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Saturday, August 09, 2008

Going for Gold in Men's Insomnia

I stayed up until nearly 5 AM New Zealand time last night (today!) to catch the opening ceremonies of the Olympics in Beijing. I nearly ignored the alarm that went off at 11 PM in order to stay in bed as sleep, once it takes hold, is hard to give up.

But I'm so glad I didn't!

Like many of you I was blown away by the entire spectacle. They made the fireworks look so great and so easy to do but I guess it should come more naturally to the culture that invented gunpowder. My favourite touch regarding the fireworks was the set of 28 footprints leading up to the Bird's Nest Stadium, representing all of the Games to come before this one. It's only too bad the people in the stadium could not get the full effect of that, although they sure got an overload of other amazing things.

The final torch-bearer's run (Li Ning) across the inner rim of the roof was spectacular and I just couldn't get over how BIG the freakin' torch was! For a brief moment, I thought the flames were going to engulf the poor guy as well, it went up in such a roar. The continuing theme of the unraveling scroll throughout was a nice touch, especially how they carried off that special effect. The painters who laid down the initial sketch of a mountainous skyline, coupled with all of the athletes' footprints finishing the work, was an exceptionally nice touch. England have their hands full trying to top this opening ceremony, especially the torch. Wow.

It was a thrill to finally see the American contingent emerge once all of the nations' athletes began to take center stage. It was nice to hear them get such a warm reception from the Chinese crowd, too. I thought the American uniforms were interesting, as everyone seems to have just left the yacht club in order to come to the Games. I half expected to see Spalding from Caddyshack walk in front of the camera, bitching about how he wants a hamburger, no a hot dog, and a milkshake...

Anyways, I always love it when the Olympics are on, even more than when the soccer World Cup is going. China (Beijing, anyways) is only four hours behind us, which is good because most stuff won't be on time-delay for us here in New Zealand. The bad thing is, event coverage will go until 4 AM most nights, so I am going to be sleep-deprived for the next fortnight! But I don't mind in the least, the Olympics for me are always something to savour. I especially enjoy these Games more than the Winter Olympics, although they are great fun as well.

Say what you will about China, they got the spirit of the Olympics right last night. Maybe I've been reading the newspaper too much lately, which is usually full of mostly bad news, but the world needs this shot in the arm every once in a while of goodwill and humanity.

Citius, Altius, Fortius.


Blogger Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

I’m in 100% agreement with you, Brooksie—including my own lack of sleep from watching the games.

1:22 PM  
Blogger Brooksie said...

Hey that's good Nick! Now we are rivals in this event. I'd be OK losing out the gold to you in the insomnia category, but there is a meteor shower tonight that peaks at 2 AM so you won't be gaining any ground today!

9:30 PM  

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