"One Inspires Many" was the motto of the Ceremonies tonight. And how true is that. From the Rick Hansen story, to the Terry Fox, all the athletes, to the 15 year old boy lighting the flame, from the one legged rocker to the wheelchair skateboarders. One really does inspire many. By the end of the night, after witnessing all those amazing people right in front of my eyes, I found it hard not to be inspired.
Maybe the highlight of the whole performance for me was Betty and Rolly Fox strolling into B.C. Place, torch in hand. It almost brought tears to my eyes. Or maybe it was the 15 year-old boy with dreams of one day being in the Paralympic Games, or maybe it was all the ordinary children dancing in unison and being a part of a bigger picture. Whatever it was, it's too hard to choose, as the entire performance was absolutely mind blowing. What was the highlight for you?
I'd say at the end of the show I was pretty star-struck, maybe not quite as much as I would have been if I had attended the Olympic Openings, but with huge names such as Martin Deschamps, Dal Richards, Nikki Yanofsky, Fefe Dobson and Rick Hansen, I'd say we showcased some pretty amazing Canadian talent. Nikki Yanofsky sang the "I Believe" song which was very popular during the Olympic Games, and tonight I got to sing alongside Nikki. I was with 2000 other singers. I felt like I was just one of the two thousand in the red robes, and that nobody would notice me. That might be true, but I got to be a part of something big, something spectacular, and I will never forget the moment when just minutes after I'm sitting there taking pictures of the athletes, they are turned around taking pictures of me singing. What a magical moment to be a part of, a small part it might have been, but together we did it, we made something beautiful!
For those of you who were wondering along with me, yes the opening breakdancer had a disability. You could most definitely not tell by the amount of mobility he had and his overall ability, but that's what tonight was all about; showcasing the "ability" rather than the "disability". Break dancer Luca (Lazylegz) Patuelli of Montreal, was born with arthrogryposis and diagnosed with scoliosis in his childhood.
Now as great as these Ceremonies were, I think there's some that could have been taken out. Maybe the single tone in unison was unnecessary or Sumi flying through the air. Don't get me wrong, I love Sumi, and his part was cute, but it maybe could have been cut a little shorter and without the cheesy whispers of "Suummiiiii". Anyways, quit the complaining, I really enjoyed how the entire show was so audience participated. We had pompoms we had to wave, we had gold reflectors we had to flash, we even had to get up and dance. I thought the effect of everyone's red and orange lights looked super cool. I heard some complaints about having to wear these uncomfortable ponchos, but they made a really cool picture throughout the crowd, and I thought it was a really neat idea.
Overall I think Canada did a really nice job organizing these Paralympic Opening Ceremonies. We made history in that these were the first ever Paralympic Opening Ceremonies to be televised! And to add to the Canadian pride section, Canada had the most athletes walk across the stage during the athlete's parade. The final moment where they were saying "Welcome to the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, the first in Canada!" At that moment I felt proud to be involved in something so legendary, and will remember this night for the rest of my life!
Follow my journey as a Students Live reporter through the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games and beyond!