Peking…and those soldiers it gave me the willies. It reminded me of the Nazi Olympic games

The only thing I like so far is the children, who are a delight

I certainly appreciated the artistry and the synchronization that went into the Beijing Opening Ceremonies.

But I’m with you, redrosetea. I’m getting pretty sick of these elaborate Olympic ceremonies with Hollywood glitz.

As far as I’m concerned, the best Opening Ceremony ever was Sarajevo. It was just children doing folk dances. Very sweet.

I live close to Chicago, and we are all hoping that we get the 2016 Olympics, and my daughter is hoping to work on the Opening Cermonies. I hope that we will not play “Top That Ceremony” in the Windy City. All I can think of is thousands of cows stampeding through the stadium on their way to the slaughterhouses, and I don’t really want to volunteer and end up as the back end of one of those bovines!

Another thing that is kind of depressing is that all these other countries have thousands of years of history, while we only have about 250 (or 450, depending on where you start keeping track). And a lot of our history isn’t very glorious. Is it possible that Chicago could do an Al Capone/John Dillinger theme–yuck. Nowadays we forget how terrifying those days were.

I personally think it would be fun to re-create the “Century of Progress,” with the huge light display and all the wonders of that World’s Fair.

At any rate, can’t we keep it simple and sweet instead of letting the Hollywood special effects artists battle it out and end up with a huge mess?

As for Beijing, what I wish is that the Opening Ceremonies would have been covered by EWTN. (Were they?)

While Costas and Lauer were commenting on the beauty of the Confucious philosophies, I found myself thinking, “How sad that these people follow a man instead of Jesus.” I would have appreciated commentary from a Christian POV, reminding us that even though China had all those children in the Ceremonies, their “one child” policy is heartbreaking and against God’s natural law.

Also, I found myself wondering why all the OTHER countries, even the Communist countries, who host the Olympics include their religious heritage in their Opening Ceremonies. I am willing to bet CASH that if Chicago gets the Olympics, there won’t be ONE hint of Catholicism, Protestantism, Judaism, and Islam, along with the Oriental religions, in the Opening Ceremonies, even though the city is filled with Poles, Irish, Latino, German, Chinese, Korean, and African Americans, and in the last couple of decades, Muslims all over the world. At least the movie, The Blues Brothers was all about a “mission from God,” and included numerous humorous glimpes of Catholicism Chicago-style. But I’m betting that God or any mention of any religions isn’t allowed in the Olympic Stadium in the U.S.A.

Yep, it’s gonna be that cattle stampede, followed by a huge Italian beef potluck out on the stadium floor! Or a parade of people dressed up in bratwurst and Polish sausage costumes, pizza, and beer costumes.

It wasn’t covered by EWTN, and considering all the people that were thrown out of their homes to build this, it is something that is a monument to oppression and greed…water was diverted from areas where there is drought to feed this place

It makes me feel ill to know the church is still forced to be underground because of their government…I saw a lot more than China intended as I watched this spectacle

These are true concerns, but the question is whether or not China will be better for it in 30 years. The same criticisms were leveled at the 1968 Mexico City games (ending in the Tlaltelolco Massacre, where several thousand protesting students were murdered in the streets). They argued whether or not the $200 million spent on the games would have better served the poor. HOWEVER… history has demonstrated that the subways, stadiums, improved infrastructure, buildings, and so on have gone on to improve economic opportunities in that part of Mexico City, draw hundreds of money making events to the city, and provide thousands upon thousands of jobs, so that the games ended up netting a substantial long-term gain. The same thing is beginning to be seen now in Athens, after the criticism that they faced at their Olympics.

BTW… I’m not arguing FOR Chinese abuse, since there have certainly been some appalling decisions made, and no amount of improvement justifies the way it was handled. I’m just trying to play devil’s advocate here and demonstrate that there may be substantial long-term benefit…

I think china wanted it to bolster their image abroad…China frightens me…The war like drum number gave me the creeps, it was intimadating…and I think they were sending the world a message

Is anyone paying attention to the Olmpics anymore? Outside of the basketball team, I don’t really care.

Look, the NFL is in training camps, Farve is traded to the Jets, and college ball is only few weeks away, what’s goin on in China is *not *on my radar.

I better check the batteries in the clicker, cause I gotta feeling the next few weeks, I’ll be clicking past NBC for the next 2 weeks.

I am! I’m anxiously awaiting swimming, gymnastics, track, soccer, basketball, and the human interest stories about the athletes.

I loved the drummers!!! They were traditional, and it was exciting. What a stunning display of choreography and discipline.

and here in California, we love our beach volleyball girls!!!

Yep, we pay attention to the Olympics! I personally don’t really care for the summer games as much as the Winter Games, but I still have the TV on constantly, which is very unusual at our house.

During the Winter Games, my husband and I have the TV on 24/7, and we tape everything and try not to miss a thing.

We have a local woman on the Olympic Softball team. Too bad this is the last year for the sport in the Olympics. But at least she had her chance to stand under those Olympic rings.

It is my dream that someday, synchronized skating will be granted Olympic status. There are a lot of bureaucratic reasons why the sport isn’t “in” right now; I personally think a lot of it has to do with the fact that the head of the ISU (International Skating Union) is a speed skater who has a small understanding of the figure skating sports. (He says that synchronized skaters aren’t “athletes.”) I also think that the IOC is most open to sports that are $$ makers, which synchro skating definitely isn’t–yet.

But we keep working towards the goal of Olympic status. Olympic status would give the sport legitimacy among coaches and parents, and would result in a huge surge of interested children (and adults) into our local ice rinks. This would be good for every ice skating sport, not just figure skating.

Last season, synchronized skating was included for the first time in the University Games in Turin. This competition is the second-largest Winter sports competition after the Winter Olympics. And I’m happy to report that the synchronized skating event was completely SOLD OUT!

Also, the World Championships of Synchronized Skating was held in Canada two seasons ago, and it sold out a full four months in advance. Tickets for that competition were impossible even to buy from a scalper.

So these are good signs–if the sport can continue to draw huge crowds (and therefore draw in huge $$), the IOC will hopefully sit up and take it more seriously.

If you’ve never seen the sport of synchronized skating, here’s a video montage:

I think China knew the drummers could be perceived badly, they were instructed to smile, and some did with such exaggerated expressions it looked sardonic…it was just menacing to me…I kept thinking of that woman that won awards for photographing the 1938 Olympics…Her name was something like Riefenstal

I tremendously enjoyed the drummers. I didn’t think of war drums at all. They explained, if you listened, that the drums were replicas of a drum discovered in a Chinese tomb about 5 years ago that has proven to be one of the oldest musical instruments in the world. So, I think they were trying to demonstrate how their culture created the foundations of early music, and that rhythm, like music, brings people together as a common language. Until the Renaissance, China was one of the greatest civilizations on earth, and I simply think they wanted people to remember that.

Now, the children handing off the Chinese flag to the soldiers, as the “protectors of the state and society”… THAT was a bit creepy.

The woman you are thinking of is Leni Riefenstal, and she filmed both “Olympia”, about the 1936 Berlin Olympics, and “Triumph of the Will”, the defining Nazi propaganda movie. She is acclaimed worldwide as one of the greatest and most innovative filmmakers of all time. Sadly, her image will always be tremendously tarnished by her unapologetic support for Hitler’s regime. As an interesting side-note, she is still alive and producing documentaries at the ripe old age of 103.

I kept thinking about 55 Days At Peking and it probably marred it somewhat

I am not saying is wasn’t well done, but for me it was sinister

How was their seriousness any different that the pageantry of our 21 gun salute? playing of Taps? folding of the flag at a funeral?

If you haven’t seen the movie I can’t explain it to you…Even one of the newscasters said it was intimidating

I didn’t like it…I found it aggressive

No, that is not what the newscaster said. I watched it. He said that they were concerned that some people might find it intimidating in a military sort of way (and it sounds as if you fell into that demographic)…so they instructed all the men to try and smile more. I can’t imagine the level of concentration…to remember all the beats, the moves, the synchronization…in incredible heat and humidity…AND SMILE!? Bravo. :smiley:

I must have hit only part of what they said. I didn’t like it nor did my husband…It might be our age …I just watched it in horror…all I could think of was the displays the Nazis made in 1938

I think they rest was very nicely done,and I won’t watch any more of it…I have no interest at all in who wins…I got fed up with the games a long time ago

To each his own, my friend. It may be the generation. Good point. The Olympics always make me feel so proud to be an American.:thumbsup:

I thought that Lang Lang’s performance on the piano was neat. I think I heard that one of his teachers once told him “You’re brain is almost like a potato!” and that he’d never be a famous pianist. Wonder what she’s thinking now?

I agree. I thought the drummers were fantastic but I also love group taiko drumming, very common at Japanese festivals. The fireworks were wonderful too but that was to be expected.

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