August 9th, 2008


Watching the Olympics Opening Ceremony V

I wonder if Bush applauded the Iranian team?

When seen from a distance, the red flowers on the outfits worn by the women of the Hungarian team look the spots on a Holstein. Don't tell my roommate I said so.

And we're back to "Scotland the Brave." The Jordanian team must be thrilled.

Watching the Olympics Opening Ceremony VI

Great shirts on the Namibian team.

I was just thinking earlier today that if the British OOC doesn't have David Tennant participate in the Olympic torch relay in 2012, I'll be very disappointed. (I won't insist on having him light the main torch, though. My prediction for that honor: Sebastian Coe. You heard it here first!)

Watching the Olympics Opening Ceremony VII

I don't care much for the hats worn by the U.S. team. Good choice of flag-bearer, though.

Those Zimbabwean shirts are something else. Interesting racial makeup to that team too. Part of the colonial legacy, I suppose.

Nice vests on the Ethiopian team.

The Salvadoran flag-bearer looks happier than any other flag-bearer I've seen tonight. Maybe because she won the honor in a popular vote?

Watching the Olympics Opening Ceremony VIII

I wonder who has the more famous national flag-bearer, Switzerland (Roger Federer) or China (Yao Ming)? Tough call.

I like the essentially random order in which the national teams are entering the stadium.

Dirk Nowitski had the Olympics rings shaved into his head. Neat.

Watching the Olympics Opening Ceremony IX

Australia followed by Zambia. That pretty much sums up this whole Parade of Nations.

That little kid barely reaches the hem of Yao Ming's jacket. CUTE!

The slap-face promo for The Office was, in its way, one of the highlights of this whole evening.

Watching the Olympics Opening Ceremony X

The Olympic flag being carried and hoisted by goose-stepping soldiers. Nice symbolism there.

The Olympic Hymn is pretty lame.

Do they have a fan blowing at the height of the flagpoles? It was very odd to see it hanging so limply as it ascended the pole while the Chinese flag was flying so proudly. Then all of a sudden, floop! Furl city.

Well, that was a pretty good torch-lighting. Not quite as thrilling as seeing Muhammad Ali in 1996, but probably better than the Doctor's in 2012. I concede I might feel differently were I Chinese, and it was certainly more spectacular than either.
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    Beethoven - 9th Symphony, 4th movement

Poet's Corner: Olympian XIV

Olympian XIV: for Asopichus of Orchomenus, Winner of the Boys’ Foot-Race


The waters of Kaphisos belong
To the place of fine horses where you dwell,
Queens of song, in sparkling Orchomenos,
Graces, who watch
Over the ancient race of the Minyans,
Hear, when I pray. By your help
All sweet and delightful things
Belong to men; if anyone
Is wise or lovely or famous.
For without the holy Graces
Not even the Gods rule dances or feasts.
They dispose all that is done in Heaven;
Their thrones are set
At the side of Pythian Apollo, the golden-bowed,
And they worship the everlasting glory
Of the Father on Olympos.


O Lady Glory, and Mirth, delighting in music,
Children of the most mighty of Gods,
Listen now, and Health, lover of the dance,
Look on the company lightly treading after friendly fortune.
I have come with a song for Asopichos
In the Lydian style with careful art;
For through you the Minyan race
Is victorious at Olympia.
Go now, Echo, to the black walls
Of Persephona's house
And bring the fine news to his father;
See Kleodamos and tell him
How his son
In the famous valleys of Pytho
Has crowned his young hair
With the wings of a glorious triumph.

Pindar (ca. 522 B.C. – 443 B.C.)

Pindar wrote eight odes to Olympic champions; this one is thought to be one of the earliest.

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    Kites - A Little Help From My Friends
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