Friday, March 7, 2008

World Cup 8 Opening Ceremonies

Lots of fireworks, dancing, costumes, celebration and even reindeer filled the stadium during Khanty-Mansyisk’s World Cup Opening Ceremonies. The main performers were kids, dressed in traditional Russian costumes. You can see in the first photos, as their presence dominated the show.

Check out this quick little video of them dancing. Too bad I don’t have sound on my camera, but you can get an idea of the celebration.

*okay the video is going to have to come when I am on a better connection. I am not able to upload it here.

A lot of people showed up for tonight’s show, as you can see by the crowd. How many fur coats and hats can you count? I have never seen fur so fashionable, and albeit necessary in Siberia, as I have here.

I missed part of the show because half way through our attention turned to an ensuing “snowball” fight between the crowd and athletes. Home-made cotton snowballs were quietly passed out. Once a few kids daringly threw them out way the crowd erupted and snowballs came from every direction. I was target at one point with one to the head and then to the back. I tried to capture the launching snowballs, but instead in these photos you can ski kids laughing and people scrambling to pick up these blue and white snowballs.

The Opening Ceremonies ended up being unexpected moments of surprise and laughter, and a fun start to the week. As an athlete it can be easy, and a lot of times smarter, to stay on track and to stick to your routine. I was glad I stepped out of that for a bit tonight so that Khanty-Mansyisk could mean a bit more than just biathlon.

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