Gallery: Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony

A giant ‘starlit’ bear welcomed the world to Vancouver as part of the XXI Winter Olympics at BC Place Stadium.

The indoor ceremony sprang to life with culture, colour, lights, dance, pop, opera, sport and spectacle in an Opening Ceremony produced by Australia’s David Atkins.

There were whales, tap dancers, poetry, fiddlers, totem poles, the traditions of folklore, maple leaves, Donald Sutherland, Bryan Adams, Sarah McLachlan, Nellie Furtado, and k.d. lang.

The ceremony was dedicated to a Georgian athlete who tragically lost his life training on the luge on the first day of the Olympiad. Many athletes, including the Australian team, wore black arm bands in tribute. One minute’s silence was also observed.

But in a moment reminiscent of the Sydney Olympics the lighting of the cauldron was marred by the failure as one of three support furnaces failed to rise.

This post updates.


  1. Worst opening ceremony of all those I’ve seen in the last 20 years – whilst the whole cauldron thing was a frace, lighting an indoor cauldron for 20 minutes which would mean nothing for the rest of the games. An indoor stadium should never be permitted again, but even with it something better could have been done, even if it was lighting the main outdoor cauldron by lighting something inside.

  2. I wouldn’t bag all of Nine commentary of the Opening Ceremony. There was a third guy commentating with Eddie and Leila during the parade of nations. I forgot his name, but he did a great job i think telling us about the olympians, proving his expertise about winter sports. Far better than what Moron McGuire and the CEO’s wife could do.

  3. We know Leila McKinnon is on a good thing with her off screen connections at Nine but can’t they give her bags of money for an off screen job so at least we can watch the coverage without the superfluous comments?

  4. Thank you so much for these beautiful pictures from the Opening Ceremony!!! The Ceremony was absolutely awesome – very, very beautiful. The lighting, music and props were absolutely outstanding. Take a bow, David Atkins, Ignatius Jones and all responsible for this visually uplifting feast for the eyes! Congratulations, Canada, beautiful job!

  5. It would have been a sign of respect at least pronounce the name of the deceased Georgian athlete correctly, but Eddie couldn’t even get that right! How embarrassing… And I know all the networks are given a script of the ceremony to base their commentary on, but you could at least try to make it sound like you’re not reading it out verbatim.

  6. Its Time for Seven to tackle the Games head on and get the rights back. After last night i couldnt stand one more minute of Eddie McGuire. At least Seven have likeable people in their commentary and they actually know what they are talking about.

    Seven could put in a bid in which it has 5 or 6 channels of events or even more now that the next rights up for grabs will mean everything FTA will be digital. So they can put a more pursuasive bid in and more incentive. People have said now PayTV has it, it wont go back but if its only digital around i can see Seven covering it like no network has covered it before.

  7. Eddie McGuire is no Bruce. I never thought I’d miss Mr McAvaney but during the opening ceremony as the athletes were coming into the stadium and Eddie was struggling to say anything about them – I missed Bruce and Ralene and the crew. Ken Sutcliffe is no Sandy Roberts either!!

  8. Is anyone else missing Sandy Roberts, Bruce and the gang? Eddie came across like he really didn’t know what he was talking about during the opening ceremony – particularly as the athletes were walking in. The only teams he seemed to have briefing notes on were the Australian’s and Americans! Maybe we have just been spoilt by the research and attention to detail that Bruce McAveney, Sandy Roberts and Jo Griggs put into their commentary and back-announcing?

  9. Jacques Le Loupe

    In recent memory, I’ve watched the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games here at home and thought that the Seven network commentators did a reasonable job of the coverage. The 2006 Games in Torino, I saw on French TV, again a reasonably good coverage by mostly european commentators who were predictably, very passionate and very knowledgeable about the Winter Olympics events, sports and competitors.

    However, my observation of the Vancouver 2010 opening ceremony, is that the the Ch9 commentators were just woeful. As others have mentioned, “Eddie Everywhere” was simply dreadful. For example, at one point TV viewers had just been told by the event narrator, of the Canadian First Nations people having identified four major star constellations as – the white buffalo, the eagle, the wolf, and the bear. Immediately after that, Eddie babbled on telling us about the “coyote” being one of the four constellations! No one had mentioned anything about a coyote at all. Also, Eddie needs to learn how to string a coherent sentence together, and preferably, without an autocue. Oddly enough, at times, Eddie’s commentary sounded much like a mediocre game show host reading out questions. Cringeworthy!

    After the opening ceremony and from watching day one, I have to agree with Ted on Ken Sutcliffe’s wooden performance. Just boring! Sadly, there are only a few out of the entire commentary team with any credibility. These are the former the “Winter” Olympians (definitely not the ex-swimmers etc) who do know what they are talking about, and of course the highly-professional Phil Liggett who is not only articulate and interesting but also, extremely knowledgeable. Eddie & Ken need to face the reality that they are out of their depth and really should leave it to sportscasting pros like Phil.

  10. Day 1….and while the Nine commentators talk up the ski jumping as the “first Gold medal of the games”…..they had shown a speed skating Gold medal 45 mins earlier

    Live coverage from Vancouver eh??

  11. Wasn’t blown away by the ceremony but it was quite entertaining, KD Lang was fantastic, shame about ‘Eddie’ & “Leila’, why did we need them & thank goodness they finally stopped cutting back to the Aussies, we missed a few countries martching in, at one stage they obviously thought that watching our flag bearers behind while she walked up the stairs to her seat was more important & why weren’t we shown the premiere of the ‘We Are The World’ for Haiti fundraising video that was shown during the ceremony as the rest of the world apparently were

  12. Has Channel Nine’s Wide World of Sports got a new slogan: “The Big Sport Occasions Network.” I heard like that saying, or something similar like 10 times throughout the primetime broadcast.

  13. @Ed

    It shouldn’t matter what allegiances a person has as long as they back up their criticism with examples which is what I always do, then people can make up their own minds. I personally will criticise any network whenever I think it is due but I do agree that when people make sweeping statement like “great commentary” or “bad commentary” etc. without giving reasons or examples, it does show their bias in a form that isn’t conducive to genuine criticism or discussion.

  14. A great Opening Ceremony was spoiled by the Ch.9 commentary. At times it seemed English was a second language to Eddie. I look forward (not) to 2 more weeks of “There’s no doubt about that”.

  15. This is a fantastic site, but it does get a little tedious when articles like this garner a plethora of opportunistic point scoring jibes from flag waving network fan boys or haters, dressed up as objective commentary.

    If you follow TV Tonight regularly, you don’t really need to be a rocket scientist to see where some people’s allegiances lie and that all their comments are an expression of that allegiance.

  16. Yeah i have to agree the broadcast was put together very well but let down again by those stupid Channel Nine commentators. At least Seven’s were informed and knew their stuff. Leila and Eddie knew very very little.

    At one stage when Australia came out Eddie went on a rambling rampage about all the athletes he could see yet we were getting the next countries pictures. That is a joke to me.

  17. A very spectacular opening ceremony. This is the first Olympic Games to be produced in-house by a subsidiary of the IOC (previous Games were made the local broadcaster and more recently by the local organizing committee) so they did a great job.
    @ Cameron: you will have to watch clips from the opening ceremony and Nine’s Winter Olympics telecast at the ninemsn Winter Olympics website.

  18. Secret Squïrrel

    @koverstreet: get off your Nine soapbox! Ch9 did a fine job of relaying what they were given, but Eddie was embarrassingly unprofessional as usual, and Leila was simply awful.

  19. The opening ceremony was indeed spectacular, it had exceeded my expectations & was a most delightful visual display as well as a fantastic cultural performance. The ch. Nine commentary I thought was very hit and miss, the factual tidbits were informative, however, there was a lot of unnecessary commentary, for example, I didn’t need to know that it was a proud moment for the young lady singing ‘O Canada’ because we can figure it out for ourselves. That’s just one of many moments when the commentators didn’t need to interrupt.

    The commentators need not be condescending, they should relate to the viewers as equals.

  20. @ brian – agreed Eddie and Leila did a great job and I enjoyed listening to their very informative comments.

    Kudos to Nine on a job well done.

  21. a very good opening ceremony, and very emotional with the georgian team.

    i’ve always thought Leila Mc was awful, i just find the overpowering and commanding tone she takes in interviews very rude and unpleasant. wasn’t much different today.

  22. Brilliant Ceremony. Excellent production by Host Broadcaster. Was fantastic to watch on 9HD. Great that 9 didn’t flash promos across the screen and insert their own ad breaks. Hard gig for Eddie and Leila to keep everyone happy with the commentary but at least it was heaps better then ever done by 7.

  23. The opening was just fabulous, really well put together and entertaining.

    What a pity our Aussie Ch9 commentators were so uninformend and boring….Ugh

  24. I think S makes a good point. The Host broadcaster did an excellent job but 9 continue the odd practice of rambling over the Host broadcasters pictures as if they are reading from the ‘Opening Ceremony Guide” handed out to the crowd when they walked in the stadium. Surely they could have come up with something different like brief supers at the bottom of the screen explaining each set and then wrapped it up at the end as they did anyway.

  25. Leila McKinnon is a gushing idiot, and Eddie needs to be told to commentate on what the viewers are seeing, not what he is seeing…

    Well done to the Canadians and the Host Broadcast coverage was excellent..

  26. I’m not usually much of a fan of opening ceremonies but some of this was spectacular indeed.

    The young boy doing the routine to the Joni Mitchell song “both sides now” was particularly impressive.

  27. Why is the Spencer Gulf and Broken Hill missing out on the Winter Olympics when it is on the anti-siphoning list? Win is broadcasting it on 2 channels in the Riverland and south east of SA. They have it on their main channel, a 7 affiliate despite already having channel 9 being broadcast though Win Nine also showing the olympics. Southern Cross are preventing viewers in their SA licence area to miss out unless the can pick up Nine from Adelaide or Win from the riverland or if they paid $65 for the Austar package. SC still airs the cricket as normal despite it coming from Nine. Whats the go with SC not broadcasting a major sporting event in a monopoly region without channel 9?

    Other than that the opening ceremony pics look stunning, pity some missed out due to very poor television services. Bring on the full services as promised by the government.

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