2010 Vancouver Olympics Opening Ceremony vs 2008 Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony

Photo credit: nucksfan604 @ Flickr

Photo credit: nucksfan604 @ Flickr

Photo credit: nucksfan604 @ Flickr

Let me make it clear, it is absolutely unfair to compare the 2010 Vancouver Olympics Opening Ceremony to the 2008 Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony. The Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony was estimated to cost over US $100 million with lot more human resources put into the preparation. At the same time, I think it is important to capture lessons and learn something from the mistakes & failure of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics opening ceremony as these lessons, I believe, have wider implications.


As a proud Canadian, I wished that none of the mistakes or failure happened but since they happened, I want to talk about them openly.

1) Technical malfunction/failure: one of the four pillar of the Olympic cauldron didn’t rise up (the one that Catriona Le May Doan supposed to light failed to rise up). And the indoor cauldron just took an impossible length of time to rise up which was a failure in itself. You see, the fact that, at the end, one of them didn’t rise up was extremely embarrassing for the organizers, and more important for us Canadians which are the host of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

For a proud nation that is famous for designing perfectly running robotic arms in space, the “beeping” reason that we couldn’t get a mechanical pillar to work proper is a total embarrassment. Someone has some explaining to do.

2) Mistake: The Olympic flag didn’t “fly” freely in the stadium last night. It is pretty much a standard operating procedure now to have air blowing out of the flag pole to make flags “flying” freely and beautifully indoor. The Olympic flag pole had those air blowing thing but it didn’t work as it should.

3) Potential serious failure: Wayne Gretzky carrying of the Olympic torch to the outdoor cauldron could have ended badly. Judging from the people running freely (too freely and wildly) and seemingly uncontrollably along the police truck, both the crowd or Wayne could have been hurt. And that risk, in hindsight, was a lot higher than an acceptable level for an international Live event.

4) Unwillingness of the Canadian media to report on the malfunctions: CTV and a few other Canadian media outlets, in the main opening ceremony reports, were unwilling to report on the malfunctions during the opening ceremony. May be because the opening ceremony was supposed to be a “happy event”. At the same time, it is as if the many Canadian media outlets decided to self-censor their reporting and NOT bring the malfunction to anyone’s attentions (or much de-emphasize them).

The likes of AP and other international media outlets had no problem reporting what happened. I guess my point here is that news should be reported, good or bad. When citizens of a country have to go to international sources to find out what happen in his/her own country, then we have a serious problem.

Bottom line

With all the flaws, mistakes, and malfunctions we had in 2010 Vancouver Olympics Opening Ceremony, I had a great time watching it. I LOVE it because I am Canadian. The various Canadians performing on stage were spectacular.

Now, I am not trying to single anyone out, it is just that the video is easily available to me. I want to say I had a great time watching k.d. lang sang Hallelujah at ”2010 Vancouver Olympic Opening Ceremony”.

Here is k.d. lang‘s rendition of Hallelujah in a different occasion and I think k.d. topped her own previous performance last night. Beautiful.

4 Responses to 2010 Vancouver Olympics Opening Ceremony vs 2008 Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony

  1. hevangel says:

    The opening ceremony is so boring. I watch it with friends and we keep making fun of every single section to keep us awake.

    Did you notice Wayze’s truck has a broken headlight?

  2. kempton says:


    I can’t disagree with you as part of the opening ceremony was boring indeed. I am sure I would have some fun joining in your party to the needed additional fun.

    Really, are you serious, Wayze’s truck had a broken headlight? That was a police truck, well, at least driven by police (I thought). I don’t know if you or others felt it, but we were really worried last night that portion could have been easily disrupted by the crowd.

    And seeing the rioters this morning, our worries were not too far off. If only a few of those unruly people were there last night, they could have at least stopped the truck easily, if not worst.

  3. hevangel says:

    Yeap. As a bunch of engineers we spot the broken headlight right away. Take a look at the recorded video, the right highlight is broken. It’s covered with some black tape.

  4. kempton says:

    I take your word for it. Wow, broken headlight, yikes.

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