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Why Were There So Few Asians in the Opening Ceremony of the 2010 Winter Games?
The Schema website is just bursting with the kind of energy that was missing from the show.
"Canada is a messy, invigorating polyglot of mongrels, pure-breeds and race-mixers," the magazine's "on being a cultural navigator section reads. "But we are also more than that. More than Bruce Lee. More than Bob Marley. More than Bollywood. You belong to no one tribe. You're naan, adoboand bubble tea. You are comfortable in your skin and comfortable with other skins marching to the beats of their own drums. Or tablas. Or djembes. Constantly moving, your life is about bursting through ceilings and taking diversity with you."
That's the kind of spirit that was missing there at the end. What we saw instead looked to me like a show of power by the establishment of the white.
Was the message a Canadian one, or was it a message from the International Olympic Committee that Canada may be a nation of immigrants, but that when all is said and done, the white man has the last dance?
Ziya Tong (photo below), television personality and environmental advocate, who used to host Zed, the CBC arts show, would have been my pick to bear the Olympic flag.
Suzuki should have helped carry the flag. But if wasn't available, how about having asked Vancouver businessman Milton Wong?
Wong founded M.K. Wong & Associates Ltd. (MKW) in 1980 to provide investment-counseling service to pension plans, foundations, mutual funds and individuals. HSBC acquired MKW in 1996 and Wong is currently (non executive) Chairman of HSBC Investments Canada Limited managing over $5 billion in assets. He has been awarded the Civic Award from the City of Vancouver; the Distinguished Leadership Award and an Honorary Doctorate of Law degree from Simon Fraser University, and is also their Chancellor Emeritus at Simon Fraser University. He has been the recipient of the Order of Canada; the Order of British Columbia; the Honour Roll distinction from MacLean's magazine; The Ernst & Young Lifetime Achievement Award for 2002 and The Ernst & Young Socially Responsible Entrepreneur of the Year in 1994. (See photo below)
And if Mr. Wong wasn't interested in the spotlight, Deputy Mayor George Chow (below) would have been a good choice, too.
He's a virtual poster boy for what it means to be Canadian. Immigrated as a boy to Vancouver. Parents owned a restaurant. Worked hard there as he grew up. Struggled to fit in, learn English, and overcame all difficulties to become the darling of Chinatown, championing every cause and being there for every conflict and challenge. Chow has a dry wit and a quiet charm that would have made him a fine flag bearer.
The list goes on.
But that's it for now. I'll just leave you with one last thought. Being white was no guarantee of basking in the spotlight that shone on the night of the Opening Ceremonies or in getting a slice of the attention of the millions watching. Notably missing also were Vancouver's Mayor Gregor Robertson and BC's Premier Gordon Campbell, both of whom have been working tirelessly on Olympic-related activities and showing up at seemingly every event. Neither got even a second to say anything at the Opening Ceremonies.
Rumour has it that Gregor Robertson, Gordon Campbell and the 4 Host First Nations leaders were supposed to give speeches and open the Olympics as they had during the dress rehearsals, but were denied this chance because the bus they were on was "delayed" by 20 minutes. It seems that there's a bit of political jockeying happening around the limelight. I haven't been able to confirm this, but...
Could it be true that John Furlong had always planned to own the podium that night?