But first I must give a gift to all the free and the brave across the globe. Yesterday, I did my American duty and watched the State of the Union Address. President Barack Obama mentioned his excitement as the world meets once again and our US athletes go for the gold, resounding in a "USA, USA" chant from Congress. That distant star-spangled banner is visible today for the first time as the flags were hoisted in the Olympic Park. So, this picture is for you Mr. President, Congress, and everyone in the land that I love! The first picture of the American flag in Sochi Olympic Park! I'm certain this is first of many Stars and Stripes to fly in these skies over the coming weeks.
|The United States of America! The flags are in alphabetical order in the Cyrillic Alphabet, immediately preceding the USA (right of the Stars and Stripes) is Slovenia and Slovakia|
Our first two run-throughs are complete. The first run-through was treacherous! Some technical problems forced us to make some emergency Plan B attempts. And with the added stress of thousands of cast members and long waits, it was a rough go.
Of my many odd fascinations, as a boy I memorized all the flags of the world. FINALLY, I found it worthwhile. Bermuda...you're welcome. Your flag is now right-side up.
But, I'll wait to talk about the specific problems that we've had until after you see the show next week. There are too few pronouns in English to hide all the secret details. Nevertheless, the most fantastic part of the day was the second dress rehearsal. As if the gods of Olympus adorned a magnificent power on the arena, the show came to life. IT WAS GLORIOUS!! The visual and technical effects worked well, and the music...I have no words to explain how much I enjoyed the music. I only hope the TV commentators don't talk during the entire production so you can enjoy it as well.
There are many moments of complete shock and amazement for me. Having seen and studied the Olympic Ceremonies my entire life, I can easily say that you will find this ceremony remarkable. I will not tell you my critique of its historic importance until after the production, but I certainly wish that Russians in particular will be able to find a new optimism for their country. Hopefully the world will view this mammoth artistic event as a celebration of peace and culture.
There's the good news here in Russia
The bad news back home is that I found out that my landlord put my house back up for lease online. They shouldn't have done that! The good news for those in Manhattan, KS is that they can now take free tours of my messy house if they contact my property management! Hopefully, this can be resolved in the coming hours or else I'll have to ask for some local help.
Another ambiguous schedule today - who knows what's in store.
|Skating Center, USA flag, Cauldron, non-metal palm trees, and the Hockey Arena|
|The Olympic Stadium, Cauldron, USA, and Me!|