Opening ceremonies are an emotional experience. They reveal the best of mankind-- peace, harmony, talent, skill, values. Certainly many more adjectives are applicable as the event speaks to the heart. Certainly some of been more memorable and that is the intent of this essay. Since 1976 what has stayed in my psyche as each Olympics has been amazing. While we are in the midst of the 2012 summer Olympics in London, will also note winter opening ceremonies as some of them have also been teary eyed events.


My family vacationed in Canada in 1976. Attending the opening ceremony was an unattainable goal as the tickets were sold out and costly. So another TV viewing session that afforded and opportunity to see 94 countries, 10,000 athletes vie for a medal. The most memorable moment at the opening ceremony was the carrying of the torch by two athletes who lit the cauldron that stood high above the stadium. This was the first time Canada hosted the summer Olympics and most will recall Nadia Comanechi's perfect gymnastic score. This will remain the most memorable recall of the whole event. There was controversy with the boycott of 22 African countries. Nonetheless the opening ceremonies were simple and true to the nature of the games.


Canada has gone on to host two Winter Olympics-- 1988 Calgary and 2010 Vancouver. Both opening ceremonies were well staged providing introductions to Canada's Native American population. The Canadians have a population of 34, 871, 244 with all ethnic groups well represented. Considering its landmass, the majority of Canada's population resides within 4 provinces-- Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta. The country has 10 provinces and 3 territories.


  • Alberta

  • British Columbia

  • Manitoba

  • New Brunswick

  • Newfoundland

  • Nova Scotia

  • Ontario

  • Prince Edward Island

  • Quebec

  • Saskatchewan

  • Territory:  Northwest Territories

  • Territory:  Nunavut

  • Territory:  Yukon

During the Winter Game ceremonies, the host cities paid homage to their unique ethnic makeup and showcased their country. The Canadian Mounted Police strutted through the stadium with their red uniforms and steady steeds. Calgary saw a depiction of the Stampede and in the packed, cold, out-door arena, the covered wagons charged to the beat of the Stampede band. It was not glitzy but more indicative of the style of the province of Alberta. Nestled in the Rocky Mountains, the ceremony was executed with heart.

The Vancouver ceremonies of 2010 brought tears early when the Canadian anthem was sung in both English and French by Nikki Yanofsky. The ceremony foundation remained strong in celebrating Canada's native, aboriginal people but the event was far more glamorous than its predecessor. Nelly Furtado and Bryan Adams brought a touch of rock star status. The set was large ice columns. It was evident one was at Winter Olympics. These are held in open air arenas and the weather necessitates full body coverage with temperatures in the single digits.

The Canadians should be proud with each successive Olympic event they have provided the world with a wonderful spectacle to make ones heart soar.

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Opening Ceremony Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games