Image via Wikipedia
I love the Olympics. Love it. I didn’t get to watch the whole opening ceremony but I was able to watch the beginning and the parade of nations. I’m never too excited to watch the cultural part of the ceremony but I was very impressed with Vancouver’s. It was pretty amazing that they gave their aboriginal peoples such a huge spotlight. It was beautiful to see each tribe honored individually and their representatives given so much time on stage. I just can’t ever imagine the United States doing the same. I don’t have any idea how Canada has treated their native peoples but the way the Native Americans have been treated in this country has been and is still appalling. Maybe one day, even despite the awful history, our nation will sufficiently have made it right and will be in a place where they can justly and without guilt give tribute to the native peoples of our land and showcase this to the world.
Ok, onto fluffier stuff. My favorite part of the opening ceremony is that I love, love, love seeing what outfits the athletes are wearing as they come in. I know, I am ridiculous but it’s true. It’s so interesting what athletic garb each nation chooses to showcase to the world.
One of the commentators mentioned how all the athletes stand lined up in the parking lot as the ceremony gets started waiting for their country to be called. What a funny mental image. The world’s athletic prowess all waiting in alphabetical order on the asphalt outside like a high school graduation practice. I especially had to laugh when the Bermudan athletes walked in wearing blazers, ties, button-up shirts and Bermuda shorts. They must have been cold in that parking lot. Thank God they are in the Bs.
Fast forward to actual competition. I really love clothing design and what it says about the person wearing it. As I was watching the snowboarding competition (which I really love) I was totally taken aback when the US competitors were wearing jeans. Not just jeans but jeans with that fake faded and torn look. What? Can you really compete at the Olympic level in fake-torn-and-faded jeans? Then to put this even more over the top, as I looked at the pants more closely, I realized they were actually just ski pants printed with the fake-torn-and -faded-denim look. Holy cow. Snowboarders. What badasses. <<cough*sarcasm*cough>>
Another thing I love about the Olympics is how different it is from professional American sports like football or basketball. These athletes are not rich. (Well, most aren’t) They just love the game. And I love hearing all the personal side stories. One figure skater who is married and has a 5 month old is at the Olympics despite his wife being laid off from two jobs and them barely being able to make end’s meet. Then there is Chinese couple that figure skated as partners for many, many years until one day he asked her to marry him. They are competing right now as the oldest couple in figure skating. Ancient compared to all the teens competing with them and they are really rocking it. I live for Bob Costas and his human interest stories.
Oh, Olympics, how I love thee.