Saturday, August 09, 2008

Beijing 8-8-08

China's opening ceremony was awesome. Can we say dazzling... OMG! I think all of China's 1.3 billion people were in it. 2,008 drummers, 2,008 dancers, 2,008 marshal artists etc etc. Fireworks, well China invented fireworks. I could smell the gunpowder in Chicago. I'm just saying.
We had our two nephews, ages 9 and 4 and it actually held their attention, most of the time. Nine year old Marcellus likes wrestling, WWE. I ummm insist that he watch some "real" wrestling during the games. He got excited whenever a wrestler was carrying his or her country's flag.
The ceremony was steeped in China's history and universal themes like the environment and welcoming the world. The special effects, sheer numbers and magnitude of it was overwhelming, in a good way.

The Olympic Stadium in Beijing is called the Birds Nest. Just look at this thing.

Performers run around a large globe during the opening ceremonies.

A dancer performs on stage with a green sash.

Drums, 2,008 strong. The drums like everything were amazingly in sinc.

Performers wearing illuminated bright green suits wave to the crowd.

There was lots of flying, including the lighting of the torch?

The Athletes-
I noticed now that all nations have adopted the USA way of entering the Olympic Stadium. Just relaxed and chillin', taking pics and videos of each other. That's good, have fun, this is your moment, all hopes are high.

Greece first always.

Lopez Lemong can't stop grinning

USA, say it now.. U - S - A , in their Ralph Loren caps.

NBA Rockets superstar Yao Ming carries the flag for the host nation. With Yao marched 9 year old Lin Hao. During the horrific earthquake that demolished his school in Yingxiu, earlier this year, Lin and two other children were trapped in the rubble. This child sang songs to keep their spirits up while he waited for rescue. He did dig himself out and this kid went back to pull out his two classmates. Twenty children died at Lin's school. When asked why he took such a chance, he said he was hall monitor so it was his job.

Now the games
With the more than 12 hour time difference, better watch out for spoiler warnings if you don't want to know results before you see the game.

Will pitcher Jennie Finch and the US women take their forth and final softball gold? Softball will not be in the next two Olympic games.

Will Kerry Walsh and Misty May-Treanor, the defending Olympic beach volleyball champions do it again?

Starting today, swimmer Michael Phelps, takes another crack at beating Mark Spitz's record of seven gold medals. Phelps came close in 2004 - six golds and two bronzes -and he's entered the same eight events in Beijing.

Dara Torres 41, challenging all those kids and whooping their butts. Bank on her to do it for great and in pull it off for the USA in the relays.

The United States men's basketball team, featuring NBA stars Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, is favored to win its first gold medal in a major event since the 2000 Olympics. They won a bronze medal in 2004. Of course many NBA players, play for their home countries during the Olympics. So watch out USA.

The U S women B-Ball team are the defending champs. Fourth straight gold?

Gymnastics. Always drama and personalities and unbelievable...just watch it all.

I also check out archery, no Geena Davis this time, awwwwww. And watching Equestrian(the most dangerous sport), diving, fencing, soccer, weight lifting, volley ball, track, rhythmic gymnastics, synchronized swimming and table tennis. Table tennis sounds tame but it is FIERCE. I saw it live at the 1996 Atlanta games and they go at it with speeds and power you can't believe possible.



jjbrock said...

Great pictures!

Anonymous said...

It was a spectacular opening! The lessons I learned about Chinese history and culture will be passed on to my students when we celebrate Chinese New Year. China is a beautiful country. Isn't the Great Wall breathtaking?
Of course, as a teacher, I was moved by the young boy who saved his 2 classmates. I'm telling you-he took his job as hall monitor VERY seriously. He certainly earned his gold star!!
I'm excited about watching the Olympics. I'll have my snacks, my cold drinks and my "Boo". Let the games begin!!