I’m in the Vancouver 2010 Olympics opening ceremonies (actually, the closing ceremonies too) with probably thousands of other performers. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience: the chance to be part of an Olympic games.
I know only about a hundred of the performers: those in my immediate cast group. But as we’ve gotten to know each other over the almost a year of meeting, practicing, and preparing, I’m more and more amazed at the talent and intelligence in the group.
A young guy behind me is a pediatrician specializing in childhood skin diseases. A woman in a parallel section is an educator, company founder, consultant, and speaker. A big bald guy a few rows down is a serial entrepreneur. The guy two people in front of me is a young architect. Many of the participants are students at UBC or SFU. Others are young professionals. And it goes on and on …
Last night we had a dress rehearsal with 30,000 people in attendance (including my wife Teresa and our 3 kids). Since we were called in early and needed to be there most of the day, I took my laptop along and worked for a few hours. The number of people who came up, chatted, dropped business cards or connected in other ways was amazing.
I applied to be in the Olympics ceremonies for a chance to participate in a major local event with global implications. (It’s also been great fun and great exercise!) I never dreamed it’d be great networking and relationship-building as well.
Tomorrow we do a second dress rehearsal in front of 45,000 people, and Friday we go live to the world, with 70,000 people in attendance live and perhaps a billion or more tuning in on TV and online.
It’s a great privilege to do this, and an even greater privilege to do it with such wonderful companions.