Last week, I shared details about the Pan Am Games Chairman's Reception. This week, I thought I would share the Opening Ceremonies!! The Pan Am Opening Ceremonies are VERY similar to the Olympic Opening Ceremonies.
From the Chairman's Reception, we were escorted down to a box in the 200s section of the Rogers Centre.
|Crowd at the Rogers Centre|
I THINK we had good seats, but we actually decided to stay at a table in the box as we had a clear view of the stage. We felt if we went to our seats, we might have people blocking our view. Plus, if we stayed at the table, we had servers that would come to our table to our drink order/deliver our drinks. They also had food available for us in the box.
|View from our table|
Cirque du Soleil opened with a fantastic show that represented all of the countries of the world.It was a great start!!
|Performers entering the stage|
|Performers on stage|
During the performance, they showed a video that showcased the Pan Am flames journey to get to Toronto. The video showed someone skydiving off of the CN Tower, aiming towards Rogers Centre. Donovan Bailey that entered the Rogers Centre with the flame.
|Flame entering Rogers Centre|
After the flame was brought in, there was a bit of a torch rally on the stage, with the lighting of the cauldron. After the cauldron was lit, Cirque continued with their performance. What I liked about the opening piece was that there was a focus on Native culture- which is so important to Canada and our Canadian history- and bringing the different cultures of the world together.
|Performers again...can you spot the Native Hoop Dancer?|
After the opening performance, the Canadian flag was brought in Rogers Centre by the RCMP and was raised. This was accompanied by the singing of the Canadian National Anthem.
|RCMP and the Canadian flag|
Next up was the Parade of Nations. Since the Pan Am Games were started in Argentina, they enter first (just as Greece always enters first for the Olympics). After Argentina, the countries enter alphabetically by their Spanish name.
|Team USA entering Rogers Centre|
|More of Team USA|
Just like the Olypmics, the host country enters last. I can't even explain to you, what a thrill it was to be cheering on Team Canada as they made their entrance into the stadium. It was a great moment of personal pride, to be united with country, cheering and celebrating our athletes.
|Team Canada!!!! Mark Oldershaw was our flag bearer...and I had the chance to meet him later on during the games.|
|Last picture of Team Canada|
After all of the nations were in the Rogers Centre and seated, Cirque du Soleil came in as if the were part of the Parade of Nations, as the walked past the volunteers, the volunteers joined the parade and were eventually lead out of the stadium. This was a great transition to the next part of Cirque's performance. There were a ton of different scenes and 'stories' that was part of the performance. While I have tons of picture, and I want to avoid a 'photo dump; I am only going to share a few that highlight the performance. Here they are:
|Suspended from the ceiling. There was also, later in the show, aeriel acts|
|They were tumbling over the fire...it was pretty cool.|
After the Cirque performance, the Olympic and Pan Am flags were brought in and raised. There were speeches, the athlete and official oaths were taken, more speeches, and finally fireworks from the CN tower! Unfortunately, I don't have any firework pictures, but they were spectacular.
While the Opening Ceremonies was LONG- it took forever for all the athletes to come, but was so worth it to see the Canadian athletes and cheer for them- and some parts were boring- I'm looking at you, speeches- it was over all a FANTASTIC event!!! I am so thankful that I had the chance to be there and experience it in person. Once in a lifetime opportunity that I will never forget.
Next week, I'll be sharing some of the events I attended!