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Beijing Olympics 2008 - What are you following?
#1
With only a few short hours until the opening ceremony starts in Beijing, will you be following the Olympics?

If so, what events are you looking forward to? Big Grin


My favourite events have to be track, some of the field, some of the gymnastics, the occasional hockey (field rather than ice ^^) and a few others that happen to capture the imagination (during one of the other winter Olympics, Curling suddenly became 'the big thing' because the UK won Gold in the end.)

Can't wait till the start of the opening ceremony! It's supposed to be the best, ever! Yaay

Congratulations!
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#2
the opening ceremony was brilliant! when that guy went up and ran aross the stage Big Grin really good.

I'm gonna follow the hockey ladies...the dutch ladies are already european and world champion..so I'm hoping they get the gold! besides just watching them puts a smile on my face ^^

dunno what else i'm gonna watch Big Grin
Rafe Blake:"NO WAY, was that my cameo?"
Kenji:"yup"
Rafe Blake:"REALLY?"
Kenji:"Well, you "are" a minor character..unlike me"
Rafe Blake:"MINOR?"
Teeda:"That's what he said, bro. Besides at least you can "fly away"."
Kenji:"haha! good one! haha!"
Teeda:"hahaha!"
  Reply
#3
I totally agree with you, Dean! Big Grin 91,000 people plus all the athletes (at least 10,000 if we allow for the other 5,000 being away at other Olympic grounds) - the atmosphere must have been fantastic! Some of it was surprisingly moving actually ~~

If you mean the part where the guy has to run all around the top of the 'bowl' to light up the torch, that part really really blew me away! Big Grin He was so brave though, it's so high up!

I always seem to miss the hockey matches (I think I only managed to watch *one* during the last Olympics) but I love the game itself, and hope the Dutch do well (of course, GB comes first but still Tongue)

Just some pictures from Flickr:
[Image: 2746606849_195db5ece3_m.jpg]
"One World, One Dream" slogan, featuring the 'World' rising up from the ground, and images of children from everywhere at the rim of the 'bowl'. The main theme was sung by Liu Huan and Sarah Brightman (they were on the top of the world)

[Image: 2746606839_b15371d047_m.jpg]
Just a glimpse at the some of the reported 20,000 fireworks (not sure that the unit is?) used for the opening ceremony. The footsteps to the Bird's Nest part was inspiring.

[Image: 2746627367_258f7071d7_m.jpg]
The sheer scale and numbers... 91,000 spectators and 10,000 athletes, and this excludes all the performers and the staff working behind the scenes.

[Image: 2746612953_598a64f6fb_m.jpg]
The count down begins till the start of the opening ceremony. Can you believe this was all done by 2008 people on the drums?

[Image: 2747002612_327508c303_m.jpg]
The very ones that you see here!

[Image: 2746484539_d9a1d2a869_m.jpg]
They started off with an empty space in the middle of the scroll that unfurled to reveal Chinese culture and history, and as the dancers elegantly pirouetted their way round the paper, they added ink and drew clouds and mountains, typical of Chinese calligraphy art.

[Image: 2746484543_70eebfcd19_m.jpg]
And this is a shot of the scroll itself.

[Image: 2746366379_54d0046400_m.jpg]
Which was used as a centre stage for many of the themed performances, which, by the way, were all coordinated by the director of "House of Flying Daggers", Zhang Yimou.

[Image: 2747195478_b43af982a7_m.jpg]
The pillars from the previous picture 'rose up' from the ground, each with a performer in elaborate outfits, some of them being styles from different dynasties. Note the gold dragons carved into the pillars.

[Image: 2746001803_40515807f8_m.jpg]
Some exceptionally elegant dancers (men and women) and one lady in particular danced centre-stage on a moving platform on the scroll.

[Image: 2745911341_86a882fd31_m.jpg]
The very-one that was painted live by the dancers before. This is probably a better picture showing the overall effect. This canvas was subsequently enhanced by several other painter performers, including school children colouring the canvas during a 'lesson'. It was then laid onto the ground during the team parade, and every single athlete who took part in this parade had to step on some ink pads and leave their footprints.

[Image: 2746154825_0e791e32f0_m.jpg]
This was a depiction of the less well-known history of "Zheng He" sailing around the world at least 87 years before Christopher Columbus set off (he also had a compass)

[Image: 2746414015_5a24ab6956_m.jpg]
And again, more fireworks in and around the bird's nest. One of my favourites had to be the 'ringed' fireworks that shot up 5 at a time to depict the Olympic rings.

[Image: 2746489437_aa25a7dc91_m.jpg]
Last but not least, the lighting of the Olympic torch, which no one had seen during rehearsals, and it was just amazing and very symbolic. They kept the identity of the last torch bearer (Li Ning) secret until the very end. He was raised up to almost the roof/ceiling of the Bird's Nest, and seemed to run around the rim whilst another scroll unfurled itself, and the videos of all the runners who had relayed the torch and many other videos were projected onto his path.

I've missed out quite a lot of pictures here, where they showcased 'movable type' (this is quite something, I will try and find the video for this as I was seriously impressed) 'Confucius', the "Terracotta Warriors", all the indigenous tribes (50+) dancing in their traditional outfits etc. but I think it's pretty safe to say that this was the best opening ceremony I've ever seen.

p/s: Just found this 'panoramic' (if small) photo of when the fireworks were all let off together at one point: http://www.flickr.com/photos/xav_hc/2746701007/sizes/l/
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#4
the dutch football team sucked..2-2 Sad against the USA(1 of the most suckiest football nations...)

the dutch swimming estafette ladies got GOLD! whoohoe!

watched the hockey ladies Big Grin netherlands - South Africa 6-0 ^^
Rafe Blake:"NO WAY, was that my cameo?"
Kenji:"yup"
Rafe Blake:"REALLY?"
Kenji:"Well, you "are" a minor character..unlike me"
Rafe Blake:"MINOR?"
Teeda:"That's what he said, bro. Besides at least you can "fly away"."
Kenji:"haha! good one! haha!"
Teeda:"hahaha!"
  Reply
#5
I saw the news about the Dutch swimming team! Big Grin Was pretty amazed actually, so go them! I'm surprised the Dutch didn't do so well - I heard they did play well against Russia, but the latter were just too amazing?

Saw a bit of GB vs Germany... but they were 2-1 down at the start of the second half, and I don't think they managed to pull it back. The pitch was really wet though!
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#6
no they are different football teams Big Grin the one in the olympics is the dutch team till 21 (with a few older players). They are europian champion in their class.

yeah I saw the rain during the hockey matches..terrible! so much water, it looked like they played in the Netherlands!
Rafe Blake:"NO WAY, was that my cameo?"
Kenji:"yup"
Rafe Blake:"REALLY?"
Kenji:"Well, you "are" a minor character..unlike me"
Rafe Blake:"MINOR?"
Teeda:"That's what he said, bro. Besides at least you can "fly away"."
Kenji:"haha! good one! haha!"
Teeda:"hahaha!"
  Reply
#7
It's great that they're doing so well! Big Grin I guess football might have really gotten more talent in the US since David Beckham went over. A question here though: how come Brazil get to field Ronaldinho but the Dutch team only get to have mostly under-21s?

Haha, it's a bit like playing in England as well Wink
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#8
well every team can have like 2-3 (methinks it was a total of 3) players that are older than -21. Like we have Roy Makaay, he's an oldie. Dunno bout the rest. Is England playing football in the olympics?
Rafe Blake:"NO WAY, was that my cameo?"
Kenji:"yup"
Rafe Blake:"REALLY?"
Kenji:"Well, you "are" a minor character..unlike me"
Rafe Blake:"MINOR?"
Teeda:"That's what he said, bro. Besides at least you can "fly away"."
Kenji:"haha! good one! haha!"
Teeda:"hahaha!"
  Reply
#9
woot woot! im definitely following men and women's gymnastics as well as swimming. omgahh michael phelps is just raking in the gold! and last night's gymnastics was awesome! very nice of u.s. taking gold and silver! yayy shawn and nastia!!

to be honest im not much of a sports person but watching the olympics is just so addicting!! i can't peel myself away from the t.v. after i saw the synchronized diving. the chinese were so good!
Lets go to hell, with our hands clasped, together. As we enter its fiery gates and hear the cries and shouts of the damned, we'll walk in with smiles in our faces and scorn God, for not even death can withstand our love.
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#10
@Dean: Now that you mention it, I'm really not sure? The English Premier League has just started, and I haven't read any news about the footie team from Great Britain, so I guess that might be a no? Although I think the main reason is probably because they didn't even qualify (we didn't qualify for Euro 2008... oh, the shame)

@ichi: I heard the news today! He's finally broken the record (8 golds in one game!) I watched some of the team gymnastics (where China won gold) and some of the men's individual, and was just stunned! The control of almost every single gymnast there was simply... Zomg! It makes me think I really shouldn't trip over things. I saw parts of the synchro, and can hardly believe that two people can be *that* together.



p/s: And just to rub it in: Great Britain are now 3rd in the overall medals table! This is because we now have 11 golds... a big wow since hardly anyone expected that! It's a pity that some of the people who were expected to be in contention didn't quite make it, but there were some nice surprises!

p/s2: I trust EVERYONE saw Usain Bolt break the new 100m World Record!?!? He wasn't even trying, especially in the last 10m! Wink If you can see it, the video is here:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/olympics...565203.stm
He makes it look easy. The margin was just unbelievable!
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