The Olympics begin this Friday, August 5th, 2016, but don’t expect live Opening Ceremony coverage. Nor should you expect Rio’s president to attend. Israeli Sports Minister will miss the ceremony to honor her country’s Sabbath, even though she does not practice Shabbat personally. The USA will march in the ceremonies toward the front in alphabetical order under “E,” and a retired Victoria Secret model will take center stage at the games. Join Sherrie’s Always Write as we explore the WHY behind each story.
The U.S. has asked that the United States march in the Opening Ceremonies later in the procession. This is directly linked to the time the ceremonies will air. After several scandals in past Olympics involving the U.S., the committee at this point has declined the request. The scandals have included U.S. advertising played over important Olympic moments that highlighted achievements from other countries, the International Olympic Committee stated. The procession will be presented in alphabetical order, and the U.S. will proceed under the letter “E” for Estadas Unidos. Reported by Inside the Games on July 27th.
Retired Victoria Secret model Gisele Bundchen and several scantily clad dancers will be prime entertainment for the evening, reported the Huffington Post on July 25th. Bundchen will lead her dancers through the country’s famed Samba dance, representing the theme for this year’s Olympics, “Evolution of the People of Brazil.” Gisele is the wife of New England Patriots Tom Brady.
The Washington Post reported on July 14th that over ½ of the world’s foreign leaders historically invited to attend the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic games this year have been non-committal on their RSVPs. Brazil’s own President Dilma Rousseff is currently facing impeachment hearings that won’t end until days after the conclusion of the games this year. Among those still unconfirmed are U.S. President Barrack Obama, China’s President Xi Jinping and their Premier Li Keqiang, and Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri. Britain’s Prime Minister will not attend mainly due to the recent successful Brexit vote and the Prime Minister’s ultimate resignation. Also Russia may not attend the games due to the expulsion of their track and field team for a doping scandal. Brazil has confirmed that their U.N. Secretary-General Ban-ki Moon will attend the Opening Ceremonies.
Israeli Sports Minister Miri Regev has stated that she will honor Israel’s Sabbath Friday night even though she personally does not practice Shabbat, each week’s day of rest from labor. Her cabinet attempted to negotiate a closer hotel to the Opening Ceremonies, but was unsuccessful. The current location takes an hour to drive. To honor Shabbat, she would need to walk the distance instead, which as reported by Breaking Israel News on July 25th, is undoable for the Sports Minister.
USA Today reported on July 12th that NBC’s airing of the Opening Ceremonies in the United States will be on time delay. Brazil is one hour ahead of the East Coast and will begin the Opening Ceremonies at 8 p.m. in Rio. Other parts of the U.S. will experience even further delays, which includes NBC streaming internet service. Below is the starting schedule for NBC:
- East Coast (EST) 8 p.m.
- Central (CST) 7 p.m.
- Mountain (MT) 7 p.m.
- West Coast (PT) 8 p.m.
- NBC will air a one-hour preview special on Thursday night, August 4th that will address Olympic hot topic issues such as the Zika Virus and sanitary water issues in Rio.
This year’s Summer Olympics have been fraught with drama from the withdrawal by or suspension of professional and amateur athletes. I, for one, will watch and DVR every event in which I have an interest. We experience similar Olympics drama every 4 years, and reporters will continue to sensationalize the hype for all games to come. Despite the negative press attached to this year’s games like a pariah, all 206 countries, 10,500 athletes competing in 42 separate disciplines have trained a lifetime to perform at peak levels only known before by a select few. They deserve our unified support.
The Paralympics begin September 7th and run through the 18th.