2008 Olympic Opening Ceremony – as seen from Korea (spoilers)

By greenteapanda

August 8, 2008

Category: Games

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I was very impressed by tonight’s Olympic Opening Ceremony and its rehearsal. I loved the flying torch man running around the top of the Olympic Stadium at the end.

Certain places seemed to get a lot more cheering than others – Australia, (PR) China, "Chinese Taipei," Hong Kong, and Pakistan immediately come to mind. Russia and the USA also had fairly strong cheering sections. Given the number of Koreans in Beijing (their numbers there have surpassed the numbers of overseas Koreans in Los Angeles), I was surprised how weak the cheering for South Korea was. North Korea had louder cheering, though it did not last as long as the cheering for South Korea.

However, I did think certain things were quite unprofessional, like delegates from each country carrying cheap digital cameras and taking pictures as they walked around the stadium. Some were squawking away on their mobile phones. If they want to play with electronic toys, they really shouldn’t be in the delegation. Two people in Russia’s delegation were especially bad – those two both talked on mobile phones while taking pictures with low-end digital cameras.

Besides looking unprofessional, the pictures taken in such a manner are likely extremely blurry. If it was really necessary to have a camera, those people should have used a quality digital SLR. Only one of the people out of all the countries actually was taking pictures with a good camera.

As far as Korean coverage went – KBS1 had the best coverage. They aired no adverts during the performance. MBC aired ads in the middle of the delegate parade. SBS, which should have been completely banned for their behaviour, often put the ceremony into a small window while their annoying commentators took centre stage. Given that three channels were playing the same video, I found it annoying that they all chose to dub over the speeches toward the end of the ceremony. I watch foreign movies with subtitles, and would have liked to have the same opportunity for the Olympic ceremony (especially since I understand both the Chinese and English being spoken). Only a short statement about keeping the games free of drugs (spoken in Chinese) was not dubbed over.

The soft, pixelated video quality meant I could only make out Chinese characters in the movable type section of the performance when the camera zoomed in.

It would have been nice if there was an option to watch the Chinese Olympic feed, but international broadcast agreements mean none of the CCTV channels available internationally are broadcasting Olympic coverage.

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