Thursday, February 9, 2012

Ten Years Later

Last night SLC had a celebration to mark the ten year mark of the Opening Ceremonies of the 2002 winter Olympics. They re-lit the cauldron and there will be other celebrations in the coming days to commemorate the events of February 2002. Jim and I had the great privilege of attending the Opening Ceremonies. It was truly one of the highlights of my life.
After purchasing tickets, we were thrilled to be going. We were told we would find out where our seats were at a later date. We felt very blessed to have received tickets that put us on the front row. We didn't know where our seats were until we arrived. Our seats were right where the two people in red were standing on the steps.
I was struck by so many things that evening. This was our view when they carried in the American flag. This took place only a few months after 9/11 and it was a very touching moment.
This was the tattered flag from ground zero in New York City. That's Mitt Romney, President Bush, and the president of the Olympics on the bottom left.
This group of well known people walked right
in front of us carrying the Olympic flag.
One of the men was Lech Wałęsa.
 I was also deeply moved when they hoisted it 
on the flagpole right in front of where we were sitting.
 Those were great seats.
This was the gift pack everyone received who went to the Opening Ceremonies. I know right where my flashlight is, I use it frequently. We wore white coverings and were part of the program because they had us shine our lights during a certain part when all the lights were off.
What can I say,
the lighting of the cauldron was a very special moment.
Then came the fireworks.
It was a once in a lifetime experience.
I will never forget it.
These rings shone on a nearby mountainside the entire 17 days.
It was very sad when they finally went black again.
This is my Opening Ceremony ticket 
with my pins attached to the lanyard.
Pin trading was a fun experience.
The Olympic rings pin was a special one given to me by a friend who is now deceased. It was given to her by Juan Antonio Samaranch. She was a dialysis patient and he received dialysis while he was here at the same time she did. He told his assistant to give my friend five of these pins and she gave me one. It is the official pin of the Olympics and hard to come by. I am happy to have it. It reminds me of my friend Hattie and the Olympics.
This is a stock photo of the cauldron.
It is a great symbol of hope for peace.
On the top of my ticket, I wrote Isaiah 2:2. It reminds me of the Parade of Nations. Watching the athletes stream in the stadium right in front of my eyes was pretty overwhelming. They came from all over the world. I was reminded of the scripture from Isaiah 2:2 which says, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow into it.” The "mountain of the Lord's house" means the holy Temple.

I had previously learned that "“Utah” in the Ute language means “the top of the mountains.” An interesting commentary article says "When the Mormon pioneers first came to the Salt Lake Valley they called it and the surrounding regions “Deseret... meaning “honeybee.” The name was chosen to symbolize the industriousness of the people. However, when the citizens of Deseret first sought to join the United States as a territory, Congress sought to impose its will by denying their choice of name. The name Utah—the name given to the region by the Ute Indians—was mandated instead, applying the practice of retaining the original Indian name followed for many states in the United States. Thus, Utah became the name of the territory in 1869 and finally the name of the State in 1896. It was not known at that time that “Utah” in the Ute language means “the top of the mountains.” Under the circumstances, it cannot be said that assignment of the name of Utah to the state was contrived by those wishing to demonstrate fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy."

I found a picture on this same website by Don Busath that I have never seen before. It's striking. It's a picture of the Salt Lake Temple set in the surrounding mountains. People from all over the world come to the Salt Lake Temple because it is so well known. On the night of the Opening Ceremonies 10 years ago, I was humbled and privileged to witness representatives from most of the nations of the world "flowing into" the stadium like a steady stream,  passing before my eyes because I was blessed to have a front row seat. I also frequently see people from many different nations on Temple Square and in the Temple, "the mountain of the Lord's house." That scripture will always be special to me.
Wonderful memories.

1 comment:

  1. Liz, this was awesome! You certainly brought your experiences to life by your pictures and your words and how you express yourself!

    Thank you for sharing, Elisa! That was thrilling to read about your experiences with the Olympics!