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Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony - Soapbox Rant

Saturday, February 13, 2010 Posted by Rita A

It has begun. The Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony was last night. Did you watch it? I had a special interest in watching because my husband is one of the cameramen for the televised production. He has been at the rehearsals for a week now and told me such great things about the ceremony and what to watch for. I waited in anticipation for the snow boarder to continue his descent into the arena. Why did they stop him? It should have been a fluid timed entrance as if he came right off the mountain. That would have been cool! I could not wait to see the totem poles rise from the stage. So what happened to the spectacular events? NBC coverage that's what happened. It was delayed coverage on the West Coast so I am not sure what may have been seen on the East Coast. Here the coverage started at 7:30 pm pst. The actual ceremony did not start until 9 pm. By that time my hubby was already done at the arena and had called me to see what I thought. I was watching the ceremony to tell him what was being shown while on the phone with him and it was so cut and chopped by NBC and all the advertisers that we missed some of the key moments. The totem poles actually rose from the floor. What did I see? They were already up and one of the groups had already spoken when they cut back to the coverage. When I told him it was so cut he promptly shared the info with the production crew on his end. They could not believe what we had missed. Hubby was in shock that is was so cut because it was fantastic! Unfortunately it lost its dramatic edge for me. Then all the athletes started marching out. I lost complete interest in the coverage and changed the channel for a while as I am sure many folks may have done thinking it was the end of the show. When I came back 40 some minutes later the athletes were just finishing. Apparently the ceremony was then going to become spectacular. I started watching again but the hosts would not shut up. I wanted to experience the ceremony not hear every aspect of what was going on from irritating hosts. I was checking through all my tv channels to see if I could find an international feed to watch instead of the really bad NBC coverage. I could not find any. It was now almost 11 pm my time and I turned the whole ceremony off. The great opening ceremony my hubby praised for a whole week was nothing but a fizzle to me.

Apparently it was every bit the lavish and extravagant show it was meant to be and he was so excited to be a part of it. I only wish NBC would have let the show speak for itself and televised it without interruptions! I hope I can find the highlights of the ceremony to see what I may have missed.

UPDATE - I was able to find and connect to the feed at NBC Olympics. I watched the entire Opening Ceremonies. It was a spectacle! I am amazed at the effects and the stories. Beautiful production. For anyone interested, when they began the countdown to the ceremony and showed numbers 7 then 6, that was one of my hubby's shots!  Pretty Cool!

My thoughts go out to the family and the teammates of the athlete who lost his life yesterday. Too young to be taken.

I am anxiously awaiting the closing ceremonies now because that means hubby will be coming home!

What did you think of the ceremony? Did you watch the entire show?


  1. leela said...

    hello rita,
    i feel fortunate to have watched a live stream from the UK of the opening ceremonies - the whole event was covered and it WAS stunning and brought tears to my eyes so many times!!! until it seemed NBC hijacked the coverage there, too.
    I was disappointed to have to wait until 9pm to see the event on the television and was excited however to watch it again. i am a canadian living in seattle and am very frustrated with the NBC coverage - i agree with everything you said, AND as hard as i tried to stay awake to watch the torch lit at the end i feel asleep - the coverage was so poor and midnight is too late for me.
    cheers to your husband's participation, however!! wonderful!

  2. Pam said...

    I am guessing you are not able to watch a Canadian TV channel. On CTV the coverage started in Vancouver at 4:30 - and we were able to see everything and it was quite spectacular. I would have thought the reason the ceremonies started at 4:30 would be to accommodate the East coast. We saw the poles rise from the floor and very few commercial breaks. Are you able to get any Canadian channels where you live? I have found over the years that NBC is terrible for their Olympic coverage and you are right they talk the whole time. I must say that I really think Canada did a great job of the Opening ceremonies and it is too bad you were not able to see it in like it truly was meant to be seen.

  3. Tired Mom Tesa said...

    I'm really glad you wrote this because I did watch it last night and was so disappointed. I know it was probably difficult to top China's Opening Ceremonies but it felt to me like they didn't even try. I'm really glad to know that it was a spectacular event and it was due to poor coverage by NBC. That sounds strange but at least it was enjoyed by the attendees and the crew and now we know what was supposed to happen. Maybe there's some online videos that will show everything we missed.

  4. Miss Fanny said...

    I thought the opening ceremony was lovely. The hosts did do a lot of talking. Bummer about the final part where the they had technical trouble. Looking forward to the games!

  5. sandy said...

    I watched the entire thing, despite being very tired. I was great here on the East coast!

  6. fredamans said...

    Watch it on CTV the official Olympic channel.

    It was awesome btw!!

  7. MisAdventuresofMomof3 said...

    Rita- How neat that your husband is at the Games, but at the same time you must really miss him.

    I agree that the Chinese Opening Ceremony was amazing and hard to top! I believe that Canada tried to do something entirely different. I wish the announcers had shut up for just a second. I could see that it was beautiful - the LED screens were really neat.

    My own opinion here but Chris Collingsworth needs to stop pretending he can relate with the Flying Tomato! That made me giggle.

    I loved that monologue or poem or whatever by that gentleman about Canada - that was really neat. I loved watching the dancers.

    I'm glad that the parade of nations happened early so that the athletes could see it (and at least someone could enjoy the ceremony).

    Hope your hubbie returns home safe and sound!

  8. Ms Bibi said...

    Being Canadian and Vancouverites we watched the complete ceremony all night long.

    In my opinion it was spectacular, fantastic and breathtaking.

    The native dancers danced all night...such an endurance. K.D. Lang totally rocked the song. The laser show was fantastic. The whales looked so real. It was like looking at them in the ocean.

    One thing I did not like was the way the Canadian Anthem was sung. It was too stretched out and my kids weren't even able to sing with the person.

    Last night was night to remember for all British Columbians and Canadians alike.

    The tribute to the Georgian athlete was very touching. Such a tragedy, such a young life taken away too soon.

  9. hondaray6 said...

    I did watch the entire show and really enjoyed it. I agree that topping China would be hard but Canada did it totally different and it was beautiful.They did such a good job of tying in all areas of their huge country!The dancers were spectacular and what stamina! Yes, the commentators commented WAY to much as they always do at any sporting event. But as for the show it was wonderful.Its so exciting to see all the atheletes representing their countries with pride.I'm sure none of us have any idea of the way they had to work to get there. Its just awesome.I'm looking forwarding to the games.

  10. Newlywed + Unemployed said...

    We watched the opening ceremony on NBC and got to see the totem poles rise and everything. I dunno how we saw different versions of the same broadcast.

    My biggest complaint is that it was a delayed broadcast. By the time NBC aired it here on the pacific coast, the East Coast was already posting photos, articles and tweets about it.

    I wish we could have all experienced the wonder together.

  11. SamiJoe said...

    Oh rita, i am so so sorry that your American station hijacked this ceremony.
    I was one big bag of Canadian tears last night-breathtaking!
    Especially the whales! Please tell me you saw the whales??

  12. junebug said...

    I have to say that I was disappointed by the coverage but with my imagination I can tell that it must have been awesome to see in real life. I loved kd lang - I thought she threw it down. The Olympic hymn was great and I really loved the poetry slam and the fiddler/tap part. I would have loved to see it in person. Athens is still my favorite of all-time but this would definitely tie for second with China.

  13. Rita A. said...

    Hi everyone! Thanks for the comments and the suggestions on where to find the coverage. I ahve been able to find some of the highlights of the ceremonies. Yes I loved the whales! I will try to catch all the highlights that I can find. Enjoy all the games!

  14. AlyGatr said...

    AMEN! I never wanted Matt Lauer to shut up so badly in my entire life. I honestly just stopped watching because I was so annoyed. I'm hoping to catch it uninterrupted in some other media form!

  15. LMJ said...

    There were some parts of it that were impressive. Yes, the Chinese Olympics opening ceremony is hard to top. I loved it, though. Yes, I agree, they talked too much. I wanted to listen to the music and just talking.

    I was impressed at how long the dancers danced. I watched all through some singing parts, and then there was a lot of talking. It got late, so I went to bed, and didn't finish. I'm hoping I can see the whole thing somewhere else.

  16. Kathleen said...

    Watched it in Houston on the local affiliate and saw the entire beautiful show. I'm sorry you weren't able to. It sounds as if it was more the local stations' fault, though. We saw everything!

  17. Owen's Mom said...

    Loved your rant! I had many of the same complaints last night.

    I live in Oregon and was so disappointed that it went so late! I finally went to sleep at midnight but didn't watch the outside torch be lit. There is no way I could let my toddler stay up to see any of it. That is really too bad.

    I also wish it was shown without the constant chatter and "insightful" banter from the commentators. Maybe a dialogue box would be better? Or a write up online? I just wanted to enjoy it without the distraction.

    Grrr... I hate time delays.

  18. Candy said...

    Nice to meet you!!

    I too thought the opening ceremony was cut really bad. I am EST but saw a lot of bad production and I TOTALLY agree about the announcers! I am off to find that NBC feed and see the WHOLE ceremony :)