Vancouver 2010 Paralympics Opening Ceremony

Comments 7 by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay is en route, making its way to Vancouver for March 12th. This morning I had the chance to speak with Patrick Roberge whose production company, Patrick Roberge Productions (PRP), has been tasked with presenting us the the Opening Ceremony.

Photo credit: Kanpeki Yume on Flickr

Having closely watched several recent Olympic opening ceremonies, I asked Patrick how the Paralympic ceremony compares. He said that the structure is similar, having the same protocol requirements such as the athletes parade, raising of the flag, and lighting of the cauldron. “Then we have the opportunity to make the show that surrounds all those elements as different as we like,” he added.

Before the Olympic opening ceremony in Vancouver many wondering how Beijing could be topped, however the production truly dazzled millions of viewers in its own way. Leading up to the Paralympic ceremony, I asked Patrick what we could expect (without giving away any secrets of course). “What we’re going for is a very friendly, very emotionally charged ceremony that will make people really connect with the human story of the Paralympics.” Sure, past Olympic ceremonies were grand and spectacular but the goal for the Paralympics is to make that connection on a more intimate scale. “We’re hoping people will be incredibly filled with amazing spirit and be inspired by the celebration of ability that we’ll demonstrate.”

Producing the Paralympics Opening Ceremony is no small feat however. With experience in Torino and Beijing alongside working on the Man in Motion Tour & Terry Fox anniversaries, PRP is fully prepared to take on this significant task. “It’s an incredibly rewarding experience – the people have been unbelievably cool,” said Patrick. The uniqueness of the Paralympics is what will make these Games and even this ceremony so profound.

Patrick told me that someone once said to him that most Olympians have a similar story: They were young children who got into sports, they began to pursue them, excelling in their field, and ended up with incredible athletic achievement leading them to the Olympics. However, he said that every single Paralympian story is different, they each have an incredible history and that’s what they’ll bring to the production. “Not all started off as athletes – they became athletes,” he said. The Paralympians each have stories about their individual feats of excellence in getting to this level of competition. “It’s been very inspiring to me from artistic direction.”

With CTV airing the Opening Ceremony complimented by Brian Williams’ as host, this could be one of the most-watched Paralympic Opening Ceremonies to date. Many Vancouverites are already excited to keep the Olympic-sized celebration alive. School children are talking about sledge hockey out in the playground while my own niece and nephew are already spellbound by the athletic ability of the participants. Patrick said that Vancouver is already such a great place to live the Paralympic dream and celebrate triumphs of human ability. “Our heroes are Rick Hansen and Terry Fox. Vancouver has also elected a quadriplegic Mayor [Sam Sullivan]. We’ve broken those barriers.” The goal of the ceremony, simply put, will be to showcase the best athletes in the world.

Humbled and honored to have this opportunity, Patrick and his team at PRP will present Vancouver with its first glimpse of the Paralympics, and the Paralympians this Friday. He said their goal will be to “inspire the rest of the world, Canadian style.”

Photo credit: timbarton on Flickr

You can follow Patrick Roberge Productions on Twitter @PRP_Inc and read more about their past productions such as the Vancouver 2010 logo launch on their website.

The Paralympics begin nine days of competition March 13th, following the Opening Ceremony on the 12th at BC Place. You can read this post for a full guide to the Paralympics (from parking to free events). The Closing Ceremony will take place March 21st in Whistler.

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7 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. RocknbarbieMonday, March 8th, 2010 — 11:38am PST

    Thanks for the update, Miss604, I’ve enjoyed your awesome coverage for the Olympics, hopefully you will be able to get your accreditaion for the Paralympics. Please note, the Closing Ceremony will take place on March 21

  2. LiveCity Vancouver Back for Paralympics » Vancouver Blog Miss 604 by Rebecca BollwittTuesday, March 9th, 2010 — 1:06pm PST

    […] can read more about what to expect during the Paralympics in this post, or read my article on the Opening Ceremony, which will feature a performance by Said the Whale. I'm giving away two tickets to see Massive […]

  3. 24 Hour Paralympic Torch Relay » Vancouver Blog Miss 604 by Rebecca BollwittWednesday, March 10th, 2010 — 8:31am PST

    […] Torch Relay will arrive in Vancouver March 11th and make a 24-hour loop around downtown until the Opening Ceremony March […]

  4. taylorWednesday, March 10th, 2010 — 2:38pm PST

    hi im 10 years old and our school choir is singing at the opening ceromonies for the paralympics! for 2 days in a roe i have to be at gm place for 11 hours!the theme is realy cool, but cant tell u what it is! thankyou for the news miss604!

  5. Win Tickets to the Paralympic Opening Ceremony | Vancouver Access 2010Thursday, March 11th, 2010 — 2:14pm PST

    […] recently approached me to see if I could help run a contest to give away his tickets to the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony. Wanting to do more than simply hold a draw, Robert had the fantastic idea to also raise funds for […]

  6. Win Tickets to the Paralympic Opening Ceremony | Singapore Access 2010 – Youth OlympicsMonday, June 7th, 2010 — 7:04pm PDT

    […] recently approached me to see if I could help run a contest to give away his tickets to the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony. Wanting to do more than simply hold a draw, Robert had the fantastic idea to also raise funds for […]

  7. TaylorWednesday, February 9th, 2011 — 4:52pm PST

    The opening cereony was awesome. I am a dancer and am 11 years old one year ago, I participated in the opening ceremonies. It was so much fun. Allthough the food was terrible!!!!!!!! And the practices were really long it was really fun all my friends were there to and I can’t wait for my next one in a life time event dancing in Disney Land!!!!!!

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