Wow! Unreal. Amazing. That was a pretty cool torch lighting.
First, the The Olympic torch entered the stadium and started a massive relay of about 7 or 8 Chinese Olympic Gold medalists. Nothing too out of the ordinary though the oppressive heat was definitely taking its toll on some in the crowd.
Eventually it was passed to 李宁 Li Ning, the Olympic Gold medalist for gymnastics who ‘took off’ straight up 100s of feet into the air like a kung fu fighter the movies (yes, he was on wires). He then ‘ran’ (you have to see it) around the entire stadium as a giant screen turned a picture of the torch into the faces of 1000s of torch bearers from around the world.
He ran to the end of the stadium and lit a giant ‘pipe’/wick thant shot up into the Olympic Cauldron and the games of the 2008 Olympiad are underway.
It’s midnight in Beijing. It means you have to stay up late to see this. DO IT! WATCH THIS! IT WAS AMAZING.
I’ve been watching the Opening Ceremonies with everyone here (they’re smiling so much I suspect they are about to cry). It’s quite a pageant, with lots and lots of color, and some pretty interesting visuals of money, Chinese characters, boats and fans. I’m not sure what the hell it is all about–story of China or something–no idea. We’re watching in Cantonese (and no one hear speaks that).
Nevertheless, you should tune in tonight. It’s pretty wild. We’re only a half hour in or so and it’s pretty impressive. Amazing what you can do when you have like 10,000 performers are your command.
Yao Ming is out. He carried it yesterday and rules prohibit it from being carried by the same person twice. 110m hurdler Liu Xiang, the first Chinese gold medal winner in track and field and a national hero is a likely choice, but he’s under a tremendous amount of stress already being told to basically win or else. Perhaps we could see one of China’s astronauts, or as some have suggested, a child from the earthquake ravaged Sichuan province. Speculation is rampant with many names being suggested.
Despite media leaks of the opening ceremony, there was no leak of the cauldron lighting ceremony (it was not rehearsed as part of the process) and the actual person is a closely guarded secret. We’ll know in about 12 hours or so…
For Americans this means you are going to have to tune in about halfway through the opening ceremony parade to catch the US entry. The US will be entering in position 140, right after Syria and right before the Virgin Islands.
So, you really want the whole list? Ok…this will be long…
“The American flag means everything in my life – everything that describes me, coming from another country and going through all of the stages that I have to become a U.S. citizen,” Lomong said. “This is another amazing step for me in celebrating being an American. Seeing my fellow Americans coming behind me (in the Opening Ceremony) and supporting me will be a great honor – the highest honor. It’s just a happy day. I don’t even have the words to describe how happy I am.”
And in case you are wondering, here is the previous list
U.S. OLYMPIC FLAG BEARERS Year U.S. Flag Bearer (Sport)
1908 Ralph Rose (Athletics)
1912 George V. Bonhag (Athletics)
1920 Patrick J. McDonald (Athletics)
1924 Patrick J. McDonald (Athletics)
1928 Lemuel (Bud) C. Houser (Athletics)
1932 F. Morgan Taylor (Athletics)
1936 Alfred A. Jochim (Gymnastics)
1948 Ralph C. Craig (Yachting)
1952 Norman C. Armitage (Fencing)
1956 Norman C. Armitage (Fencing)
#Warren B. Wofford (Equestrian)
1960 Rafer L. Johnson (Athletics)
1964 William Parry O’Brien (Athletics)
1968 Janice Lee Romary (Fencing)
1972 Olga Fikotova Connolly (Athletics)
1976 Gary W. Hall (Swimming)
1980 USA did not attend
1984 Edward Burke (Athletics)
1988 Evelyn Ashford (Athletics)
1992 Francie Larrieu Smith (Athletics)
1996 Bruce Baumgartner (Wrestling)
2000 Cliff Meidl (Canoe/Kayak)
2004 Dawn Staley (Basketball)
2008 Lopez Lomong (Athletics)
Well that’s something we’ll probably have to wait until Friday to find out. Rumors abound that sites like myp2p.eu will have tons of links that work with TVAnts and Sopcast, but ‘officially’ all Internet streams are supposed to be ‘region locked’ to specific areas.
FTA (Free to Air) satellite might also yield a few stations that have streams. CCTV 4 and CCTV 9 are not going to have live coverage apparently as only CCTV stations within China will be allowed to show the games. Of course CCTV 1-10 are the most popular stations on most Internet TV p2p programs.
There are lots of hints of ‘destructive efforts’ to prevent pirated feeds from going out on the net, and with the Chinese government sitting on some massive computer power and a certain less than ‘live and let live’ attitude, I suspect we’ll see some interesting jamming activities.