Saturday, February 13, 2010

Hallalujah - Moved by Olympic Spirit

I have been moved.

In a completely unexpected and unforseen turn of events, I broke down and watched the opening ceremonies to the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

I have many conflicting thoughts and feelings about the cost of the games relative to the economic crisis much of the world is in and how many people have had to go without in order to make the games possible.

Its no secret that I resent the ownership of the games by corporate sponsors who have little to do with sport and much to do with product positioning.

That being said, I was moved.

I was moved by the place of importance the four host First Nations of B.C. took in welcoming the world's athletes to the games.  I was moved with the inclusion of representatives of Canada's First Nations covering the north, east, west and plains peoples and Metis.  It made me deeply proud to see First Nations art and imagery integrated into ceremonies in which they too took part - that the art and imagery wasn't just used because it would sell. 

I was moved when orcas slipped through the pacific ocean and spouted  right across the surface...

My heart swelled with pride and recognition when the poet Shane Koyczan recited his poem "We Are More".  He spoke thoughts and words right out of the hearts of millions of Canadians.  He got a rousing applause for "please and thank you" as well as "zed".  He hit the nail right on the Canadian pride head.

I had tears in my eyes when the Georgian team walked solemnly in to BC Place Stadium to a warm standing ovation, without Nodar, black arm bands and sadness all over their faces.  I was touched when he was honoured by Jacques Rogge before the official speeches and I was solemn when the minute of silence in Nodar Kumaritashvili's memory was marked.  In a building filled with 60,000 people and flags at half-mast, you could have heard a pin drop.

But when KD Lang stepped up on her platform and began her stirring, heart-calming rendition of "Hallallujah" written by Canadian song writer and artist, Leaonard Cohen, I just had to stop and watch.  She sang the heart right into that song.  The song came across as a prayer for Nodar AND a prayer for peace.  The simplicity of the setting for her barefoot performance made the song all the more poignant.  There was nothing to distract us from hearing every word.  She plucked at our heart's chords with a cheshire smile, a white suit, candle light and a voice that just curled around you and held you tight.

Romeo Dallaire, that amazing man with such a heavy soul walked in bearing the Olympic flag.  That was a "YES" moment.  That man deserves so much and he has done so much in the name of Canada.  

In the end, the opening ceremonies were moving.  They moved me for so many reasons, and I never saw it coming.

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree with you more. Every single point you made from the cost and corporate control to K D Lang's performance. I hear her voice in my head all the time now. Oh and the poem, that beautiful poem spoken with such heart.
    Kudos to all of them and to us for being such a great host.
    Now put all your money in a bag and send it off to help pay for all of this. Lol.