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Sochi Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony

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  • Center Left
    Independent
    Denton, TX
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    Opening ceremonies are usually a big part the Olympics. They're a chance for a country to make their particular mark on the games, to show off their creativity, and to welcome the participants and the worldwide viewers to their country. And while the Winter Olympic Games are usually a little less low key than their summer counterparts, Putin and company have big plans to kick off the 2014 Sochi winter games nonetheless.

    We know that fireworks are going to be a big part of the opening ceremonies in Sochi, Russia, as evidenced by the rehearsal show just days ago. Apparently dancing will be a big part as well; 800+ are supposed to perform some "uplifting historical performance". That should be interesting. Maybe even the all girl band Tatu (a band known for being lesbian and supporting the LGBT) will perform. I would be amazed if that happened because of Russia's attitude toward homosexuality. But, some are saying that it might. Nobody is sure of the official itinerary as the game makers are keeping everything very hush-hush. One thing we do know is that the stage being used will definitely be visually cool; it has the view of mountains to one side and the Black Sea to the other. The stage also lights up. Should be visually impressive at the very least.

    The 2014 Winter Olympics opening ceremonies kick off tomorrow morning at 11am EST. But, it won't air for us nationally until 7:30pm EST. Far as I can tell, there's no live streaming options out there either. So, likely we will get reports before we even get to see it. Expect unofficial videos and advanced coverage all day tomorrow. 40,000 spectators will be there watching the opening ceremonies play out on the big stage in Sochi, Russia. Even though no one really knows what Russia has in store to kick things off, with Putin and company, it's always interesting. Usually not politically correct, but interesting still.
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Charlotte, NC
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    As excited as I was to see this always amazingly aesthetic, acrobatic, and vividly colorful show, this years Sochi opening ceremony seems to have been a "nail biter" the whole performance. With the thought of terror attacks... poor planning...gay rights... and other heavy topics (such as hotel room toilets) floating in the back of my mind, I couldn't enjoy the show nearly as much as I have been able to in the past. But on the other hand- Let the games Begin!
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Yes the Dutch already got 3 medals; in any case they got full support and attention of the Dutch Royal family who toured Sochi in public on bicycles. I don't see Obama do that; because he is absent. He probably thinks the wildly knitted vests by Ralph Lauren gets enough attention. About 90% of all the participants had normal training gear not displaying multi flags on their outfits; so I guess these outfits went overboard and overdone and display pure arrogance.
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Charlotte, NC
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    I fully agree... Seems to be a case of patriotism gone overboard. When 98% of the teams wear streamline athletic outfits, its a bit strange.
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    An American got a gold in snow boarding. The American pairs figure skating performed very well. I think the Russians are getting home field advantage as far as judging goes. Getting higher than deserved scores. There's always problems with judging.
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    I thought the uniforms were exceptional, just like America & our athletes are exceptional. Those uniforms were lively, prideful, & exemplary of U.S. ingenuity in design & knitting skills. The patriotic theme was quite obvious, designed by famous New York designer Ralph Lauren. By the way, Ralph Lauren's son, (David) is married to Lauren Bush, (who is a daughter of Neil Bush, & also a niece of George "W" Bush). Yeah, it gets complicated. But suffice it to say, the "designer" chosen to make uniforms for the U.S. Olympic Team -- has very close ties to the Bush family. And so it is very likely that the Bushes had more influence on the uniform design, than Obama ever did.

    I saw most of the Olympic Opening Ceremonies (on TV) & it was fantastic. Nearly flawless. The news seemed to exaggerate every little glitch, but I still thought it went spectacularly. I think Putin should be very proud & know how much we appreciate every one of his moves toward World Peace.

    The whole ceremony seemed to show a much kinder side of the Soviet facade. A blazing view of their history, with all its glory & grandeur, & major achievements in the world of performing Arts. And a tragic view of their "cold war" years, full of destructive attitudes, & the perseverance of their stoic people, despite all the turmoil around them. It was a heroic era, that gave them enough courage to face hardships & to survive them all.

    All being seen through the innocent eyes of an 11 yr old girl, being transported up on the string of a kite, floating far above the misty world below. The special effects were magical, as the "dream" she experiences is gradually made real, & all of it is faintly projected on dim snowy fields beyond.

    Then a beautiful musical sequence happened where dozens of young people ran into the arena, singing "We are Peace, We are War, We are Love, We are the Way we Treat Each Other." Anyway, it was a joyful episode reminiscent of the Peace Movement of the 1970's. I think Putin may have been in sympathy with that movement, since he appeared "touched" by some of that music & its exuberance. For the first time, the 'mask' he wears almost fell off. And we could almost see a real kind caring human being inside. That was one of the best parts of the Olympics for me.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    eternal flame --

    I'll agree with you on the opening ceremonies...they were spectacular. The only concern I have is that with each new Olympics, the host countries are seemingly going to greater and greater expenses to put on a show for the whole world to see and marvel at. The Chinese I think still had the most memorable ceremony. Do these shows need to be that extravagant?

    The cost of the games are getting so high that many countries cannot afford them. Greece needed a bail-out, and I just hope that Brazil will be able to complete all their stadiums and related facilities on time. They are also hosting the World Cup so maybe those stadiums will have some use. Likewise, Salt Lake City needed a large federal bail-out, although one wouldn't know that as Republicans tout Romney's success in those winter games.

    Depending on the chosen venue for the games, the massive investments in the infrastructure can be both a positive and a negative. For both China and Sochi there have been complaints from the locals about being forcibly displaced from their homes to make way for the Olympic facilities. If later those facilities have continued use that helps the locals, then it is positive. However, in the case of China and Greece and to a lessor extent Vancouver, many of the facilities have gone unused and are decaying or have been torn down. Take a look at this slide show from Reuters.

    Reuters Slideshow: Ghosts of Olympics past

    In China especially I remember all the reports of locals being forcibly evicted from their homes to make way for these facilities that after the games have not attracted the number of events to make them an economic success.

    In Sochi, I read that Putin wanted to develop this city as an alternative "playground" for rich Russians to go and relax instead of the French or Italian rivieras. It will remain to be seen if rich Russians will go there. Maybe they prefer the "privacy" of Monte Carlo better.

    And those American US uniforms? I agree with the others...too loud and overly patriotic.