Friday, August 08, 2008

Beijing Opening Ceremonies

So I'm living in the future.. 'cause I just saw athletes' procession at the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony.  I'm watching it on Vietnamese TV because CCTV is not covering it for some reason.  

It's funny not watching it on NBC.  You don't get Bob Costas (or whomever is doing it this year) prattling on about the countries, pulling out random facts to beat you over the head with the fact that they are smarter than you (when in truth it's all about the research interns).  The local coverage for the most part is just comprised of announcing the country and the number of Olympic participants from said country.  

Some delegations are crazy small.. like two people worth.  Most of these countries coincidentally also served as set pieces for Survivor.  I think China had 600+ Olympians.  

The Vietnamese broadcaster didn't really say much about any of the countries until it got to the former Soviet Bloc - he was talking about Sergey Bubka when Ukraine was announced.  I guess all the communist countries know each other.   

A few interesting things from this 2008 Long March:
  • Taiwan used it's IOC flag, not it's country flag
  • Taiwan and Hong Kong got similar, hearty receptions from the crowd
  • Russia's reception was close to Taiwan and HK's
  • the USA got a nice crowd react, a bit less than Russia
  • may be my American sensibilities, but Iraq also got a nice applause
  • Sweden's outfits paid homage to the Beijing games in that the women were in Qipaos (cheongsam) and were carrying folding paper fans
  • Yao Ming is freaking tall; he waved that flag like some sort of robot
The locals also did a live translation of the Chinese opening games speech into Vietnamese.  Dang, that female translator is good!

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