Fortunately, when I went to the gym this morning, a re-run of the opening ceremony was playing on the one television located right in front of the treadmills. I caught the raising of the Olympic flag (올림픽 기) and the lighting of the torch. Unfortunately, the broadcasting and interpretation on the network was all in Korean, of course, so I couldn't understand any of it. Still, it was quite a spectacle. The fireworks alone were amazing. I can't imagine what it'd have been like to be in the stadium and watch it "blow up" in beautiful colors.
(Oh, and an aside about the broadcast: there was Korean Sign Language interpretation in the corner of the television screen, which I thought was awesome! I would love to learn some KSL, but the chances of that happening are slim to none, as I still don't even know Korean well enough to attempt KSL. I did deduce up how to sign 감사합니다 (kamsahamnida - thank you), though!)
One thing I didn't like was the Olympic torch itself (올림픽 성화). It was comprised of hundreds of smaller torches that were arranged in a circle like hands on a clock. Once they were all lit, they slowly lifted from the center of the circle and came together, like a flower closing up in the evening, or -- as a friend pointed out -- like a giant Venus flytrap. From far away it was one beautiful bonfire. But there was just something about all the individual torches that looked disturbing, especially the view from beneath it.
|It looks kind of sinister, doesn't it?|
But all of that aside, I'm still pretty excited for the Olympics. I think I'll be rooting for the US, Taiwan, and South Korea. I hope to be able to watch gymnastics (체조), diving (다이빙), volleyball (배구), and taekwondo, specifically.
This morning, Camp Fulbright had its own mini-Olympics, where each of eleven teams of campers represented different countries, and the sport events included soccer, a basketball shoot-out, badminton, water balloon toss, and relay races. I was on a team of ETAs who represented USA, and we were told to handicap ourselves by using a weaker hand or foot, or simply letting the young campers beat us. Despite the heat and the overall lack of enthusiasm from a hundred tired kids who didn't want to be outside... it was lots of fun! If I get ahold of some photos later, I'll put them up. That's all for now!