Saturday, February 8, 2014


It is now time for the winter Olympics, here in Sochi, Russia for Olympic year 2014.  The Olympics occur every two years, alternating between summer and winter events.  Can you imagine being an Olympian? Such an honor will stay with you your entire life.  Years of training for the crescendo of a two week event.  And a lifetime of joy and satisfaction.  Imagine.

The Opening Ceremony

To begin the ceremony, five oversized snowflakes appear, then transform into the Olympic rings.  Alas, only four of the five snowflakes transform.  We in America see this, oversees in Russia, the video frame was cut so the viewer only sees four rings, not the lonesome snowflake on the end. Editing to camouflage the actual.

We witness a Chagall like opening, with a pretty young girl floating through the air, almost a moonscape quality, nature divine,with a pure singing voice while suspended in the air. We sail through the skies, over hill and dale, above the civilization below.  Tastefully done.

courtesy Getty Images,  Clive Mason

Parade of Nations 

88 countries are here to compete at this XXII Olympic Winter Games.

Greece first, the countries enter by the cyrillic alphabet. Americans will be somewhere in the middle. So exciting! These are great winter outfits. Bright colors, happy faces.

 Nice to see the smaller countries represented here. Every one has an equal chance of winning.!

There is a Rhodes scholar representing Bermuda, carrying his country's flag. You CAN be intelligent and athletic!  The best combination our life offers, embrace the challenge! Cute outfits with the "Bermuda shorts!"

I really like the female escorts with their mesh head gear, so majestic and elegant. The tall white outfits and boots make a winter statement.  These figures complement the electronic loopy white background sound of a fashion walk on a runway, the background music accents the pace of the athletes as they enter the arena. 

Here's Great Britain.  The Olympic sport of 'curling' originates form Scotland and it is the Scots who are curling for Great Britain.

A thought: Greatness comes from within.  It is not given, it is earned.

These athletes train and train.  You have got to love what you do!

Here come the Italians!  Handsome, strong and happy!  Are they wearing Armani?  Not sure.

Lots of Canadians! Lots of Chinese, the President of China is attending.  Looks like he is wearing an overcoat from Brooks Brothers.

About 7 athletes here are from Lebanon. 4 from Malta.  3 from Mexico, that's it? The Mexican flag bearer is 55 ears old, the oldest athlete here, handsome and stylish.  

Lots from the Netherlands, big on speed skating.

Tons of Norwegians, as a country they have won 303 medals at this writing, the most in Olympic history.  

4 athletes from Pakistan, probably for skiing.

Lots from Poland.  Pretty white outfits.

Lots form South Korea, where is North Korea?

San Marino has 3 athletes.

Slovakia has a 6' 9" flag bearer, he plays for the Boston Bruins hockey team, when he is not competing as an Olympian.

The Americans have arrived! Team USA outfits are designed by designer Ralph Lauren, and are made in America.  Wow! Great outfits with the stars as accents on patriotic jackets, very colorful! Team USA has  230 athletes, the largest ever for us. Team USA is a force!  Several men athletes here for a 'three-pete.'   We find three Boston College girls on the US Hockey team, and one athlete here from Boston College for the men's hockey team. great training at Boston College, especially at the Bean Bowl once a year! What a happy, energized group!

courtesy Getty Images

Here come the Ukrainians.  Bright yellow scarves with salt and pepper colored jackets.  The camera pans to Vladimir Putin, quietly clapping.

Lots from France! Gray jackets with beige kakis and national colors on their scarves.  

A lot also from the Czech Republic! Cute oversize furry gray hats.

The Swiss have a large contingent.  Lots of red.

Here's Sweden you would think there would be more athletes represented, but yet still enough.

The Jamaican bobsledders are here, watch out!

113 athletes from Japan.  All in white with black gloves.and black pants. Looks like the president of Japan is here.

Here come the Russians! Big cheers.  All in white blue and red.  Flap hats, and Putin smiles.  Blue coats for men, red for women.  This group is the largest delegation of all the athletes here.  Lots of cheers and clapping.

The Show

Russia has chosen to present an historical view of its country, from Ivan the Terrible, to Peter the Great, to revolution, industry, the Iron Curtain and on into the 21st century.  I am not sure if this choice of history was a wise decision, how can anyone condense hundreds of years into a few minutes? Truly impossible, but the effort was there, and the sets were different.  

As an American, I found the rendition of the decades of the 1940s, 50s, 60s and 70s curious, as the 'Iron Curtain' created by the Communist regime did not allow any communication outside Russia and the western world. Yet, the Russian pop culture presented here evoked direct lines with the Elvis Presley era from the United States in the 1950s.  Interesting if the two musical trends coincided, without the one either having knowledge of the other, or if so, then the paradox of approval of otherwise conflicting political trends and nations exists without any actual reasoning. We will never really know.

A really wonderful display here of ballet is the War and Peace rendering.  The dancers unfolded and unfurled in a wind of flowing beauty, like the unfolding pastel blossoms of a budding rose, lovely choreography.

courtes Star Tribune, Carlos Sanchez

The Olympic Torch

Tennis star Maria Sharapova, of Sochi, Russia, enters the stadium with the Olympic torch, continuing the relay.  She said earlier she was quite fearful of a flub, but as a true champion she passes the torch with ease and beauty.  

Photo RIA

It is truly exciting to see the smaller torch ignite the formal cauldron flame of the Olympics, the honor is bestowed upon Russian Olympic champions Vladislov Tretiak and Irina Rodnina.

Let the Games Begin!

Click here for NBC television schedule in the United States.

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