Thursday, 2 August 2012

Olympics 2012 - Day 0 to Day 6

If you didn't know that the Olympics has been running for the past few days, then I must ask: which rock have you been living under? Even if you were to go to Google, you'd see the various doodles they've been posting. And if you lack a computer, then, well, I don't know how you're reading this.
Day 0
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Those have been the doodles so far, though there are many more in store for us as the Olympics continue.

The sports featured in this year's Olympics are:

The Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics was interesting, a little quirky though, but there were a number of things I quite enjoyed about the Opening Ceremony~

It started with a number of people on the prairies or farm land, as they wished to display the land as it was being settled and built. After a reading from Shakespeare's play "The Tempest", they moved to the Industrial Revolution, where the stacks were lifted and the real pollution began (I don't think they meant to point that out, but there was a lot of smoke coming from those things).

A moment of silence to in memory of the two world wars was taken. Then, "forged" within this industrialized setting was the amazing, sparking, Olympic rings.

After that was a James Bond sequence, in which the 'Queen' jumped out of a helicopter with one of the James Bond actors (names... names... I have none...). It was quite fun, with both of them opening up their parachutes to reveal the UK Union Jack. Once the real Queen entered, the UK flag was raised and the national anthem sung.

Next was a segment for the National Health Society, in which volunteers from the hospitals as well as children who were patients were pushed around in beds, creating pictures with the lights and white beds.

Then came my favourite segment: a tribute to books. As author Maureen Johnson put it on Twitter:

Author J.K. Rowling made a "rare public appearance" (CTV commentators) and read a passage from Peter Pan. Upon her closing the book a gigantic blow-up Voldemort rose from the ground, roller skating child catchers ran around on stage and a bout of spooky music played as a child's bed floated. Then, came a shower of Mary Poppins, thwarting Voldemort (not as cool as Harry Potter, but you know...).

Quite an odd sight, if I do say so myself, haha.

Out comes Rowan Atkinson, most known for his role as Mr. Bean, joining the London Symphony Orchestra  in playing the theme to Chariots of Fire. As it was played, Atkinson sent a 'text', sneezed, used an umbrella to play the piano, and did a running sequence, in which he was racing and cheated by taking a car, and then tripped an Olympic runner (I'm not sure if he was an actual runner...), just to win the race.

After that, there was a segment dedicated to social networking as well as the music industry within London. They paid tribute to the Beatles, Queen, David Bowie, Eurythmics, and other groups and performers! It was a little odd, but these groups weren't really the most normal out there, haha~ Once it was over, the little social networking segment ended with the unveiling of the inventor of the Internet, who, in fact, is from the UK.

There was then an interesting sun dance that was a tribute of sorts to the family members, of those attending the ceremony, who had past away. Great meaning, but alike to other portions of the ceremony, it was a little quirky.

Then began the infinite parade of nations, each nation coming with a flag-bearer, a person holding the country's name, as well as a person carrying a horn of sorts. As the countries were being introduced, CTV commentators noted that a runner would be participating in the "ten centimetre run", which would definitely be a sight if such thing even existed xD

The horn was revealed to be a part of the Olympic fire, which would burn until the end of the Olympics. Each nation's horn was set on a stick (with lack of a better word) and set fire to. The final torch bearers were the 'future' of the Olympics, metaphorically, as well as literally, displaying the torch being passed on from the old generation to the new.

Definitely the most unique Olympic flame I've seen. Normally, it's just sitting in a large bowl on a podium, this was definitely cooler, also displaying the unity of the various Nations during the next two weeks.

Note: I do not own any of these pictures. They have come from either Google, here, here, or here.

As for mascots, we have Wenlock:

And Mandeville for the Parolympics:

On to the games:

Yesterday, I watched Kohei Uchimura, from Japan, win a gold medal in the Gymnastics individuals, while two days ago, Japan placed second to China in the Gymnastics team event. At twenty-three, he has been named the world champion three times and has become a big gymnastics superstar in Japan, and now internationally. He is so famous that many people (including his team mates) in Japan have adopted his haircut, now known as the "Kohei" (so says the Canadian commentators). We will (likely) see him again at the closing ceremony.

As for Canada, we've racked up a few medals: 5 bronze and 2 silver - which were brought in by our amazing men's rowing team yesterday, and the woman's rowing team this morning. Go Canada!

The USA holds the lead, when it comes to medals, with a total of 37 so far, while China is in close second with 34 (though they have more silvers than the USA, and an equivalent amount of gold medals).

This afternoon, Canadian swimmer, Sinead Russell, made it into the 200m backstroke finals for women, though I'm not sure if it's past already or if it's another day (I was out today and only caught a moment of today's events). Congratulations Sinead!

On another note, Canada's women's team made it to the Gymnastics finals, but did not place in the top three. However, they were the first Canadian team, I believe, to make it to the finals, to congrats to them too!

US's, formerly disgraced, superstar Michael Phelps won a gold medal today in the Men's Individual Medley event, leaving new found superstar, and Phelps's team mate, Ryan Lochte, in second place.

Canada's own superstar Clara Hughes did not place in the top this year in any event, ending up far down the line in the Bicycle-Road event, and placing fifth in the time trials. This is, supposedly, Hughes's last year in the Olympics, but you never know what the future might bring. She has been one of the few (as in like 2 or 3) athletes to compete in both the Winter and Summer Olympics, showing her finesse and speed in the 2010 Winter Olympics speed skating event 2 years ago. She has had an amazing career and Canada's own star~

Already, the games have created their own issues. There was one fiasco where the South Korean flag was put up on the board for soccer instead of the North Korean flag, resulting in two insulted nations, and a formal apology from the Olympic Chairman. That must've been embarrassing.
Then, in Badminton, there was a rigged game, in which neither team wished to rally the birdie back after the first serve, resulting in disqualification of the two countries, though I'm not sure which ones they're from (but I'm sure they were Asian...).
Also, two Olympic contenders have been sent home due to racist comments posted on Twitter (which, honestly, is the stupidest thing you could be sent home for. I mean, you made it to the OLYMPICS. And you're going to get yourself kicked out because you don't like another RACE? Jeez, this world...).

Can't wait to watch both Archery and the Track events (aka "Athletics") in the next few days ~ I'll be back with more updates soon~

Have fun watching!

- fishandchips

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