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Feb 11, 2006 15:26 # 41798

andromacha *** announces...

The Olympic Games here in Turin!

How many of you managed to see the opening of the Winter Olympic Games yesterday night? I bet that the whole Italy was watching tv of course, to see if we had to be ashamed of ourselves in front of the world, or if we were going to leave a decent impression overall. :P

We did it! So far, everything has gone on smoothly, and I have witnessed several favorable opinions about the Games, not only by Italians but also by foreigners. I personally liked the opening ceremony held last night, even though I liked some things more than others. I don't know if or how much you have seen of it, but the part in which there was a F1 Ferrari making noise and the circles wasn't exactly my favorite part.

I did like very much to hear the voice of the little kid singing our beautiful national anthem (even though they reduced a little the tempo, and I did not appreciate that), and I was emotioned when our 185 athletes walked around the whole stadium.

I laughed a bit to see some athletes of other countries being covered in furs, as if it was so terribly cold inside the stadium, but I admit that the Italians did not have such great outfits either :P

I also liked very much the way they illuminated the five circles giving them the right colors (before they were just plain metal circles), and the way they pulled them up (with people doing coreographies on them). The fireworks were awesome. Actually, we live so close to the stadium that the noise of the fireworks was so loud; at first I thought that some kamikaze was dropping bombs on us :P Just kidding of course, but they were loud indeed. Loud, beautiful and magnificent.

This is not totally related to the yesterday's opening ceremony, but however it is related to the Olympic Games. Well, I don't think you are aware of this - living in so many different corners of the world - but Turin did not have a subway system... until this February. In the past six years they worked hard/not hard in order to fix it, make the stations, prepare the trains... Everything had to be just so for the 4th of February. But then something went wrong: one of the trains broke during the very first lap, and well... let's say that it wasn't supposed to do that :P

Another thing I did not like very much was to see all these crazy people running around, just to see a small hint of the Olympic Flame. From what I understand, there were some idiots (yes, because in such cases you gotta call them that) who paid good money in order to be able to run after the tedophores while they were holding the flame. Basically, while the city streets were being closed one after the other, you could see the tedophore with the flame running, followed by two wings of crowd who PAID in order to run after him/her. Now, isn't that crazy??

Despite some things that did not go just so, or that I did not like in particular, or that I might think being ashaming for Turin and Italy, I am proud to be Italian, proud to live here, proud to be in the city that hosts the XXth Olympic Games. Turin has changed a lot lately, and I know that the atmosphere is different now during the Games. It is hard to explain it, but for a torinese d.o.c as I am, it is easy to sense it. You can feel it. Things have changed, and they are so much more beautiful now. Let's hope that this spirit the Games have brought will stay here forever. Passion lives here!

Comments, questions and everything that is on your mind about the Games is welcomed, as always.

Italy no longer accepts illegal immigrants. Mr. B sink their boats!!!!!!!

Feb 13, 2006 18:09 # 41824

Hawkeye *** replies...

Re: The Olympic Games here in Turin!

I didn't get a chance to see the opening, but I really wish I had. I looked for it, and there was some confusion about the time it started (since it wasn't live, or it would have been shown at lunch time here in america when most people are working). It sounded beautiful, though.

My dad watched it, and gave his sincerest compliments on a job well done. What was the end? A gigantic dove representing peace?

I'm sorry to hear that the trams weren't operational. That stinks that it didn't work during its first lap. Apparently they were hard pressed for time, and they probably did much better than expected considering. I do hope it reduces the amount of cars in Turin! It's insane finding a parking spot!

If the world should blow itself up,the last audible voice would be an expert saying it can't be done

Feb 14, 2006 04:30 # 41833

Bunk *** throws in his two cents...

Re: The Olympic Games here in Turin!

I missed the opening ceremonies. I try to catch what I can though: this morning I watch the pairs figure skating final - a macho sport, for sure. ;p Well, not macho perhaps, but terribly high pressure. And huge props to the Chinese girl that came back after that nasty fall. Bare knees on ice from seven feet... ouch.

But seriously, it's all about the hockey. Canada's Women's team has outscored opponents 28-0, in two games. Hot stuff. :)

"History is more or less bunk." - Henry Ford

This post was edited by Bunk on Feb 14, 2006.

Feb 14, 2006 09:36 # 41844

andromacha *** agrees...

Re: The Olympic Games here in Turin!

Well, I watched the whole ceremony (like I said), and I have heard more or less from people coming from all over the world only praises about it. For a Winter Olympic Games event, they really did a wonderful job, even though the cost of all of that was quite insulting! 28 millions of Euros!

Furthermore, it seems that in order to keep the flame alive, they are pumping up 6 cube meters of gas per minute. If that is true, it would be another major insult, considering that lately Russia is giving us less gas, because of the problems they are having in their homeland and with Ukraine. We are already using our strategic reserves, and they have no problems in consuming that much gas. I have heard voices that say that they are using hydrogen, but I don't know how feasible that is.

Anyway, about the Chinese girl Bunk was talking about... we saw the competition yesterday night. I was with my mom and my dad. She was great at first, and then it seems that he was the one who made the mistake, throwing her too far away, and she probably spinned one too many times, I don't know. At any rate, she found herself almost landing in the middle of the spin, so she did what you're never supposed to do: she spreaded her legs. And she fell. Boy that scared me!

After a while we saw her getting back on the ice. The woman who was commenting the competition said that her coach obliged her to keep going, but of course I don't know if this is true. At any rate, I am sure that they still believed quite a bit in the Olympic title, and in the end they gained the 2nd place. I am sure that if she hadn't fallen, they could have gotten the golden medal though. They were incredibly good, and probably if she hadn't injured herself, they could have made things even better than the Russian couple who, in the end, won the most precious medal.

I admit that hockey is not one of my favorite winter sports. I prefer skiing and skating much more. Maybe this depends on the fact that I actually practiced both of them. Oh and I can't tell you how many times I went butt down on ice after a mistake in a jump. Not that I ever did something agonistic or competitions. But I did learn from a friend who knew how to do such things. And I never went further than spinning once around myself, or a plain simple jump.

Today, I would love to be able to see men's slalom, because there will be Giorgio Rocca. I said to my parents that if he wins the golden medal, I will go to Piazza Castello (the one they now call Medals Plaza) to see him. They obviously think I am totally nuts now :P
I just hope that they will show the competition this morning, because today I will be working from 4 to 7:45. I guess we'll see.

Italy no longer accepts illegal immigrants. Mr. B sink their boats!!!!!!!

Feb 16, 2006 13:40 # 41907

andromacha *** replies...

Simon Lebon of Duran Duran in Turin (and many other things)

I am not sure whether I should post this in my journal or here, but being related to the Olympic Games, I thought I'd post it here under the Olympic Games thread :)

So, I will try to be short. Today I went downtown Turin (around the Medals Plaza you see on TV), because that's where my university is. I needed to meet a friend, and have a look around for having my thesis printed.

There were so many foreigners: Russians, Finnish, Americans, Swiss, Germans... My friend and I decided to take a walk after doing what we were supposed to, so we walked for several miles back and forth (and you can't imagine how nice it was to be on high heels walking on cobblestone streets). At a certain point we met a couple of crazy Swiss guys covered by a huge Swiss flag, and the worst part is that they heard me and Elena (my friend, whose name is like mine) speak German. We were in a good mood today, so we were speaking with each other in different languages at once (yes, we're crazy). Well they heard us and turned around to talk to us... in German! Ahem, I hope that they didn't hear us cursing in German under our breath, because we were sure to be in good trouble. So we managed to speak to them for a little bit, because they needed indications to go to some place, and they didn't speak English, and then we departed.

And we were close to the hotel Principi di Piemonte when we noticed that at the entrance of the hotel there were so many photographers, and we decided to get closer to see who it was. And Simon was there!!!!!! Aaaaahh he was at about 10 cm from us; we touched him (I touched him actually, my friend was still shocked). In no time, we find ourselves at the side of the car, and we are both knocking on the window (don't ask me why I did it, because I don't know), and Simon was saying hello and sending kisses (he looked a little gay in doing so). All I have to say about this third type encounter is that 20 years ago he was much better :P But anyway, I can't believe this yet! I have met Simon Lebon!!!

Italy no longer accepts illegal immigrants. Mr. B sink their boats!!!!!!!

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