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Winter Olymics 2010 Officially Opens

published  First Published: 12/02/2010
Article written by: News Editor: Nigel Brookson
The Winter Olympic Games Opening Ceremony was launched in a flurry of ticker-tape Saturday afternoon Australian time in an event dedicated to Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili, who died earlier in a horror smash.
The domed BC Place stadium in Vancouver was packed with thousands of people clad in white in an event involving a host of stars and linking Canada's past with the modern nation, including a welcome from Native peoples.
Ahead of the start of the ceremony, organisers said it would include several elements in honour of Kumaritashvili who was killed after flying off the luge track at high speed and smashing into a metal pillar during a training run.
As the Georgian team, dressed in red and wearing black armbands, marched into the stadium, the crowd cheered and stood to applaud.
The show was being staged in front of International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge, Canadian governor general Michaelle Jean and the chiefs of the Four Host First Nations.
Flagbearers included ice hockey legend Bobby Orr, former Formula One world champion Jacques Villeneuve and actor Donald Sutherland.
Performers featured on the programme included teenage musical prodigy Nikki Yanofsky and international stars Bryan Adams and Joni Mitchell.
The two Korean teams were kept apart as the teams marched into the stadium.
North Korea, listed as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, entered the stadium at number 23 while the South entered at number 45.
The two nations have remained technically at war since their 1950-53 conflict ended only in an armistice.
Australia's leading snowboarder Torah Bright was our 'Flagbearer' followed by the 40 strong Australian contingent.
"I didn't think about carrying the flag - it's a huge honour. I've come a long way for a girl from Cooma (NSW gateway to the Snowy Mountains). I think this represents a new era, now we have all these young kids coming up" said Bright.
Bright, 23, goes into her second Games as one of the favourites for the women's halfpipe gold medal.



Related Article: Georgian Dies in Horrific Training Crash-Luge


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