I have to admit I have a thing for amateur sport. I am always amazed at what the human body—and human spirit—is capable of. The heights which elite athletes reach never fail to inspire me to reach higher as well. In my current enfeebled state I especially appreciate the athletes for doing, on my behalf, what I can’t do. They fly for those who walk.
I’ve been watching bits and pieces of the opening ceremonies. The torch lighting was absolutely fantastic. It’s amazing that such a technologically complex display can also be so deeply primal. Nearly as primal were the great disco tunes played while the athletes entered the stadium. They even threw in some Depeche Mode and Aretha (but I could have done without the Van Halen).
The women chosen to bear the Olympic flag are truly awe-inspiring. They included Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Muta Maathai, Isabel Allende, Susan Sarandon (past UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador), and Sophia Loren (past UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador). It was a wonderful sign of respect for these women and for all women who work to keep the planet in one piece.
In the back of my mind is the fact that the next winter Olympics will be taking place just across the Salish Sea. As a tax payer I’ll probably be paying for 2010 for the rest of my life (Montrealers are still paying for ’76), so I hope we pull off a good show too. At least we can hold our own in the tenor department. Whether we’ll actually have snow is another question, especially after this incredibly warm “winter” we’ve just had. It was so gorgeous and warm today that I saw a fellow taking his red Ferrari out for a spin with the top down. There’s a proud Italian symbol that is not helping to keep snow on the mountains!