I didn't like those closing ceremonies. Whomever planned them wasn't thinking.
I fully understand that it was supposed to be poking fun at Canada by showcasing all these mounties running around in red tunics. That part I fully understood to be in jest.
What I didn't understand is how the people organizing those games failed to realize that the vast majority of the athletes there came from other countries and can't understand the language well enough to be in on the joke. What they're seeing is an image of a mountie in front of a log cabin in winter singing "The Maple Leaf Forever". It would be like if I was at the Olympic Games in Holland, and the whole closing ceremony was all about wooden shoes, windmills and tulips. Or at the Olympics in Tokyo, and they start bringing out giant sumo wrestler balloons and then induct everyone into the fraternity of kamikazi pilots. I'd be thinking "Why are you doing this? I just wanna know how I'm supposed to respond to this."
That piece by Katherine O'Hara was a disaster. It was supposed to be funny, but nobody was laughing. I expect most of the athletes couldn't follow her conversation well enough to get the humour, but I think most people just though that kind of humour wasn't entirely appropriate in that situation.
And, what was surprising to me is that apparantly no one realized that when this stuff is broadcast to other countries, then people will be hearing a translator, and the proper meaning can be lost in those translations. Imagine you were watching those ceremonies in South Korea, or Finland, and the translator says "Having a visitor is like eating a fish. You like eating the fish at first, but you know that the fish will eventually go bad and start to smell. Please leave here and don't come back."
Heck, it's hard enough to tell when someone's being serious or joking around on the internet when you can't see their expression when they say something, and you can't hear the tone of voice they say it in. Here, people are listening to it in a foreign language, and are hearing a translator say it without any emotion at all. They're left to make of it what they will, and they can easily get the impression they're being insulted. Why the he11 didn't that cross anyone in Vancouver's mind
It seems to me that whomever organized that closing ceremony should have realized that at an international venue, when most of the athletes and their relatives have a limited knowledge of English, it would have been better to play it safe and give them a show they're not going to be wondering about. It was bizarre enough that some people might have been half expecting the lights to suddenly go out and a strange gas to be pumped into the air in the stadium. Ha Ha. We thought that was funny! Didn't you? (Not a safe way to make a good impression.)
Last edited by Nestor_Kelebay; 03-01-2010 at 12:32 AM.