Thanks to Tanya (another StudentsLive blogger), I ended up with a last minute ticket to the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympic Games! And I'm sure glad I did, because they were awesome! Better than the opening of the Olympic Games, even. At first I was convinced that it only seemed that way to me because I actually saw them live, but talking to people that watched them on T.V. confirmed my thought- this ceremony was even better than the Olympic one. So, without further ado...
THE OPENING CEREMONY OF THE PARALYMPIC GAMES:
My getting to BC place in time is a story in and of itself, but unfortunately it is too embarassing to share over the Internet, so we'll just have to skip it and say that in the end, I ended up making there on time. Granted, after some considerable difficulties, but that doesn't really matter in the great scheme of things. Point is-I made it and I wasn't even late.
Everyone had to come an hour early, because they gave you coloured ponchos to wear, white pom-poms to wave around and a bunch of other stuff that let the audience participate in the ceremony as much as possible. As usual, I was the last one to catch on and realize that the reason the audience looked so cool at the Olympic opening and closing ceremonies was because they gave them matching ponchos to wear. I thought it had something to do with the lighting. But hey, at least I know now.
The Opening Ceremony was amazing. There's no other way to put it. It was beautiful and inspiring and awe-striking. I loved so much about it. I loved the fact that because the prices were more affordable, a much wider range of Canadians were able to attend. I loved seeing Terry Fox's parents carry the flame into the stadium. I loved the way the ceremony finished off, with the "Celebrate the Spirit" song. I loved the athlete's parade. I could go on and on about all that I loved about it, but I think that I'll do this in my signature style-write a top ten list. So...
The Top Ten Moments of the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympic Games:
10. Harper and Jean waving their pom-poms in the air like they just don't care.
9. Finding out that the word "Paralympic" doesn't stand for paralyzed or paraplegic, it stands for parallel. As in, in parallel with the Olympic Games. The same, but different.
8. The final song, "Celebrate the Spirit of the Games". It was so upbeat; it conveyed the spirit of the Games well.
7. Seeing the parents of Terry Fox carry the flame into BC place. I can't imagine anyone better suited for the job.
6. The performers carrying the balloons into the stadium. Then, using 21st century technology, having the images shown on those same balloons.
5. "We Rise Again" performed by Nikki Yanofsky and the Vancouver Choir. It sounded beautiful. Like nothing I've ever heard before. And I can't believe that I know some people in that choir-it sounded like it was performed by professional singers.
4. A new generation of greatness: fifteen year-old torchbearer Zach Beaumont lighting the Paralympic Cauldron. In the words of Michaëlle Jean (at a different event) : "You are the future, of course. But you are also the present."
3. The amount of audience participation in the ceremony. The waving, clapping, cheering, signing and flashing (of the gold cards, I mean, ;)...) was incredible.
2. The flower and butterfly graphics all over the floor. Truly amazing 21st century technology at work again, people.
1. The Athlete's Parade:
So many athletes that rise above their diability and go on to achieve greatness. I admire them even more than the Olympic athletes, because they had to work so much harder to get where they are now. I only wish we all had that much perseverance in us.
And there's more. So much more... Maybe I'll do a part two, but for now these are the ten moments of the Paralympic Opening Ceremony truly worth mentioning.