Monday, January 27, 2014

Uh oh!!

10 Days to go!
4 Days until our first dress rehearsal with audience!
2 Days until our first full dress rehearsal!

Technical problems!  This opening ceremony will be sure to shock an audience of about 4 billion.  It is one of the most ambitious technical shows ever attempted, but today we hit a snag.  Obviously, I cannot say anything about it, as most every bit of the Opening Ceremony is a closely guarded secret.  But, I'll have more on this at the end of my post.

Yesterday after working, it was too hot to stay near the coast any longer, so I decided to go up to the mountains.  Amazingly, the games in Sochi are the most compact in Winter Games history!  It is amazing to be able to, within an hour, reach the snowy peaks of the Caucasus Range (the highest in Europe) and see the sunset on a warm sub-tropical beach.

Rosa Khutor approx. 5:00pm

Sochi approx. 6:30pm

Yesterday, I explained the artistic segment of the Opening Ceremony.  The other portion of the ceremony is called the protocol segment.  This would entail all of the "official" parts of the ceremony that are required by the International Olympic Committee.  Since 1908 (London), the ceremony protocol includes the National Anthem of the host country.  The most prominent part of the protocol section is the Parade of Nations. Greece (home of ancient Olympia) leads a parade of all the countries in alphabetical order with the exception of the host country which enters last.  Addresses by the President of the International Olympic Committee and the President of the Organizing Committee, oaths to promote fair play and judging by an athlete and an official, and announcements and signs in all official languages (French, English, and the official languages of the host country) are all part of ceremony protocol.

USA in the 2012 London Parade of Nations

Other parts of ceremony protocol include, the Olympic Flag being raised to the Olympic Hymn (performed at the first Olympics of the Modern Era - 1896 Athens).   A release of doves, which since 1988 has used an artistic representation of a dove release as several doves infamously we incinerated in the Olympic Cauldron.  A song of peace should follow the dove release before the ever famous lighting of the Olympic Cauldron.  These protocol segments are part of every Olympic Ceremony.  CLICK HERE for more information and to watch complete Olympic Opening Ceremonies.  If you want to know my list of the four greatest ceremonies, CLICK HERE.

Doves burning in the 1988 Seoul cauldron lighting

2012 London Cauldron

Olympic Flag carried in to the Olympic Hymn

Alternate "dove release" in the 2012 London Opening Ceremony

As for the preparations in Sochi, let's hope that this extra day of technical rehearsal will iron things out.  Some of the stadium staff needed about twice as much preparation time in the stadium as we actually are receiving.  If you remember, the stadium was originally an open-air stadium but due to weather, a very special roof was constructed to aid in the production of the ceremonies.  It will be worth the effort, but the extended construction schedule cut down the time to rehearse in the space.  Things are actually running very smoothly.

Original Stadium Design
Current Stadium Design

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