I am Canadian and I was against hosting the Olympics here. I think the Olympics has become Oympics™ Inc., and I don’t see why any tax dollars should go to support it. If you’re going to spend money like that, don’t spend if for a two-week celebration of athleticism, especially when some of those athletes make millions of dollars per year. That said, I do think the Opening Ceremonies were money well spent and something governments should do. Occasionally.
First, it was brilliantly done, even with the technical flaws that threatened to mar the ending, and the occasional product placement was annoying. I remember when the Canadian contingent came in, somebody was wearing a Hudson’s Bay coat. But the whole production was magnificent. The prairie scene with the flying guy was just really well done. I’m not from the Prairies, never been there – I’ve just flown over. But I came away with a real sense of what they could be, and a hint of what it might be like to grow up there. Someday I would like to visit and confirm.
The whole thing was a rather marvellous celebration of Canada, as put on by British Columbia, and it was a tribute. If we want a country, we need a common culture, we need to experience other regions and other people in this country. (That’s why I have argued so strongly for rebuilding the railway across Canada. Imagine taking a sleeper car from Moncton to Vancouver. This is what we need to apply more tax dollars to.)
Lacking that trans-Canada railway, occasional productions like the Opening Ceremonies, when wonderfully done as last night’s was, are a worthy use of taxpayer dollars in my view.