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2010 Winter Olympic Games Opening Ceremony

How envious am I of every living being in that dome in British Columbia. To witness the haven of the Winter Games. The Opening Ceremony was held today in Vancouver, the first time it was held indoors. The awe of the main stage, the cultural backgrounds shown by the Aboriginal peoples and the athletes and teams from countries across the globe.

The animation of the main stage was absolutely amazing. I could never have imagined such magnificent reality being created out of images and lights. Each effect, each story, each word and each song, was done so well that it really made me appreciate the value of being a Canadian. We live in a wonderful country, a mosaic of different cultures and traditions from around the world.

Personally, I’m proud that for the first time, Muhammad Abbas is bringing Pakistan to the Winter Games. I’m very proud that my country will be participating in the Winter Games for the very first time along with other countries around the world. Over 2600 athletes are performing from over 80 different countries, but unfortunately one of them met a tragic end at noon before the opening ceremony. Nodar Kumaritashivili, an Olympian from Georgia met a tragic accident during a training run for the luge. He was thrown from his sled and hit a steel pole at over 140 km/h. Kumaritashivili’s injuries were so severe he quickly passed away.

Although the day was burdened with sad news, the ceremony went on and Georgia appeared strong with heads held high and wore a black armband to mourn the death of their teammate. Addressing the athletes, Vancouver Olympic organizing committee CEO John Furlong and International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge acknowledged the loss.

“You compete with such bravery, conviction and pride at these Games,” Furlong said to the athletes taking part in the Olympics and the wide international audience watching.

“You now have the added burden to shine and be united around your fallen colleague Nodar. May you carry his Olympic dream on your shoulders and compete with his spirit in your hearts.”

Russia, the United States of America, and Canada brought in the largest teams to the games, 178, 216, 206, respectively. A slight problem was witnessed with the lighting of the indoor cauldron but nonetheless, the opening ceremony was a success with Wayne Gretzky carrying the Olympic Torch out to the waterfront to light the outdoor cauldron and start the Winter Games. After 106 days of carrying the torch, the wait is over… let the games begin!

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