Olympic Ceremonies Open, Luge Athlete Killed in Training
It's only the second time an athlete has been killed during the Olympics. The luge course seems incredibly dangerous. And it's an inauspicious way to begin the Games. But the ceremonies opened on schedule.
Kumaritashvili will be honored during tonight's ceremonies. [More...]
There will be several measures taken on Friday evening at the Opening Ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Games to honor the 21 year old luge athlete, Nodar Kumaritashvili.
The President of the IOC, Jacques Rogge and the VANOC Chief Executive Officer, John Furlong, will honor the memory of Mr. Nodar Kumaritashvili during the Ceremony. The Olympic and Canadian Flags will be lowered to half mast, and the audience will also have the opportunity to participate in honoring him.
The Georgian National Olympic Committee (NOC) and its athletes announced this afternoon that they will wear black stripes as they march in the Opening Ceremonies to recognize their teammate’s untimely death. They will also place a black patch on the Georgian flag that will be raised immediately following the parade of athletes.
There have been a lot of injuries during training. Are they pushing these athletes too hard? The weather is still problematic, today it's raining. NBC expects to lose $250 million on its Olympics coverage.
NBC paid $820 million in rights fees for the Vancouver Games. And while the 2006 Winter Games in Turin posted a profit of almost $200 million, the Vancouver Games are projected to lose $200-250 million. Primetime commercials are selling for $500,000 to $600,000. Trusted Olympic advertisers like Johnson & Johnson and Eastman Kodak have dropped out.
The NBC family of networks will have 835 hours of Olympic coverage.
Too much? I sure could have skipped the pre-ceremony show. If you're watching the opening ceremonies, let us know what you think. And I forgot about that really annoying NBC announcer named Nancy. I muted her during the Beijing Olympics and it looks like I'll be doing it again.
As for the ending of tonight's ceremonies:
[T]he show was to climax with the Olympic cauldron being lit jointly by four Canadian sports heroes — all-time hockey great Wayne Gretzky, skier Nancy Greene, speedskater Katrina LeMay Doan, and basketball All-Star Steve Nash.
Update: John Furlong, the chief executive of the Vancouver Organizing Committee, told the athletes:
May you carry his Olympic dream on your shoulders and compete with his spirit in your hearts
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