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Friday, August 13, 2004

The Olympics on CBC

I watched the opening ceremony of the 28th Olympiad at home today. One of the benefits of staying at home all day is being able to watch all 202 countries get introduced (I had only heard of about 80 or so of these countries before today).

Thanks to the Greek alphabet, Canada entered the stadium as the 73rd country. I was disappointed to see our Canadian atheletes lugging around really old, clunky camcorders and digicams when only moments before the US and Japanese atheletes had showed off some of the sleekest, shinest digital gizmos I've seen all year. I even saw one Canadian use a cheap looking non-digital camera (like the kind you get for renewing your subscription to Mclean's Magazine). How can we expect our atheletes to compete at a world-class level when our technology is so far behind? If we can't even give them a decent digicam, what are the chances that our countrie's best atheletes are getting the type of non-detectable super-steroids that other nations' atheletes get? I'm a sports purist and I cry inside when I realize that our atheletes cannot compete on a level playing fields because they lack the sort of government-sponsored doping program that other nations have...excuse me for a second, there's something in my eye.

I thought the Chinese team chose a rather odd flag-bearer this time around. Now, I know Yao Ming is a great basketball player but at more than 7 feet tall, he is hardly representative of the Chinese people. It looked like he was leading a pack of midgets for crying out loud!

The biggest shocker for me came when the Hong Kong team entered the stadium admist the loudest cheers of the night. My jaw dropped as I saw the 75,000 spectators jump to their feet to give the Hong Kong atheletes a standing ovation. Sure, Hong Kong is going through some tough economic times and their nascent democracy is under tremendous stress from the Mainland, but a standing ovation? Come on...that's excessive. It turns out I was right. Most of the spectators there probably couldn't even find Hong Kong on a map and they were, in fact, cheering because the Greek team came right after the HK team.

After all 202 countries had been introduced, we were treated to a creepy, make-the-hair-on-the-back-of-your-neck-stand-up performance from Bjork. I think (and I hope I'm wrong on this) the last line of the "song" went something like "Your sweat is salty And I am why Your sweat is salty And I am why." What does that mean? Can someone please tell me what that means? Are there absolutely no female singers in Greece that they have to find this nutjob from Iceland? The whole thing made me wonder if the Greeks had spent a little too much on security and only had enough money left over for either Bjork or Yoko Ono...why they chose Bjork I'll never know.

Well, that about sums it up for the opening ceremonies. Honestly, I didn't think the whole thing was very impressive. I hope the closing ceremonies will be more entertaining to watch. It's a shame they threw in all these sporting events between the opening and closing ceremonies.

Your Favorite Jerk


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