The Just-Okay Olympic Opening Ceremony Somehow Warmed My Pandemic-Hardened Heart

I am officially recognized as…not the biggest fan of the Olympics. Sure, I love Simone Biles and Megan Rapinoe as much as the next (or maybe more, because somehow I own not one but two copies of Rapinoe Memoir), and I’m happy to see skateboarding and windsurfing heading into this year’s Olympics, but overall, I’d describe myself as something of an Olympic Grinch. That’s why I was shocked to find myself watching Olympic opening ceremony at 7 a.m. EST this morning, and in fact…feel everything?

To be honest, this year’s opening ceremony was quite boring, even New York Times call procedures “Overpower.” The small number of spectators (about 1,000 people in a space designed for 68,000 seats) made the event less lively, and although Presence of First Lady Jill Biden, athletes at the Japan National Stadium were seen “lying on the floor, looking at their phones”, according to TimesVanessa Friedman’s chief fashion critic. There are bright spots, such as the great Liberian team outfit (which is create by American Liberian designer Telfar Clemens), the presence of basketball star Sue Bird as the flag bearer, and Naomi Osaka – who is representing Japan at this year’s Olympics – lighting the cauldron. Olympics; but overall, everything is very nice meh.

What surprised me, however, was how excited I was to see athletes from almost every country waving flags and gesturing happily in the stands. I’m definitely an Olympics viewer of the “watch USA Gymnastics” genre in a bar with my friends, and not someone you’d expect to be swayed by glitz and perfection. international scene, but one thing I really appreciated was seeing how many teams were wearing masks. Turns out this is what I really wanted to see; normal, be careful with it. Yes, Tokyo’s infection rate is still soaringand a good part of Team America still unvaccinated—But after the last year of the pandemic, I’ll take what I can get. | The Just-Okay Olympic Opening Ceremony Somehow Warmed My Pandemic-Hardened Heart


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