On February 11th, a day before the opening ceremonies at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, each country participated in a ceremonial flag raising celebration in the Olympic Village. The day started at 10am with New Zealand, Pakistan and Slovakia as the first nations to raise their flags. Sandra Oh, Canadian Actress (Grey’s Anatomy) was the MC for the event and helped to usher in each of these teams.
The manager of each Olympic Team was awarded an Aboriginal Token to signify the start of the games and the relationship of the people in Canada. After the IOC raised their flag the New Zealand team had the opportunity to sing their anthem and watch their flag fly high. Even though the rain poured down it didn’t dampen the spirits of the team as they promptly went right into a traditional New Zealand Haka Dance to show a little southern flavor and intimidation to their international competition.
The event wrapped up with a Drum Party with musicians from around the globe. Athletes, performers, managers and guests celebrates the start of the games and the new home for the athletes for the next two weeks. The photos below show some of the highlights and the videos give you a taste of the event. Good Luck to team New Zealand and hopefully that flag will be raised multiple times throughout the Olympic Winter Games.
Kent Hawkins – Reporting from Olympic Athletes Village