2018 Winter Season Olympics: Christine Brennan’s top 5 opening event minutes
Brennan: My top 5 Olympic opening event moments
5. Sydney, 2000: The stadium was huge, rising to the sky filled with 120,000 spectators (about 10,000 more than our most significant college football arenas), much of them proud Aussies ready for their turn on the worldwide phase. The best minute came at completion, when one iconic Australian female Olympic star passed the Olympic torch to another, until track star Cathy Freeman, standing under a waterfall, lit the caldron.
4. Salt Lake City, 2002: The biggest upset in sports history was the Miracle on Ice, the United States males’s hockey group’s triumph over the Soviets in Lake Placid in 1980. I was still in college and wasn’t there, however the next best thing was being at the 2002 Winter season Olympic opening ceremony, where all 20 members of that fantastic team, led by captain Mike Eruzione, came together at the top of the arena to light the boiler.3.
London, 2012: After Beijing’s chillingly lavish opening ceremony four years previously, numerous wondered how London might even start to compete. Not to worry. London just needed to be London, with all its terrific music and history, with double-decker buses and lots of Mary Poppins– and Queen Elizabeth “sky-jumping” into the arena.
2. Atlanta, 1996: I’ll always remember the sound in the crowd as the great Muhammad Ali, shaking from Parkinson’s, emerged from the darkness to receive the flame from swimming star Janet Evans and haltingly light the boiler. Up until that night, I didn’t understand 10s of thousands might gasp in unison.1.
Los Angeles, 1984: It was a picture-perfect, sun-splashed day in the L.A. Coliseum, painted so perfectly in the Games’ signature pastel colors. The day simply shouted out in joy. I was brand-new in my profession at The Miami Herald, and was stuck in a state of perpetual awe throughout the day. During the event, Herald sports columnist Edwin Pope leaned over to me and said words that I have actually retold others dozens of times: “You’re in the one put on earth that everybody would wish to be today.” How lucky could a young journalist be?
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