Posted by: PPHR | February 13, 2010

Life’s a Game – Painting With Light

By Kevin Damaskie

“This is the most awesome coolness… I love those whales!”

High in the second level of BC Place, my six-year-old son Winter pumps his fist into the air. He and I marvel at the passion and majesty unfolding before our wide eyes as Orca whales painted with light on a white snow canvas breach the virtual Pacific below us. We are inside and we are outside ourselves.

The secret is out, the 2010 Winter Olympic Games Opening Ceremony was pure magic. There must have been some magic in the acrobatics, music and light show as Winter and I share the genetic ability to sit still for about nine minutes maximum.

The ceremonial magic snow flurries fluttering about our heads worked as the show kept us glued to our seats for around three hours – a world record for us both.

It all started mid morning on Tuesday when an email hit my desk announcing the first 25 RMOW staff to respond would receive a pair of tickets to the dress rehearsal for the top secret opening night.

Dropping what I was doing (see reference to attention span above) I replied simply with “I’m in.” Twenty minutes later Winter and I were confirmed as attendees to the most secret gathering in Vancouver since the last sale of the Canucks hockey team.

Friends around the office banded together and a quick car pool was organized. Two moms and their eight year old daughters and one Kevin and Winter.

“I am so honoured to have witnessed the rehearsal,” said my co-worker Deena McCauley. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am just tickled to share it with my daughter Olivia.”

I, for one, thought the Beijing Opening Ceremony would be hard to top. But O’ Canada, I stand on guard for “Zed” not “Zee.” For your First Nations culture and the ice totems that so graciously welcomed the world from all four directions, for your poetry, music and for kd lang most of all – Hallelujah. The Games have begun. Whistler, you should be proud…

Yesterday afternoon I gathered with other citizens of Whistler and the world to celebrate the opening of these Games. A tragedy at the Whistler Sliding Centre earlier in the day had taken some of the magic from the moment – my heart goes out to the family, friends and comrades of Nodar Kumaritashvili. But with tears in my eyes I looked around and realized through tragedy comes triumph, through pain comes perseverance. Hug your neighbours Whistler, we will prevail.

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