A Running Diary of the Sochi Opening Ceremony


Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Images

Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Images

As is typical of me, every now and then I throw out a post that has nothing to do with parenting at all, just me being sarcastic.  I know, buckle your seat belts, right?  Anyway, there’s been a lot of talk about these winter games for a variety of reasons.  You’ve got the whole, “we’re not quite ready yet, kind of still building hotels” story line, along with the whole, “yeah, we are not cool with homosexuality” going on in Russia that has sparked calls for protests in most of the world.  Yet still is the overwhelming perception that Putin is interested in restoring as much power to the Russian federal government as possible, and that has come at the expense of civil and social liberties.

 However, all of this tends to be forgotten in the scope of running an Olympic games.  The human rights discussion ignited all over the world when Beijing was announced as the host of the 2008 games, but once it all started, there was little to be heard about that.  So, sometimes the tone is set at the opening ceremony, which everyone loves because they get to see how the host country is going to entertain everyone with their view of their history (which is always so nice and cheery).  People also love to see what all the other countries will wear into the arena when they are announced, and the announcers use this as an opportunity to educate idiot Americans about where Andorra is (and if you paid attention in school, you should know anyway…I wouldn’t mind living there).

 So, last night was a rare occasion: Holly was out with friends and the girls BOTH went to bed at 7:30…the ceremony started briefly after 8.  I hopped on Twitter and decided to share my thoughts as the ceremony progressed, that was a class maneuver.  It’s funny how you are thinking the same thing as 100 people at once.  Anyway, I had some random thoughts and thought I’d share them in a running diary format for a post.  Hey, it’s different, and I think you’ll like it.  If not, you need to check out “Photo…BOMB“, you’ll probably enjoy that post more.

 **DISCLAIMER: Some of my thoughts in the post are from Twitter last night…I don’t feel the need to say that every time, but I don’t think I need to give credit to myself either.  I am not stealing Twitter posts from anyone else but me.**

 7:36 – I don’t like most of the events in the Winter Olympics and don’t even understand skeet shooting, but I can’t help but get excited for the Opening Ceremony.  The Parade of Nations continues to be one of the coolest things anyone can do.

 7:44 – No way, a Maria Sharapova interview?  Don’t we know any other Russians?

 7:46 – OK, just found out Sharapova lived in Sochi before moving to…wait for it, Florida.  I wonder who the over-interviewed person of the Games is going to be…

 8:10 – I thought the ceremony started at 7:30…lots of empty seats and they’re not even close.

 8:11 – I’m not stupid, I know this is not live…just throwing it out there.

 8:17 – The story line with the girl flying the kite and flying through her dreams is pretty cool, although the commentary is helping another dumb American like me…as I would be totally lost without it.

 8:19 – The girl is cute, now I’m already tired of the commentary.  Did anyone know that Tulsa, Oklahoma made a bid for a future summer games?? Tulsa.

 8:32 – Screenshots of Comrade Putin…seriously waiting for him to stand up and say, “I must break you.”

 8:33 – Very, very good rendition of the Russian anthem.  Beautiful.  However, does anyone else think of the first Call of Duty: Modern Warfare when hearing it?  Sounds like when you win on the Spetsnaz team.

 8:38 – Parade of Nations starting, really liking the way the country is projected on the floor and participants are coming out from the center of the arena.  Gotta admit though, there’s a lot of “Hunger Games” comparisons going on in the Twittersphere.

 8:40 – What is up with the Russian rave music?  If they keep this up there may be some American twerking going on soon…I’ve heard the Russians aren’t cool with that.

 8:41 – Greece is always the first country, they look spiffy but wonder if the gloves with “rainbow” fingers mean anything…hmmm…

 8:43 – I’m highly interested in moving to Andorra (which is a tiny country located between Spain and France, thank you) just to be an Olympic athlete in something.  I’d have to learn the anthem and such, but you can’t tell me I couldn’t go over there and throw discus or something.

 8:45 – I’m finding it hard to believe that in all the corporate sponsors and commercialism surrounding the Olympics, the Parade of Nations can’t be shown without commercials.  Belarus is the first country to get snubbed…they’ll remember this Today Show!!

 8:46 – Ok, the rave music is getting wild now.  It’s like being in a four-hour FIAT commercial (which actually can’t be all that bad).

 8:48 – Matt Lauer (who is getting exponentially more annoying as this ceremony goes on) just told us it is 50 degrees at the ceremony.  Um, I live in North Carolina, and it’s fifteen less than that here right now.  When did Russia look tropical?

 8:53 – Great Britain enters looking dapper, as if anyone expected otherwise, they always look put together.  Uh oh, just cut out on another country, but since they are going in Cyrillic alphabetical order, I couldn’t tell you who comes next.  I guess as long as we show the G-20 countries we are ok.  Yay, politics!

 8:55 – Lots of comparisons on Twitter between the ladies in white dresses wearing the name of the country and Lady Gaga.  My opinion is that the comparison doesn’t quite match up because they are not wearing meat suits.

 8:56 – Matt Lauer introduces Germany and tells us their rainbow jackets were not meant to be interpreted as a protests of Russian policies on homosexuality.  Um, right…

 8:58 – I’ve officially reached my limit with the rave music, I’ve issued a public call for them to replace it with the soundtrack from “The Legend of Zelda” Nintendo game.

 9:01 – The Irish have just entered and they look particularly mean.  It appears to me as though they have just killed a herd of elk and aren’t finished yet.  I’m scared of them.

 9:03 – I already know what the Americans are wearing (because, you know, this isn’t live), but I really wish they would come out in Joe Namath mink coats.  Did you know Joe Namath’s coat had it’s own hashtag during the Super Bowl and was trending??

 9:06 – One of the guys I talk to regularly on Twitter informed me he can’t read any more of my tweets because he’s on the West Coast and the suspense is killing him.  Yay, influence!!

 9:07 – Ok, I’m tired of the Twitter feed because it’s telling me to shred pounds…stop telling me this, I already know it.  And don’t follow me!

 9:09 – I get irrationally excited for the French pronunciation of the United States: “LES ETATS UNIS!!”  Anticipation…

 9:10 – Noticed that Liechtenstein has four participants but only 37,000 citizens.  That’s not a bad ratio at all.  Perhaps the twins can be alpine skiers in Liechtenstein, although cost of living is pretty high according to House Hunters International.

 9:15 – The Dutch just entered…got me to thinking.  If Amsterdam ever holds an Olympic games, will the athletes actually compete or just hang out at the hotel for two weeks because they are always “hungry”?

 9:23 – Lots of discussion about the dancing snowflakes.  They’ve been two-stepping for a good 45 minutes…what’s the over/under for dancers passing out during the parade?  I’m calling 3.5.

 9:25 – The US enters with its 230 athletes and…those sweaters.  Lots of people said they looked like tacky Christmas sweaters, but I still like them, and they seem so appropriate for the winter games.  It’s the kind of thing that Olympic athletes can pull off and, no one else.

 9:31 – Ok, now I know I’m getting old because, well, Shaun White looks old.  He looks like a teacher in an ABC Family movie.

 9:40 – France wins, hands down.  They look so sophisticated it’s not even funny.  I’m really impressed.  Viva la France!!

 9:42 – Sweden should enter with a big IKEA sign.  I think that would be awesome.

 9:47 – Team Russia enters.  Ladies, Mrs. Claus called…she’s extremely upset that you stole all of her coats and wants them returned immediately.  As close as some of you live to the North Pole, should be a short walk (or ski, whatever).

 10:00 – All countries and participants are seated and ready to watch Russian history.  Matt just said the upcoming video is 1000 years of Russian history in three minutes.  Yeah, that should do the trick.  Kind of wondering how they will address the whole communism and anti-freedom stuff during the ceremony.

 10:03 – Can’t help but think if the games were in the US right now, the show would just be a two-hour long Prezi.

 10:10 – The show is really trippy and doesn’t make much sense at all.  However, the ballet is incredible, and I don’t like ballet.  The other positive is that the floor projections are amazing.  Therefore, even though Russian propaganda prevails in this “history” show, some of the elements are fantastic.

 10:20 – Wondering if the Miracle on Ice will be presented in the ceremony?  Sorry, Americans love America!!

 10:30 – I feel like I just watched Russian Schoolhouse Rock…not really sure what happened but I feel strangely entertained.

 10:35 – Is it just me or does Putin look like a drunk Phil Collins?  Maybe it’s just me.

 10:40 – I think it bears repeating that Tulsa made a bid for the summer games.  Tulsa.

 10:45 – No one else to cover the Olympics than the crew of the Today Show?  Really, guys, the commentary is so over-the-top and annoying now that mute is the only option.  At one point, Matt Lauer felt it necessary to explain what YOLO meant.  Parents, if you don’t know, turn to your kid and they can explain.

11:02 – Totally shocked that Maria Sharapova is running the torch into the stadium…why not though?  Thought the lighting of the cauldron was pretty cool, and the fireworks were pretty epic.  Also just realized how awesome Chris Collinsworth is as an announcer…he’s not just a football guy.  I really want some Olympic gear, even though I live in North Carolina and could only use it two months out of the year (except this year of course).

I guess in everything, it’s worth noting that the Olympics are about peace, about honest and fair competition, and about coming together to share in an event.  There’s a lot of mess in the world, and there always will be.  There are things that just don’t seem to make sense, and you can highlight any country and probably point something out that doesn’t pass the smell test.  Let’s hope the Olympics are drama-free and full of great competition.  And if you from outside the US, enough with the sweater comments.  We all get it, and most of us can’t afford Ralph Lauren anyway.


The Beginning
About Mike Crider

Mike is a school administrator and father of twin daughters. He enjoys writing about his adventures as a father of toddlers at his blog "Twin Dad Talks: Thoughts on Raising Twins, and Everything Else". Mike has also contributed for Good Men Project, Grown Ups Magazine, TWINS Magazine and Multiplicity Magazine. He also hosts a twitter chat called #TwinsChat for parents of multiples, which runs on Monday nights at 9 pm EST.

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  1. David Stanley says:

    Funny stuff. Random comment re: Lichtenstein. Two of the greatest Alpine skiers ever are from there, brother and sister team of Hanni and Andreas Wenzel. So, there’s hope for you and the twins.

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