We don’t normally do book reviews – in fact, we never have. But as the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games approach there is a timely opportunity to talk about an extremely unique book.
The ceremonies in Vancouver are likely to be spectacular, and will probably include special effects and stunts beyond comprehension. As the most watched show on the planet – the effort to produce such an event is worthwhile.
Years of preparation, tens of millions of dollars spent, and casts of thousands for a show that will only be performed once – these define the Olympic Opening Ceremony, Garcia reminds us.
There are only a handful of players who compete to produce these shows, and Garcia is well connected to them – and able to share some of the secrets that have never been published before. How did the UFO at the Los Angeles 1984 Games fly? Did the Barcelona 1992 flaming arrow miss the cauldron? What was really planned for the Beijing 2008 Games that never came to fruition?
With many illustrations, diagrams and sketches – the beauty of the spectacles and the technical architecture behind them are brought to life. Along with several facts and figures – the author takes you through the Games in detail, from 1936 in Berlin to 2008 in Beijing – covering the preparations, the torch relays and the cauldron lightings, and much more.
By the inclusion of many personal anecdotes and interesting trivia, Garcia demonstrates that he has a passion for what he writes about. As an avid reader of GamesBids.com and participant in the GamesBids.com Forums over the past several years, he has had the opportunity to discuss, debate and learn about the ceremonies from insiders, professionals and die-hard fans.
So when the awe of the Vancouver ceremonies subside, learn about the fascinating and unique industry that made it all happen. “Secrets of the Olympic Ceremonies”, an oversized colourful paperback, will be your textbook.