Three weeks and counting down until Heidi and I attend the Opening Ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, BC, Canada. This is a dream come true for me!
A few years ago Heidi mentioned she would like to take me to the ceremony. She said she had a contact who could get her tickets. It seemed so long ago, and now it's nearly here.
Over the years, I have loved watching the opening and closing ceremonies of the games - both summer and winter. The program presented by the host country is usually extraordinary - including nationals of all ages. The music, the costumes, the choreography, the sets, and the audience participation are so inspiring. And then there's the pageantry with the entrance of the athletes, historically led by the nation of Greece. I'm sure I'll be bawling when team USA makes their entrance! I intend to be proudly waving my American flag.
There's also the raising of the Olympic flag. The flag of the Olympic Games has five interlocking rings (blue, yellow, black, green and red) on a white ground. The rings represent the five parts of the world that are joined together in the Olympic movement: Africa, The Americas, Asia, Australia, and Europe.
And then - last, but not least, will be the lighting of the Olympic flame - for each Olympics, a new flame is started in the ancient Olympic stadium in Olympia, Elis, Greece, using a parabolic mirror to focus the rays of the Sun. This flame begins its Olympic Torch Relay by touring Greece. The flame is normally taken to the country where the games will be held (usually by airplane). Following that, the flame is then carried around the country where the games are to be held, using a series of torches carried by people running, walking, riding horses, biking, riding the surf, by dog sled, and using other means of human conveyance. The last runner uses a torch to light the large Olympic torch which burns throughout the games. The flame is extinguished during the closing ceremony. A new Olympic torch is designed for each of the games.