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Friday, August 13, 2004

Opening Ceremonies Fun

The Olympics opening ceremonies are one of my favorite TV events--no, really. It will be on TV tonight in the US, even though it's happening right now over in Greece.

Why do I like opening ceremonies? Because they're painfully scripted, non-offensive events. Japan featured lots of little kids running around and singing in multi-colored snow suits to open Nagano '98 (go about one minute into this video). Sydney 2000 had the strained nods to Australia's aboriginal heritage, and they actually had a multi-part ice-skating show, the premise of which involved a child having a dream, in order to introduce the country's history and culture (link). The opening of Salt Lake City 2002 I will always remember for Mitt Romney's appearance with George Bush--who knew how much closer this event would bring them?!--and Bush's bizarre interview with Bob Costas, in which the president, seeming slightly unhinged, bragged about how his running times had improved since September 11 (I wish I could find a link on this).

Plus there's the never-ending fun of seeing dumb TV hosts attempt to say something topical as the athletes representating Uzbekistan enter the stadium.