A snowboarder performs a trick through the Olympic rings during the Opening Ceremony of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics at BC Place on February 12, 2010 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Donald Miralle)
After a couple days of powder skiing with friends, attending Sports Illustrated Photographer Simon Bruty’s 50th Birthday party (or maybe it was 45th?), and attending the 7th annual Cheesburger Gala for the Whistler Adaptive Benefit (featuring 2010 min cheesburgers) hosted by Whistler local photog and Troutsman Rich Glass, I was tired but more than ready to take a picture. After a little powder skiing with Mike “Pow-El” in the morning, we quickly checked in with the Head Alpine Photo Marshall Rick, grabbed a burger, and headed down the hill for Opening Ceremonies. Luckily for us Newsweek writer Mark Starr secured two passes for the Opening Ceremony for us, and after doing a “splash-and-go” at our hotel to shower and get our gear sorted, we grabbed a cab to the MPC (Main Press Center) for another Nascar pitstop, to grab our tickets and some Micky D’s.
Don and Mike hitting the trees and fresh powder (Photos by Miralle & Powell)
After inhaling our official Olympic food and drink, we sat in the rain and a ridiculous media cue outside of the BC center with only scanner for about 100 media members. After about 45 minutes of frustration, We finally got into the stadium and went to look for our seats. When I arrived to my section I quickly realized that I was the last photographer of about 75 to show up, the thing was about to kick off in about 5 minutes and there was one seat opened in the middle row and middle of the pack. A bunch of the guys looked at me like no way we’re moving but luckly Andrew Burton, sho is shooting his first Olympics after assisting the Newsweek crew in Beijing, and Senior Staff Photographer Mike Blake moved and made a spot for me. Thanks guys…
The ceremony stated with a bang with a snowboarder shooting off a ramp and blasting through the Olympic Rings. But after that hot start, over the next three hours we were inundated by a myriad of repelling dancers, singers, animals, indians, and nature motivs that got a little tiring. Coupled with the 1.5 hour long procession of athletes, I was having a hard time keeping keeping my eyes open.
There were a moment of silence for the Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili, who died in the luging accident during practice in Friday. The Olympic flag was half mast after a minute of silence for the 21 year-old athlete, whose Georgian team will continue to compete in his honor.
After another kind of disturbing skit where a giant 100ft light studded inflatable polar bears’ ice sheet breaks apart leaving him with no where to go and the polar caps melting, there were some nice musical perfomances by Nellie Furtado and some other dude who I forgot because Nelly looked so good, K.D. Lang, Sarah McGlocklin, and some guys who could mad tap and play violins so well I wished they played the “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”. We were all ready for the IOC Jacque Rogue speach and the flame to be lit.
Wheelchair athlete Rick Hansen, former ice hockey player Wayne Gretzky, speedskater Catriona Le May Doan, basketball player Steve Nash and former skier Nancy Greene take part in lighting the Olympic flame (Photo by Donald Miralle)
And after long last the torch made in into the building the last 5 bearers being wheelchair athlete Rick Hansen, former ice hockey player Wayne Gretzky, speedskater Catriona Le May Doan, basketball player Steve Nash and former skier Nancy Greene. Unfortunately, the mechanism to list two of the beams seems to fail, so only 3 out of the 5 went up, but I think few noticed including myself. Regardless, El fuego is lit which means the Games are on like donkey kong! Giddyup!!! Now I have to get back to the hotel pack for tomorrow’s Men’s Downhill with in all likelihood will be cancelled. Either way I think I have a two hour bus drive up followed by alot of waiting in the snow…talk to you soon!