VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA – Canada’s Indigenous communities helped open the 2010 Winter Olympics Friday night. Aboriginal performers danced during the entire march of nations for the games (which have been dedicated to luger Nodar Kumaritashvili of the country of Georgia, who died on impact in a horrific crash on the sliding track during a practice run at Whistler).
The excitement of the opening ceremony sharply contrasted the grief that many felt from the tragedy that occurred earlier in the day. There were more than 50,000 ticketholders in the stadium during the first ever Olympic opening or closing ceremony held indoors.
Approximately 2,500 athletes from 82 countries are participating in the games. First-time Winter Olympic medal contenders include the Cayman Islands, Columbia, Ghana, Montenegro, Pakistan, Peru, and Serbia.