Vancouver staged the first-ever indoor Winter Olympics opening ceremony Friday night (Feb. 12), and it was, in a word, cool.
NBC and the Olympic organizers are putting a pretty heavy lockdown on video clips, but we can still show you still photos from the event. One of the better notes the ceremony hit was its inclusion of Canada’s First Nations tribes. Members of four tribes from in and around Vancouver welcomed the athletes to the games, and it set a warm, inclusive tone for the evening.
Canadian stars were all over the opening ceremony. Donald Sutherland narrated segments of the program and carried the Olympic flag, along with singer Anne Murray, hockey legend Bobby Orr and others. K.D. Lang sang a lovely version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” Sarah MacLachlan performed the song “One Dream,” and Bryan Adams and Nelly Furtado did a duet of a faster-higher-stronger song called “Bang the Drum.”
The end of the Olympic torch relay featured ex-Olympian, now senator, Nancy Greene passing the flame to the Great One, Wayne Gretzky. They joined NBA star Steve Nash, speed skater Catriona Le May Doan and wheelchair athlete Rick Hansen in lighting the caldron inside BC Place — despite a glitch that prevented one of the four sculptural arms of the caldron from rising out of the floor (Gretzky later took to the streets and lit the outdoor caldron himself).
The whole thing was well-done and felt warm and welcoming. It wasn’t a spectacle on the magnitude of the last Summer Olympics in Beijing, but it got these games started on a pretty good note. American snowboarder Shaun White seemed to think so, at least.
Photo credits: Getty Images