February 12, 2010. I was the very first person into my gate at BC Place for the Opening Ceremony of the Vancouver Olympics! How cool is that!? The volunteers weren't even ready for me!
I walked in and immediately saw the stage.
And then the rings... Several storeys high!
I'd heard so many things about how rundown the stadium was becoming, but the whole place was beautiful!
Everyone had a really awesome program, and a drum filled with things to use throughout the ceremony. So fucking cool! I'll keep it FOREVER!
They kept testing various lights in the stadium, as people slowly filtered in. I imagine it took a long time to process the thousands of people through security. Of course, I got there early so who cares about the slow people? :P
Somehow, the 4 hour wait between entry and start time flew by! I chatted with the people around me. They were all great except for the bitch sitting beside me. She showed up about 5 minutes before it started, and complained about EVERYTHING. 65,999 other people in the stands loved it. She bitched about everything, including having to wear a poncho after spending 800 bucks for the ticket. Has she never seen an Olympic ceremony before? She was also mad that our 4th level seats were so high up. In reality, we were sitting directly above the dignitaries swanky box... Jaques Rogge, Michaelle Jean... right below us with the best seats in the place. It was amazing. We could see EVERYTHING.
I nice lady volunteer was totally patient while I helped her work my camera so we could get this great shot. Thank you, volunteer!
Seriously, look how much bigger the rings are than the people!
Every section had an audience participation leader to show us what to do throughout the ceremony. They were fun.
With an hour to go, Tamara Taggart and Ben Mulroney came out to host the pre-show entertainment, and go over what to do participation-wise, explaining when to flash your lights based on what colour you had, etc. etc.
The Canadian Tenors sang a couple times too.
Finally, at 6pm PST, a snowboarder came down through the rings, and the Olympics had begun! The RCMP brought in the Canadian flag, and Nikki Yanofsky of CTV theme song fame sang the national anthem.
The four host nations welcomed the spectators and athletes with their cool totem poles that rose from the floor.
The Lil'Wat Nation was closest to me.
Then, nations from all across Canada came out to join the celebration. They probably danced for an hour!
The parade of nations began! Big cheers for Greece!
Lengthy, deafening applause for the Georgian team. It was the most emotional part of the whole ceremony.
Finally, Canada arrived in full force, and to equally deafening applause. Mad screaming. Friggin' incredible!
Clara Hughes, one of my favourite Olympians, carried the flag. Love love love! Also in this picture (more visible in the version I have that was not shrunken down to blogger-accepted size) is that funny speed skating coach with the beard. He's kinda hot.
Who is holding that flag? Oh no one... just silver and bronze medallist Kristina Groves!
And who do we have here? Why, its gold medallist skeleton-er Jon Montgomery holding a camcorder!
Nelly Furtado and Bryan adams sang a tribute to the athletes, which allowed us a great opportunity to use the drums we were given (the song may or may not have been titled Bang The Drum). The show was officially underway!