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Olympics start with tragic luger's death and torch malfunction, but K.D. Lang helped Vancouver shine

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The 2010 Winter Olympics got off to a sad start on Friday in Vancouver with the death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili.

Kumaritashvili was on a practice run and had an accident while going over 90 miles per hour. Kumaritishvili was pronounced dead on the scene after efforts to revive him were unsuccessful. It marks only the third death in Olympics history.

And, then there was a malfunction with the Olympic torch last night in Vancouver. One of the four pillars of the torch failed to light. 

The death of the Georgian luger hovered over last night and was on everybody's minds, but Vancouver and the Olympic participants kept their composure and put on a wonderful opening ceremony for the world to see.

Despite all this, Vancouver still shined last night. The opening ceremonies were beautiful and laden with various K.D. Langdances by Canadian Indian tribes throughout the introductions of the Olympic participants.  And, the moment of the evening was K.D. Lang's performance of Leonard Coen's Hallelujah.

The theme of the evening was unity, which is the embodiment of Olympic spirit. While the opening ceremonies were spectacular in Beijing-we all know how ruthless the Chinese government is. And, no Olympic ceremony can get us past that. 

The Canadians on the other hand, got the world through a tragic event and a potentially embarrassing snafu last night. Bravo Vancouver!

For some video clips from the opening ceremonies of  the Olympics, check out NBC's page.  They have a vast array of clips from last night!

Photo of K.D. Lang from http://beat.bodoglife.com