I finally watched the Opening Ceremony for the 2014 Sochi Olympics and found it absolutely enchanting. The Russians really stepped up the opening ceremony for the winter games. I thought that nothing could compare to the Chinese opening ceremony from a few years back and, in some ways, I was right. However, Sochi was able to create their own unique, memorable experience that was just as mind-blowing and impressive in its own way as the Chinese opening ceremony was.
The music was gorgeous, lush and evocative – it completely swept me away! The performers were earnest, well-rehearsed and performed very well. The technology of the stadium was the special piece, however. I loved the scrolling map on the floor of the stadium when the athletes were entering. I was enthralled by the three-dimensional scenery with oceans, forests, factories, and more so fantastically portrayed. The Sochi Olympic Committee really stepped up their game with the Opening Ceremony and it was a sight to see!
I personally found the Sochi portrayal of Russian history from the ancient peoples to the modern-day to be fascinating. That is not to say that it is accurate, as I am sure there is some artistic license involved and, of course, differences in political opinion. I appreciated that the Russians were able to incorporate their many fine achievements throughout the performance and storytelling. In light of our political differences, it is easy to forget that the Russians excel at dance, music, writing and many other artistic pursuits that are celebrated the world over. The Sochi Opening Ceremony reminded me of all that Russia has offered to us over the last decades and softened the memory of the Cold War a little bit.
I appreciated the brief speeches that the Sochi Olympic President and the IOC president offered. I particularly appreciated the reminder that the Olympics are about the athletes, not politics or differences between countries. I hated that NBC started their Opening Ceremony coverage with some lame comment about how, if we lived in a perfect world, we would not have to talk about politics during the Olympic games, but that we don’t live in a perfect world so we do have to talk about it. Uh, no, we don’t. Let Putin put on a spectacle and show off his country to the world. Let the Russians dream of a better future rather than dwell on what they have lost. Let the Olympics remind us that we are all the same, striving to do our best and fighting to achieve the impossible. Let us remember that the Olympics were created to let the world forget, for a short time, that there are any differences between us.