Daisy Bateman

Bring On The Curling!

Since I’m planning on watching approximately eight zillion hours of the winter Olympics over the next couple of weeks, I thought I’d blog about it. Which, knowing me, should last about three days before I get bored and slack off. Anyway, it should be fun while it lasts. Since I’m watching everything on Tivo, postings will be somewhat delayed.

Now: The opening ceremony

The first performance looked like what you would get if you gave your cousin the dance major at Reed several million dollars and a cast of a few hundred people in red spandex and told her to express ‘passion’. Or possibly ‘gastric upset’. The point is driven home by rollerbladers shooting jets of flame out of their heads, which must be the sort of thing that makes sense in Europe.
Then there is a kind of lovely interlude with old guys playing alpenhorns and people dressed as sparkly trees, before the walz of the cows. Which is to say, people dressed in cow-patterned outfits, waltzing while other people dragged plastic cows around the stage. I almost cried.
The Italian flag was brought out by former athletes in Armani shrouds, plus one very sparkly model. The anthem is sung by the obligatory adorable tyke- and even she’s wearing those big fuzzy boots. Those damn things are everywhere.

Okay, now we’ve got formation raving by people in jumpsuits with miner’s headlamps. And now they’re doing the wave. And karate. (I’m doing this is real time, so my verb tenses are going to change. Deal with it. Or not.) All right, the giant skier formation is kind of cool, but the people in the lower seats must have no idea what’s going on.

Here come the flaming rollerbladers again.

I wonder is Cirque de Soleil gets any money when people rip them off like this. I assume the people in gold facepaint doing handstands on the scaffolding represent something, but I don’t really care.

Albania only has one athlete, but he’s hot.

‘Andora has more ski lifts per person than any other country in the world.’ See? This is educational.

The poor girls carrying the country namecards have been forced to dress as mountains. Complete with little plastic skiers.

What’s with the disco soundtrack? Isn’t Italy supposed to have good music?

So far Bellarusse is an early favorite for best-dressed; I’m liking the dark fur hat-knit scarf combo. The Canadians are wearing some seriously silly hats. But the Chinese just overtook them in the dorkiness sweepstakes with their dress-length parkas.

The Costa Rican contingent looks strikingly un-latino, in the sense of being a blonde chick.

The Macedonians came dressed for the international hubcap distributors conference. The French look impeccable, of course. Love the peacoats.

And the winners and still champions, Worst Dressed Olympians. . . Germany! Because traffic-cone orange and so-ugly-there-isn’t-a-name-for-it green are never a good combination, especially in a knit baseball cap with earflaps. (At least the are very unlikely to be run over; which may have been a consideration, given the alleged nature of Italian drivers.)

The Virgin Islands delegation is a 52 year-old woman who does the luge (luges? is a luger?)

The Republic of Kyrgystan apparently gets its hats from the people at Hotdog on a Stick. And the Mongolians are wearing an average of four small furry animals per head.

They’re playing ‘YMCA’ for the second time.

The Americans get a warm reception, which is nice. Outfits unexciting but trim.

Only two countries to go. We can do this.

And the crowd go wild for the home team. Unfortunately, they’re all wearing those silver emergency blankets you keep in your car in case of a freak snowstorm.

“And now a reenactment of Botticelli’s famous painting ‘The Birth of Venus’.” Sans boobies, of course.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have the first ever Olympic stripper. Granted, he’s wearing a flesh-colored bodysuit covered in ‘veins’ and he apparently represents the future. Which appears to have occured in the Castro circa 1983. Now they’re building a car.

Donuts! They’re doing donuts with a Ferrari in the middle of the Opening Ceremony. Italy is cool.

‘Pictures of things made out of people’ seems to be a theme here. The dove was okay, but the skier was still better.

Yoko Ono is going to sing. Has it really come to this? (Fast forward button, do your stuff.) Even at double speed she looks unbearably pleased with herself.

Do these people not realize that ‘Imagine’ is about how great Communism is? Yay, suppression of individual rights for the common good! Pretty song, though, and Peter Gabriel does a good John Lennon impression.

The cauldron is lit by Stefania Belmondo, who appears to be famous in Italy. She does a fine job of it and nothing explodes that isn’t supposed to. Actually, the torch is pretty awesome.

All in all, a fine ceremony, but I don’t know if I would have felt good about spending a thousand dollars to sit out in the cold for four hours to watch it.

Leave a Comment