Vancouver 2010 Opening Ceremonies Will Finally End Rumours and Speculation

The long awaited Vancouver 2010 Opening Ceremonies will be staged tonight, finally, amid a firestorm of speculation, rumours and full-out spoilers in the form of rehearsal videos released on YouTube. And as the first “Twitter Olympics”, people watching the top-secret dress-rehearsals were able to make casual comments and observations about what they saw immediately to anyone in the world who was paying attention.

Here’s a link to a topic in Forums complete with ceremonies images and video – a huge spoiler – be warned!

But no matter what you get from learning the details of the pageant in advance, nothing can compare to the drama created when the worlds’ top athletes patriotically enter the stadium followed by the Olympic flame and the lighting of the Cauldron – all watched by a considerable portion of the World’s population; that cannot be spoiled. It is clearly the most watched and emotionally stirring spectacle on the planet.

According to John Furlong, Chief of the Vancouver 2010 Games, the name of final torch-bearer and cauldron lighter has yet to be leaked. This secret is one of the biggest that organizers hope to keep under wraps at any Games.

Furlong told Canada’s GlobalTV “you can think about this as long as you’d like and you can think about the last moments of the ceremonies as long as you’d like and you’re not going to figure it out.”

That comment seems to rule out the person that most have assumed would be the one, or The Great One as he is known – hockey superstar Wayne Gretzky. Or is Furlong just playing with us? Either way – it will keep the anticipation and suspense alive during the ceremonies.

It almost seems that the Olympic ceremonies are designed to outshine the sports competitions of the Olympics. Along with the opening and closing ceremonies – Vancouver 2010 will hold elaborate medal ceremonies or “Victory Ceremonies” as they have been labeled – both in Vancouver and Whistler. Featuring top entertainers and hosts – these are designed to attract even those not interested in Olympic sports.

Some of the most sought after Olympic souvenirs are packages traditionally given to all attendees of the ceremonies – often including props required for an audience participation element of the show. In the past they’ve included flash cards, ponchos, flashlights, handwarmers and more. Elaborate audience participation stunts have become a staple in these ceremonies – and they are much anticipated.

The Vancouver ceremonies will be the first held in an indoor stadium and this could add some interesting twists to how the ceremonies are staged, especially with the cauldron lighting.

Had Vancouver not won their bid for the 2010 Olympic Games, tonight we may have instead been watching the ceremonies in a temporary stadium constructed on two bridges crossing the Salzach River as proposed by a bid from Salzburg, Austria. Or, had PyeongChang South Korea won – we would be watching from a ski jump stadium high in the mountains.

For more details on Olympic Ceremonies history, take a look at this interesting reference book.

To see an official Vancouver 2010 preview and backgrounder on the opening ceremonies – including an interview with ceremonies Executive Producer David Atkins, a veteran in this industry – click this link.

Enjoy the show!

Vancouver 2010 – Host Video: Canadas Olympic Ceremonies

About Robert Livingstone

A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. Robert Livingstone is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians.