Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Live Closing

This was a live blog. It starts at the bottom and works its way back to the top. Or you can read it backwards. Sorry if it screws up the size of my main page. Enjoy!

Now we're doing a little recap of what we saw. Doing interviews with athletes. I'm gonna stop blogging now. I will be attending the 2012 Vancouver Olympics, so come back in 18 months to hear my stories live from those Opening Ceremonies and the events. And I'll see you again in 4 years when London takes over the Summer Games. Take care!

Showing London again. The people are still excited. They have 4 years of excitement to go.

Oh my god... one of the Canadians is wearing a mascot head! HAHAHA How did they get that!?

Interview with Adam van Koeverden. I swear he looks different every time I see him. You couldn't pick him out of a lineup of one. I'm a bit disappointed... Each Olympics, the Canadians sneak in a massive 24x60 foot Canadian flag and haul it up on top of the athletes at the end. It appears that they didn't bring it this year, or they didn't manage to get it in. That sucks!

"Ladies and gentlemen, this concludes the Games of the 29th Olympiad. Good night everyone."

There is so much happening. So many dancers, there's singing, there are thousands of fireworks. Its quite the show.

The fireworks outside look too perfect. Props to the Chinese. But, like, Free Tibet, ok?

The fence is indeed broken. Chains of people are dancing around everywhere. I just saw Canadians linked [by hand holding] with volunteers. This is everybody's party. I'm partying by sitting here at my TV and computer in an old pair of soccer shorts. Everyone parties a different way.

Another song. Everyone is dancing everywhere. I think this is where the party part really starts to kick into gear. I can't tell if the volunteer fence is still in place or if they're dancing around. I'll let you know.

Another song. I'm not into the Chinese songs. I'm sorry. I like country music. Wow... look out the window. My neighbour is shirtless and he seems to be hotter than he used to be. Very ugly stomach tattoo though. What the hell.

The Diamond Princess is standing in her diamond dress, with a man. Their platform rises. The Olympics have a quota for rising performance platforms I think. The song is boring. Nice red rubber wrestling belt, Diamond Princess.

The women are wearing smiles that say "If this smile stops, so does my life. I love the Chinese government!"

And now, a traditional folk song: "The Moon is Bright Tonight". Do you think these 7 lovely ladies are actually singing, or are their hideous and untelevisable counterparts singing in the basement of the Bird's Nest?

Is Shania Twain actually Chinese? Or do these women just love her outfits? Every time I look at them, I think of Shania automatically.

Now there are musicians on the tower. They're singing a song called "Beijing, Beijing, I love Beijing" ... I can't even make this stuff up. They have borrowed the London ghetto blaster. Sing louder please!

The fabric is 'Lucky Cloud Yarn Strips' and they're rising to the sky. A Lucky Cloud Tree. Very lucky. Fireworks! So many of them!

Noise begins, and there are men on a tower making noise and movement and they are pretending to be the Flame. It shall always live on in the hearts of the Chinese. Some guy just ran UP the tower. How!? Now the men are in groups on the tower. They're flourishing. Red and white flowers. Now they're leaving the tower. Its weird but cool. Back up the tower! Now we're a spiral! Now we're running in mid air! Now we're being covered with red fabric!

The Flame is gone and China is silent. A few small fireworks shoot up. Complete silence.

A song begins. Focus on the Flame. Its a beautiful cauldron. Many angles of the Flame. Everything is dark now.

The underwear men are dancing. The scroll is getting very close to the Flame.

Three athletes are up on top of a platform that they walked up stairs to get to. It seems to be a cherry picker. Somehow, I think they'll be extinguishing the Olympic Flame. The guy opens a scroll. We shall be treated to the contents of the scroll played on the stadium wall. Events from the days of the games. Hey, I never saw archery! Two underwear men are all white. Forming "sports sculptures".

Commercial. Speaking of the volunteers, I always think its cool that the volunteers for a human fence to corral the athletes in the stadium. They stand there for hours! At some Games, they've even held hands or linked arms the entire time. That's dedication! China is like the prison on Arrested Development. No touching. But they look great!

Singer Leona Lewis rises from inside the bus. She's singing. Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin rises too. He's guitaring. You can't really hear the singing that well. London needs a better sound system. I guess since 80s is their theme, they're just holding up a ghetto blaster to sing the song. The grass part inside the bus looks a bit shitty, especially with its poor lighting. How is the guy in the wheelchair moving around so well? How did he get up on that platform? Back to the bus... It just doesn't seem to have been put together as well as it could have. Its David Backham! Why is he wearing so much baggy clothing? He stole the little girl's football and kicked it and a Chinese volunteer lady caught it.

The London presentation begins with a Cartoony video. Ooo, Pacman ghost graffiti-ing. Ottawa has those! Ottawa is hosting the next Olympics! Ok so I'm loving this video actually. There's a double decker bus in the stadium! It feels like you're on the street in London. Umbrellas, cyclists, dancers. They're waiting for the bus [which is a new high tech double decker it seems!]. Slow-mo dancing into the bus. But no, theres a girl coming out. They're acting like it never happened. A football. A girl walking on backs of men. She's back on the bus. These games will be so 80s. What the hell... The bus is coming apart. Showing grass. Apparently it means there will be grass in London even though its so industrial. Better get planting!

The flags are now leaving the stadium. Bye bye flags. You don't get to look like the United Nations anymore.

Beijing's mayor will hand over the Olympic flag [not the one that was just lowered. This one has fringe. It is called the Seoul Flag, which replaced the Antwerp Flag. I know these things.] The London mayor is named Borris Johnson. I think they called him Borris Yeltsin. He looks like Donald Trump. Who is this man? A charicature of everyone else? Jacques Rogge almost hit him with the flag. The Games officially belong to London. We see the people of London celebrating outside Buckingham Palace. They're kind of happy about it all.

Oh snap... I didn't realize that the Olympic flag was being lowered. It looks so wrinkle-free. Imagine ironing the Olympic flag and burning an iron imprint into it by accident? You'd be killed so fast. Ooo, fireworks in the shape of the Olympic rings. Cool!

Olympic anthem. It is lovely. Its always sung at such a high pitch that you wouldn't be able to think otherwise. If you sang a Metalica song at this pitch, it would sound like a hymn.

Raising the Union Jack. It seems that London sent its most multicultural choir to sing "God Save The Queen" in the most plain outfits ever. Which kind of suits what I've seen of their branding campaign. London, step it up!

Jacques: "These were truly exceptional games." You know that he would never say "Best Games Ever". Ugh. He said my favourite line in French. The "I call upon the youth of the world to assemble four years from now, in London" line. Jerk. Now I have to wait 4 more years to hear it in English!

Jacques: China and the world learned more about each other. Ouch. The Chinese are looking for Jacques to say "Best Games Ever". Will he?

Some lady hands Jacques Rogge his speech. Lets listen.

The Chinese guy said "One World. One Dream." in English. Then, the translator said "One World. One Dream." in English. Thanks.

The podium, shaped like an unfurling scroll, is creative. But its also ugly, and I would not give a speech from it. It looks too childish. Sorry Beijing.

The voice over for Liu Qi is doing a poor job of imitating his voice. All he's doing is translating. Psh.

Speech time. Liu Qi, the President of the Beijing Organizing Committee, and IOC President Jacques Rogge. Lets listen.

We are now raising the Greek Flag. There is clearly some artificial wind blowing the flags, as they all have the exact same flight pattern, and the Greek flag didn't start blowing until it reached the top of the flagpole. Their anthem is boring. Sorry Greece. *hugs*

We had another commercial, and now we're back. The Canadians are swarming Yao Ming, but they're doing it in Canadian fashion, which means they're not actually going up to him or talking to him. But they're getting close enough to take pictures "with him". I love it!

Time for the Kenyan national anthem. I don't care for it. It sounds like it was stolen straight from an adventurous Disney movie. I'm thinking of Pocahontas? Wow, I only added one extra letter to that name. Not bad. Thanks spell check!

The final medals will now be presented ... to the winners of the Men's Marathon which I watched last night. In Chinese time, that was this morning, and now its nighttime. The Men's Marathon, along with the Men's 100m dash, are the flagship events of the Olympics. The Marathon is what the Olympics were originally based around, so that's why they award this at the big Ceremony. It is special. Kenya won gold for the first time. Go Kenya!

I hate how CBC split screens. 50% of the screen is actually just a red background. Show me two large portions of actual things!

There was a commercial. I got more water. I've been pretty dehydrated. We have a split screen of the Shania Twain Drummers and the other half is 2 of the mens 8 rowing team who won gold, along with their coxswain who got a gold medal in yelling. Good for him. He's so tiny!

The CBC website is also live blogging. I read their blog of the Opening Ceremony as I worked that day [and watched the repeat broadcast that night] and I have to say, their blog sucked. Don't go there. Stay here.

Canada is on its way in. All the awful outfits together as one. The point of the walk in for the Closing Ceremony is that everyone comes in at random. But pretty much, Canada comes in together. I guess the massive contingents all do. And Canadians like to stick together.

10,500 athletes all think that blowing a kiss to the camera is appropriate. Now there are a lot of ladies drumming. They're wearing red leather outfits. Think Shania Twain circa 1994.

The athletes are running into the stadium. I congratulate every one of them! They deserve a party tonight.

The Chinese flag is in, and they are all being put in place. Think of the not-quite-full-circle of the Pacman body. That's their shape.

Karen Cockburn [see: Co-Burn. Ya right.] reminds me how ugly the Canadian Olympic outfits are. HBC is a bad clothing provider for our team. Send it back to Roots!

The announcers are saying that the flags are entering in order of Chinese Alphabet. There is no Chinese alphabet. They are actually entering based on the number of strokes of ink necessary to write the name of the country in Simplified Chinese. Learn your facts, broadcasters. There's Karen Cockburn with the Canadian flag. 3 medals in 3 consecutive Games. Good for her!

The flags of the 204 countries will now enter the stadium. That's the most ever. Unlike the Opening Ceremony, people and flags are paraded unceremoniously during the Closing. Its faster, which is really nice.

Now the ladies are center stage. Tightly packed in. Like a Beijing apartment building. Now people are bouncing around them on high tech moon boots. The trampolinists should use these things. Now the ladies are leaving and its creating a sun. Look away for two seconds and now they're the rings around Saturn or something.

Now men are riding on bicycles that are like a wheel of light that they are inside. It's all so crazy. But it is graceful.

Some bizarre contraptions have entered the Bird's Nest and it looks extremely Seussical. So we have a performance of cyclist drummers, lighted bell dancers, and Dr. Seuss characters. What is happening in China?

I was right. The ladies are called the Silver Bell Dancers. I'm awesome.

They're not bells. They're LED lights. The ladies are changing colours. And I don't think they've really had any formal dance training. The circle formation got even worse, but then there were fireworks and they lined up perfectly. Slight of hand at its best!

Ladies dancing and covered with bells. Their circle seems slightly misshapen. That will be trouble for them. Maybe death.

We're being treated to a montage of people running. Its a big over the top. Not athletes, just people. The people are going to Beijing. One World. One Dream. It's all so symbolic. I'm probably blogging way too much. Now men in gold and red are going to drum. They're dressed as cyclists. Odd.

They are raising the Chinese flag. I think their anthem is fantastic. It is so cheerful sounding, but its still one of those powerful militant anthems that I love. "Oh Canada" is nice, but its not as powerful as some.

The fireworks are insane. I think Beijing is being bombed. How are they even doing this?

I must say that these Olympics have been just about perfect. I've stayed awake way more than I should have. Ooo a 29 second countdown is starting. 29th Olympiad it is. Its showtime!

It is Sunday morning, just minutes before 8am. CBC is on my TV as it has been for 16 days. It's time for the Closing Ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. I'll be sitting here watching, so why not do something to keep myself awake? I'm going to sit here and live blog. Wont that be fun? Lets see if I can keep it up. I've got the Michael Special [two glasses of ice water, 4 cubes per glass, with lemon] and I'm ready to go. Good luck to me!


Bec said...

oMG coxswains do a lot more then yell! They are in charge of steering the boat and all coaching and motivating during the race. It takes a lot of training and studying to become a good coxswain and coxswains spend hours preparing for each race. Its a lot of hard work that most ppl even if they were little would not be able to do! Thats my little rant!
ps also I agree bring roots back HBC just makes the ugliest clothes ever that were on clearance even before the Olympics begain

i am playing outside said...

lol how did i know you were gonna come talk about coxwains. i know they work too :P its a joke *hugs rebecca and calms her nerves* lol