Memory Monday: Snuffing the Candle of Athens

My memory is full of little, unimportant things that just happen to have stuck with me. My toddler-aged brother matter-of-factly opening up a book upside down; nearly ever line from those old Snickers Cruncher commercials; pretending to ice skate on my grandparents' white tile floor. Things that are absolutely and completely unimportant, yet for some reason niggled their way permanently into my brain.

The end of the Athens 2004 Closing Ceremony is one of them. I can tell you nothing about the ceremonies from Torino, precious little about Vancouver, and a couple of nuggets about Beijing, but my first ceremony memory is one that I'm still trying to make sense of why I remember. It wasn't particularly big, or grand, or theatrical, and there were no special effects involved. I do think I correctly called what was about to happen just before it did, so maybe that moment of "HEY, I'm awesome!" burned the rest of it into my mind. I don't know. But what I do know is that a little girl put out the Olympic cauldron like she was blowing out a giant candle.

It's definitely really cool, but why do I remember this over some of the amazing audience participation from Vancouver?

I have no answer for you.

But when I told Steve Boyd, ceremony mass movement coordinator extraordinaire, about my recollection, he responded that he thought it was interesting. So many people work so hard to put on these ceremonies, and you wonder what people take away from them. So here I am, eight years later, still talking about Athens' closing. I guess someone must've done something right!

Now, as a part of the London ceremonies, this point becomes even more intriguing. I've already seen mock-ups of what the ceremonies are going to look like, and I have a pretty good idea of which parts are going to stick with me. Then again, maybe there'll be the equivalent of this little girl, and I'll still be puzzling over some random moment when I'm writing about the 2020 games.

It's really exciting to think about all the rehearsals I've seen and wonder if any of those groups will become my memory of watching the London 2012 ceremonies. Or -- even better -- someone else's memory.

No comments :

Post a Comment