‘When anyone tells me I can’t do anything, I’m just not listening any more’ ~ Florence Griffith Joyner.
Olympian dreams are being put to the test in Vancouver. A long standing symbol of unity and with the all-encompassing motto ‘Swifter, Higher, Stronger’, the Olympics is an event to witness athletes at the pinnacle of their career. Ready to show the world they can can pull off the performance of a lifetime. I love watching talented people pursuing their gold medal campaigns. Winner’s euphoria and the disappointment of dashed dreams. It’s quite the spectacle.
I personally enjoyed the Opening Ceremony, though dread to think of the financial aspect of putting on such an astounding show. The performance successfully portrayed Canada as a welcoming nature and celebrated the underlying history of the country and complex cultural diversity within. Spirit bear was unforgettable and did leave ‘glowing hearts’ á la the Olympic 2010 (English) motto! The main criticism has come from the slow tempo of the ceremony, but this was to aid the artist’s interpretation of Canada being a vast landmass – showing that to transverse this country was no quick feat. Leave criticism at the door, this should be treated as a fine piece of performance art attempting to muster the Olympic spirit, and not an attempt to undermine the hard work of people who have toiled to make the magic happen.
Every Winter Olympics my eyes are fixed on the figure skating events, even more so than the hockey! I think it’s the meshing of grace, focus and strength that draws me in. The intricate footwork sequences, the suspense – will they make the landing, will the skaters will be daring enough to perform risky technical maneuvers? I’m always eager to see the skaters’ choreography and how the music is interpreted whilst rating their costume choice from a scale of suave to ridiculous! Who knows how they manage to hold their nerve under the pressure.
I enjoyed the men’s event immensely. The realisation to disbelief registering on Evan Lysacek’s face upon his win made me want to go and present him with the medal myself! Despite not sneaking a quad into the routine, Lysacek more than made up for it – eight triple combinations and he travels the ice just beautifully with his step sequences and leg extensions, turning ice skating into a real art. Plushenkov, the Russian favorite, big on the jumps and as skillful as he is arrogant slipped into second place. Mistakenly, this might just be misinterpreted confidence, but his sportsmanship seems to have slipped in the face of defeat. So much for all-reigning Olympic spirit!