Monday, August 16, 2010

Opening Ceremonies

A while ago, I entered the "raffle" to be eligible for tickets to the opening ceremonies.  I don't get the sense that the YOG (Youth Olympic Games) are super popular here, so lucky for me, my ticket was drawn.  I bought the cheapest ticket there was.  Seating was first come, first serve. Gates open at 4pm, be in your seat by 7:30 for a 7:45pm start.  That was a long wait and it was raining at 2pm when I went to pick up my F1 tickets (!woohoo!).  I came prepared - ziploc bag for my camera, hat for sun and/or rain and my trusty raincoat.  I headed over to the stadium (The Float @ Marina Bay) which is floating on the water, no rain, very hot and humid.  I found a seat around 5:30 and was stinky, sweaty...but so was everyone else ;).  I'm in the upper right corner - far green seats behind the big light post.  For some reason, I couldn't get the picture any bigger.

At one point the clouds started rolling in, but thankfully no rain!  Everyone got big bags with goodies - bottle of water, program, light-up heart, light-up dove that can fly, lion bread, batteries for the toys, an YOG flag and Singaporean flag.  Everyone else seemed to also get thunder sticks, clappers, whatever you call the inflatable tubes that bang together for a boom.  I searched and searched, but mine must have gotten lost.  I was disappointed - those had lights in them too!  These were all props for the show.

Before the show started, apparently broadcast to 2 billion people world-wide, we had some instructors come out to help us learn a dance, when to use the light-ups, etc.  The practice didn't really pay least from where I was sitting :).   At 20:10 (military time for 8:10pm), the ceremonies officially started with lots of fireworks. I had my new DSLR camera but have failed to really learn how to use it.  Thus, my pics are not as wonderful as some others I've found.  Enjoy a few professional YOG pics I got in my newsletter (yes I'm an Olympic nerd who subscribes to the newsletter).  Or, view the entire slide show .

I did not see this spelled out from my vantage point :).

Now, some of my amateur pics ;) :

They had big screens which really helped - although the cameramen did not always seem very practiced.  But they had actual people all along the top of the stage...can you see the orange/red specks??

Here was a crazy monster.  It was like the anime (sp?) portion of the program.  I didn't get it.

Awesome fire-breathing dragon.  At the end, he lit up in fire all along his back and his tail.

Flag procession.....the United States of America!!  We actually got quite a large crowd cheer.  I was worried after hearing the cheering sections from other countries.  But we represented.

The last pass before the torch was lit.  Do you see the lighted figure in the background, right side? It's a dragon, I think, that came across the water with the torch was pretty cool. 

And the torch was lit from the bottom of the lighthouse winding its way upwards.  It was pretty cool as well and fitting for Singapore being a hub for water transport.

I taped/DVR'd the televised version.  I still need to watch it, but I'm sure it'll be pretty awesome :).  The program was over ~10:20pm and I was home before midnight.  Actually better than I thought - I was not looking forward to the crowded ride home.  The bus was a much better alternative to the train.

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