On March 12th, the 2010 Paralympic Opening Ceremonies took place at BC Place in Vancouver, BC. This was an absolutely amazing and inspiring event and I was very lucky to have had the opportunity to experience it from several photographer positions in the stadium, due to my official VANOC media accreditation.
It was an amazing sight to walk into the stadium and see the stadium filled with people wearing the colored ponchos assigned to their seats. Blue, green and white flooded the stands in the shape of the Paralympic logo. Awesome!
The Opening Ceremony was an amazing show with some incredible talent from the disabled community. The Ceremonies started with the introduction of the esteemed guests, including Prime Minister Harper, Premier Gordon Campbell, VANOC CEO John Furlong, and Paralympics President Philip Craven, among members of the four host nations and others.
From there, they dove right into the performances and introduction of the Paralympic athletes. Canada is featured here:
And from there, the talent and performances spoke for themselves:
The inspiring speakers of the event: VANOC CEO, John Furlong, IPC President, Philip Craven and Rick Hansen of the Rick Hansen Foundation and the Man in Motion World Tour.
And, of course, the lighting of the Paralympic Cauldron. The torch was brought in by the parents of Terry Fox, Betty and Rolly Fox, A truly emotional and inspiring moment to experience in person. It was passed off to other torch bearers before the final 15 year old torch bearer Zach Beaumont, lit the cauldron.
With the theme of One Inspires Many, the Paralympic Opening Ceremony was definitely inspiring. Good luck to all the athletes competing in the Games! It will be an amazing 10 days!
For more images of the Opening Ceremonies, please visit the set on Flickr!