Site of the 2010 Opening & Closing ceremonies.
Today I had the opportunity to get a sneak peak at the 2010 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony Pre-show held at BC Place Stadium in downtown Vancouver.
Ticket I got last minute to attend the pre-show.
Security tents are set-up behind me.
When I arrived at BC Place, there was a medium sized crowd bustling in front of the security tents. After about 10 minutes, we were directed towards the security check points. People with bags had to form separate lines from those without bags who were able to go through “Express Security”.
Crowd is directed towards security tents.
Happy that I get to go in the Express line.
I only had my iPhone and some chewy cinnamon hearts stuck in the inside of my pocket, which I regretted eating later, so I got through the Express line pretty quickly. It was very much like going through airport security except more smiley with less interrogation. Although my security lady was sporting a vicious gang of embroidered cats on her handbag, so I kept my eyes forward at all times.
i can haz catz purrrs.
Once in the stadium, it was clear that this was a dress rehearsal, not only for the performers, but all the staff working at the venue. Each food and merchandise stand had at least 10 people standing around looking confused and somewhat bored. I was starving, so I went on a hunt for food. My options, as it turned out, were not the most, how shall I say this nicely? I’ll just let the food speak for itself in this picture.
The BBQ chicken sub was so yummy someone ate it right off of the display!
I opted for some delicious $7 “spicy potato wedges”. They tasted like an overcooked Wendy’s baked potato with a slight hint of that red spice that doesn’t really taste like anything. Yes. Exactly like that.
Moments after taking this picture I actually said, “Ohh I feel a snarky blog post coming on”. This is how cynical I am now. I was ready to dismiss the Opening Ceremonies based on one soggy potato. Tisk. Tisk. But once I walked into the stadium and saw the Olympic rings, I felt a flush of, dare I say, emotion, pink up my cheeks.
I walked to the very top of the stadium and walked around the entire loop and took it all in. I was predictably taken with all the technical details and gear, including masses of electrical cables, enormous spotlights, speakers and tv cameras.
TVs for the broadcast
I snooped around the stadium and took some iPhone snaps until I got asked to return to my seat politely several times, and then once with a bit more gusto, so politely returned to my seat eventually. I am Canadian after-all! And then the show began with a bang!
Since this was a closed event, there were only about ten thousand people in the audience (full capacity = 55, 000). All ticket holders were asked to stay hush-hush about the performance they were about to see. Security was insane during the performance. Anyone taking pictures or video was ushered away by the police in a matter of minutes. Even if you were seen taking your cell phone out of your pocket an Olympic officer would politely remind you that there is no photography allowed.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to spoil any of the well-kept secrets of the Opening Ceremonies, though I will say that the themes, lighting, fxs and performances by some of Canada’s best performers were breathtaking, and even someone as cynical as myself felt truly moved and may have even shed a few tears watching the Canadian flag raised into the air during the National anthem. I felt a rush of pride for my country and remembered the true meaning of the Olympic games.
With my Olympic doubts washed away by this moving ceremony, I am ready to experience our hometown Olympics as they should be, “with glowing hearts” and “open wallets”, because official 2010 events ain’t cheap!