Last night I watched the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. I always enjoy watching this event, especially the parade of nations and the lighting of the torch. My favorite torchlighting had to be at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, when an archer fired a flaming arrow in pitch darkness from the bottom of the stadium all the way up to the torch.
Mr. Lucky slept through that. I thought it was very cool. Since then, I've thought they tried too hard to come up with ingenious ways of lighting that torch--I'm still trying to figure out what the one in Atlanta, 1996, was all about. I liked how they did it last night, with the guy flying around the inner rim of the stadium like Tinkerbell, before he finally lit the torch and the flames spiraled upward into the cauldron.
The fireworks were scintillating and amazing, but then the Chinese invented them.
I was glad to see President Bush there in his shirt sleeves, only to don his coat as he and Mrs. Bush stood up to cheer the U.S. athletes.
But what really grabbed my heart was the above image of the 7'6" Yao Ming, a Chinese basketball player who carried his country's flag for the host nation's team, accompanied by a little 9 year old boy named Lin Hao who was a survivor and hero of the recent earthquake in the Sichuan province (he saved a couple of his classmates).
What is it about these two guys that sticks with me and plays havoc with my mushy, sentimental old heart? After sleeping on it, I realized this morning that they remind me of my own two boys--the 19 year old (20 in October) 6'5" Crown Prince, and Baby Bear who used to be dwarfed by his big brother, but now, at 5'8" (and he's only 10 years old, turning 11 next week!) is swiftly closing the gap.
The Crown Prince is fond of saying that he's "a big boy" while Baby Bear "is a little boy."
Too soon they'll both be very big boys. How tall will Baby Bear be at next Summer Olympics, in 2012? He'll be 15 years old. Will he be as tall as his big brother? Or will he become the bigger brother, if still the younger?
P.S. This was my first ever attempt at uploading an image all by myself! (Photo from The Official Website of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games)