Vail Daily letter: Disappointing ceremonies
I would like to thank the thousands of volunteers and organizers who are working hard to make this event an experience to remember. Unfortunately, the Opening Ceremonies didn’t feel like a world-class event with 1 billion worldwide TV viewers. To quote Mr. LaConte’s article, “‘I don’t know who this is, Andreas something,’ said 19-year old Jamee Hanrahan.” That sums up much of my disappointment.
My family was there last night toward the very back, standing on a rock, so we had a good vantage point. While we had fun and it was a spectacle rarely seen in Vail, it felt like a rehearsal for something less important than a FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. The athletes marched on to the stage and I wonder who could focus on them with the oversized ticker listing their country names flying overhead. It was clear that most of the crowd had no idea who the performers were by the fact that very few were singing along or dancing. I felt so bad when the tenor group asked everyone to sing along and they didn’t. To make it even less engaging I don’t recall many of the acts being announced — they just marched on to the stage and started to perform. Throughout the ceremony were under-rehearsed and unprofessional moments including the torch not lighting, random fireworks going off seemingly unrelated to what was going on stage and some of the video clips cut off at the wrong time. There was much talk about surprises and I left disappointed that really nothing was a surprise. Did anyone even notice if Kevin Costner was actually the pre-recorded narrator for some of the videos? Was Michael Franti’s closing performance supposed to be a surprise when he is performing Tuesday night on the same stage? The crowd seemed to be so under-impressed by the preceding ceremony that the “grand finale” singer couldn’t even manage to get the thousands of people motivated to sing and dance. I have been to his show before and that doesn’t happen. Perhaps his painful exit on crutches best summarized the whole evening.
On the brighter side, the ski racers have been preparing their whole season and life for the events that will magically unfold over the next few weeks. I just wish I could say it felt like the organizers of the Opening Ceremonies had been preparing since the event was awarded June 2010.
Get your cowbells warmed up — it is time for true stars of the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships to shine!