Say what you will about the controversy over this year's Olympic Games, but the Chinese pulled off the Opening Ceremonies to the XXIX Olympiad with panache, zest, style, and grace. All I can say is "Wow!"
It was a sheer spectacular display full of pageantry. So far, this has to be the best Opening Ceremonies in my memory. Dramatic elegance, well choreographed, and creatively touching on themes central to the culture and history of China, it did the job! There was symbolism everywhere! With the exception to the goosestepping soldiers, one could almost forget China is Communist. Almost.
Most touching was when the Chinese Athletes strolled into the arena with Yao Ming at the helm. Alongside Yao and company was a survivor from the devastating Earthquake which rocked China back in May, killing over 70,000. Bob Costas and Matt Lauer described the boy's bravery and courage. Well done!
Thankfully, one concern of mine didn't pan out.
I was convinced all evening the United States athletes were gonna get a poor reception entering the stadium (remarkably called the "Bird's Nest" cuz that's sure what it looks like), but I was pleasantly wrong.
US athletes received rousing cheers and applause! Despite people's viewpoints with American involvement in world events, We were accepted as a part of the World family with open arms. I, too, was impressed when the Iraqi delegation received a positive reception. Contrary to the boos and jeering Iran got afterwards, the Iraqi athletes were showered with warmth.
Bush looked bored out of his gourd all evening. With exception to the USA athletes entrance, he sat looking miserable and uncomfortable, occasionally leaning over to whisper something to First Lady Laura. And someone please teach Dubya how to sit more Presidential. Hester pointed out early in the evening Georgie-boy sits with a "wide-eagle" posture, showing everyone his "package." Ick! How undignified! How trite for the Leader of the Free World not to suck it up one night and show a little enthusiasm. Jeez!
My most captivating event of the evening was the lighting of the Olympic cauldron, which my poor words cannot give adequate description. If you missed it, definitely catch it on YouTube. I was blown away. And the fireworks!!!! Again...."WOW!"
No matter your position on the Chinese, their politics, or the Olympic Games, one must admit this was one of their finer moments. A proud achievement for them and the world! Kudos!