If Jesus could be born in 4BC then I guess the Olympics can start two days before the uttering of the phrase "Let the games begin".
Let's get something clear from the outset - opening ceremonies are a wank. And the Athens opening ceremony was a classic (no pun intended) case. It was an incredible achievement and logistic tour de force... but what does this have to do with sport?
I'll leave my comments, having viewed the replay on channel 7 during the day today, to just a few:
- The torch reminded me of an extraterrestrial pod, and if aliens climb out of it at some stage during the next fortnight I will not be surprised.
- The Americans looked scruffy and arrogant in the Parade of Nations. Couldn't they at least have all worn their baseball caps either the right way around, or all worn them back-to-front for consistency?
- The Australian jackets looked very ugly to me, and I for one certainly won't be paying $3995 (plus $40 p&h) for a framed signed copy.
- Erki Nool carried the flag for Estonia! Way to go, Erk!!
- That well-known Greek goddess Bjork performed a number ("Oceania") that she composed especially for these Games. A fine tradition is continued: Sarah Brightman 1992, Celine Dion 1996, Nikki Webster 2000, Bjork 2004. Nominations for Beijing 2008 are now being taken.
The IOC website has a complete list of the flag bearers at the opening ceremony.
Some reports on the opening ceremony:
Ben Kimber of the Sydney Morning Herald gave detailed updates on their website every 15 minutes.
Jim White of the Telegraph reported on the warmup comedy routine before the ceremony began.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times reported on the NBC coverage of the opening ceremony.
Jayda Evans of the Seattle Times decided that the worst fashion of the opening ceremony was a tie between the Australian team and Bjork.
Still on Bjork and Oceania, which appears on her forthcoming album Medulla, MTV described Oceania as "Ethel Merman-like".