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Olympic Ceremony Secrets & Stand-Ins

Last night was the second dress rehearsal for the Olympics Opening Ceremonies. I was there.

I am sworn to secrecy about what I saw (or, as my friend Steph joked, VANOC may own the rights to my first-born child...). But I can tell you the following irrelevant things.

Small talk while I wait with my three hilarious friends for things to get started:
"I had a dream the other night that I was in Barack Obama's harem, and he called for me, and I came into his room, and when I saw him I thought, I knew it! He is the antichrist!

During the pre-show, there were a round of thank-you speeches to us, the volunteers. Four men stood on stage, waiting to talk to us. This potentially boring segment was made much funnier by my American friend.

Man #1: "...the mayor of Vancouver, His Worship, Gregor Robertson!"
His Worship!?
Uh, yup. That's what they call mayors...
Huh...Wow, he's young.
And not bad-looking.
Yup. I saw him on the skytrain last month. Just riding it home after work... It is possible that I giggled.

"...premier of British Columbia, Gordon Campbell!"
Premier? Is that like a governor?
(he is talking)
He sounds like a politician.
Yes. Yes, he does. But I like his glasses.

"...the prime minister of Canada, The Right Honourable Stephen Harper!"
This country is crazy. Can you imagine Obama just standing on stage like that, waiting?
Um, no...I guess not.
(we listen for a bit)
He's a real family sort of guy. You know, doesn't he look like the guy next door?
Yeah. I can totally picture him mowing the lawn.

During the ceremony itself, almost all major players (except for the entertainers) had stand-ins. As they sat the IOC & governmental officials, I got to explain Canadian government structure again. Sort of.
Governor-General? Is he like the Vice-President?
She's a she. And no, not like the VP...She's the queen's official representative in Canada.
Oh. So she doesn't really
do anything?
Sure she does. She prorogues parliament!
Nothing. You're right. She doesn't do anything...

I called the first headliner act. (fist pump) And the second one. (woot!) I did not guess the third.

The stand-in for another speaker got a rousing amount of applause with his introduction. He went on to read an assortment of facts about Vancouver to fill his 4-minute slot. The highlight:

"Vancouver is an ethically diverse city, with 52% of the population speaking a first language other than English."
Uh, ethically diverse??
Guy in front of us: Yeah. Some of us are bastards and some of us aren't.

As the Olympic flag was carried in, they began to announce the bearers. Since they are stand-ins and the real bearers are a surprise, they announce them by number.
Flag Bearer 1!
Flag Bearer 2!
(my friend leans over) Hey guys - I read on the internet that Flag Bearer 7 might be making an appearance! I guess we'll find out in a minute...
(we wait, faking eagerness)
Flag Bearer 7!
YES! I knew it!

That is all. I can't say anything more until Saturday. And WHO KNOWS if it will go down the same way on Friday. But I loved it. And hope you all do too.


Jill said…
haha, that was great. now i'm like, "WHO is Flag Bearer 7?!" i guess i'll just have to wait until tomorrow. yay opening ceremonies!
steph said…
governor general convo- laugh out loud!

we're having an opening ceremonies viewing party tomorrow.. looking forward to it!

have fun in scotland!
Wendy said…
This is possibly my favourite blog post of yours ever. Ever!
Karen said…
"Yeah. Some of us are bastards and some of us aren't."

HA HA! That should be submitted as an overheard to Stop Podcasting Yourself. Thank you for sharing!
Laura said…
Okay, I saw the real thing tonight and I LOVED IT! I thought we did a great job even if there was a small glitch with the hydraulics and poor Wayne had to ride on the back of a pickup truck in the pouring rain. It was great. My mom, who has see A LOT of opening ceremonies said it was the best by far. The image projection stuff was incredible. I will say that the sound was probably infinitely better on TV than in the stadium but in these moments I LOVE being Canadian! Oh and I watched the torch run by yesterday and today. It made my cry both times. Sorry for the incredibly long comment.

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