Opening Ceremonies

By Stubby Clapp What an amazing feeling for those who got to participate.

As I walked around this morning and surveyed the first timers, Jimmy VanOstrand , Steve Green and a couple others, they all had the same words and feelings to describe the whole event:"Simply Amazing."

The sheer capacity of the stadium be able to hold 120 000 people for one event was incredible and not only that, all of their eyes were on us as a country when we entered through the gates walking into the stadium.

Once again Canada was accepted and greeted with a enormous cheer. There were a lot of proud Canadians in the stands waving their flags and showing their pride and dedication to our athletes and the country.

The feeling of being overwhelmed came through me several times during the whole event. The best feeling was when we were standing right before the gate and you could peer into the stadium and see the enormity of the crowd and anticipating the entrance into the stadium as the called out our countries name "Canada."

I tried to prepare a couple of the guys and let them know this is what they have been waiting for patiently, as we started our day to get in the stadium at 6 pm and never walked through until 9:30 pm.

The 3 1/2 hour wait in holding areas while other countries were announced prior to us was a mere drop in the bucket when we entered through the stadium. We snag the national anthem on our bus twice while we were being shipped from the village to the stadium. I have never heard "Shower Singers," sound so proud of their own voices. As we entered into the tunnel that lead to the opening of the stadium, again the national anthem was belted out by all of the athletes and support staff, with pure pride for our country!

Things like this brought chills to my skin and my eyes welled up with tears, because I was privileged enough to be a part of this representing our country!

The lighting of the torch was also awesome. As the torch made its way into the stadium and was passed to each specially picked torch carrier, it was eventually handed off to the final guy (Li Ning) who was lifted to the top of the stadium and he ran the perimeter of the stadium suspended in air. As he was running they rolled out the red carpet in front of him with flashes of other torch bearers behind him. As he made his way around the final turn of the stadium you could hear the anticipation of 120 000 fans plus the athletes together.

You could feel the pure excitement and joy for the torch was about to be lit and the XXIX Olympiad Games were going to be officially under way. As the flame was lit from a distance of the main torch, it shot up a designed route and the big flame erupted and so did the crowd. This was the best feeling and this means that the games have started and may the best individual, team and country win!

After a full 8 1/2 hours of standing, sweating and emotional ups and more ups, I took myself to the food court picked up a boxed penne with red sauce and dragged myself to bed.

I woke up at 10am this morning. The first time I have slept in since being here. I finally have adapted to the time change, but it took an event like last night to make me tired enough to sleep past 5:30 am.

Now we have two exhibitions against the Netherlands and then it's game time!

Stubby Clapp Houston Astros Hitting Instructor CooperReese Childrens Boutique Owner