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**SPOILER ALERT** Olympics Opening Ceremony Coverage Special Edition

IT IS ONE BIG “WOW”

SPOILER ALERT

***Today’s post features photos and editorial copy of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics Opening Ceremonies***

Hello, Happy Friday and welcome to a special edition of the Preppy Princess!

This will surprise no one that is a regular reader: The Princess Consort found multiple live feeds of the events going on over on the other side of the world. He also also took the “Sharing is Caring” sentiment to heart. Concentration is impossible. Therefore this post will be short and hopefully a bit better than bittersweet after yesterday‘s tirade measured comments about the air quality in Beijing. It will however, be about the Opening Ceremonies, so if that is something you don’t even want to hear about, you should skedaddle away until they have aired this evening.

First off, a few shots of the Ralph Lauren Olympic Summer Games Parade Uniform as worn today by our athletes in Beijing at the Opening Ceremonies.

Tyson Gay

Tyson Gay

Shortly after this international Parade of Athletes aired on the Consort’s computer in real time, we received email correspondence from Polo Ralph Lauren “Presenting the Official Parade Uniform of the 2008 US Olympic Team.” If interested in purchasing pieces from this Collection, you can head to the Polo site through the links in the previous sentence or use the USOC’s site for most of the Opening Ceremony items.

The Princess learned several lessons today whilst working:

1) Silly girl! Trying to sit and write a blog and conduct other business with the Opening Ceremonies going on one desk over is futile. Utterly pointless. Cease. The Preppy Princess will survive while for an hour until this ends, so stop. Now. Give it up and go watch. (Take Kleenex.)

2) As discussed on other blogs last night, for reasons unknown to us, human spectacles like the Opening Ceremonies provoke an emotional response. (Yes, I know, how very dreary.)

3) The US Team looks very sharp in their uniforms. As anticipated, the Ralph Lauren designs are stellar and the Chinese execution of them also outstanding. The caps, or berets, are a nice touch and not at all foppish as some feared.

Looking at each nation’s uniforms is a blood sport for some, but not TP. That however, does not prevent a running commentary on the looks worn by other countries, enhanced only by the fact these are being viewed on a 24″ inch iMac monitor, not a large television. Thoughts? Japanese-snappy. Argentina-casual. Great Britain-this one is a TBD, requiring further attention. Bolivia-elegant. France-disheveled. Canada-slightly wacky motif that needed better definition

Parade of Athletes - Japan

Parade of Athletes - Japan

Parade of Athletes - Argentina

Parade of Athletes - Argentina

Parade of Athletes - The UK

Parade of Athletes - Bolivia

Parade of Athletes - Bolivia

Parade of Athletes - France

Parade of Athletes - France

Parade of Athletes - Canada

Parade of Athletes - Canada

The NY Times Olympic Blog had some fabulous fashion commentary. We don’t have pix to pick up on their critiques of certain looks, so you will simply have to watch the television tonight or go hunting on the internet if you want photographic references to their commentary.

The Lithuanian team, led by flagbearer Sarunas Jasikevicius of the basketball team, is clad in shockingly lime-green polo shirts.

While some teams look like they have wilted a bit in the heat, the Spanish team, oh so colorful in their yellow and red suits, came in waving their Panama hats to the crowd.

Spanish basketball star Pau Gasol, however, is not waving but chatting on his cell phone.

The women of Hungary’s team are unfortunately dressed in skirts and jackets that appear to have been doused in splotches of red paint.

The Cuban team, always surprisingly large for such a small country, comes in wearing khaki suits, followed shortly by Burkina Faso athletes in pointy straw hats and Burundi women wearing grass headdresses and carrying spears.

It is a small miracle those got through security.

For more commentary, all of which is simply excellent, go to Lynn Zinser’s Olympic blog at the Times online site.

It seems no one can execute ceremonial occasions on a grand scale with the precision the Chinese can, with the possible exception of the Russians. Majestic barely describes some of this, and we only saw about forty-five minutes of the event.

(Yes, that was Kung-Fu in the photo above.) As we mentioned we really only viewed perhaps forty-five minutes or so of online 4″-frame-on-the-screen video and it was dazzling. We have elected not to show you more photos, of which there are hundreds, because they really would be “spoilers” in our humble opinion, detracting from one’s spontaneous reactions to the events as they unfold on NBC’s taped broadcast this evening.

We can tell you some of our favorite tennis players were on hand:

Parade of Athletes - Roger Federer Carries Swiss Flag

Roger Federer carries the Swiss Flag

Parade of Athletes - Rafael Nadal

Parade of Athletes - Rafael Nadal

Mr. Nadal looking slightly more relaxed than he when he was swarmed by media upon arriving at the Beijing airport; such a throng formed that some referred to it a stampede.

Truly one of the most emotional images of the day, and one part of the ceremony you probably want to be sure you’re watching, is the moment when Chinese flag bearer Yao Ming enters the stadium. Because Yao leads the athletes from the host nation, they are the last in the Parade of Athletes to make their entrance.

Parade of Athletes - China

Parade of Athletes - China

It becomes immediately evident he is accompanied by a child; it turns out the child is a nine-year-old boy who saved the lives of two classmates during the killer earthquake that rocked Sichuan province a few months back. When this giant of a man (he is 7′ 6″ tall) reaches down to take the child’s hand your heart may skip a beat in wonder at the sight.

And on that extraordinary image, we will leave you for the time being.

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More Ralph Lauren Olympic Uniforms, Hilfiger Tests Kids Store in Las Vegas, Luke Russert is in at NBC, Maria Sharapova is Out in Beijing

Hello everyone and Happy-Happy-Happy Friday! We hope everyone is expecting to enjoy some glorious sunshine and outdoors time this weekend; we’re headed to the Big Lake but will attempt to keep posting whilst away. Can anyone believe the Olympics start in just a week? My goodness!

When we first shared the sneak peek photos of the Ralph Lauren designed US Olympic Team uniforms on Tuesday we said we would be back with a little more follow-up and information. We’re not sure how you feel about them, but the reviews in the major fashion media seem to be positive. Words like ‘Preptastic’ and ‘Prepsterism’ were accompanied by phrases like ‘iconic as the polo symbol’ (?) to describe the navy blazers and cream trousers athletes will wear in the formal opening ceremonies. We’ve not seen as much about the white shorts and polo shirt offset by the red, white & blue belt for the much more relaxed closing ceremonies. In case you missed the original post, here’s a shot of the Opening Ceremony look for the team.

Naturally there is reaction other than that from the fashion and ‘preppy’ communities. Reuters (News Service) has been running a story about the factory in China where the uniforms are being made. They have soundbites with the manager discussing the “challenges” of creating roughly 1800 unique and different uniforms with all their nuances and variation; the gentleman is clearly stressed by the demands of the enormous task. Here is a link to the video that we can only pray will work; as you know, The Princess is more than a bit technically challenged.

The man’s stress is completely understandable in our humble opinion if the story-slash-myth is true that the intermediary for the deal was Tom Brokaw and the arrangements weren’t put to bed until December. That is more than a little late in the game (pun intended) for this sort of thing.

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On to the ‘next new thing,’ Tommy Hilfiger’s Kids store in Las Vegas.

Your young ones can ‘belly up’ to this bar and you don’t have to worry about them being served a drink. It’s a “candy bar” at the recently opened Tommy Hilfiger Kids store in Las Vegas. Right now the only Children’s section in a Hilfiger store is in Soho, so this is a new idea complete with a pinball machine, pint-sized furniture and novelties aimed at the younger set.

The retailer is testing this concept, but seems firm about the standalone denim shop and sportswear stores they’ll be opening in Las Vegas; those are concepts they plan to focus their energies on. As the company continues growing, look for a Tommy Hilfiger ‘flagship store’ opening in New York on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. Isn’t that an interesting day to open store… probably very smart.

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This may be old news to many of you, but for those who haven’t heard, Luke Russert is joining NBC News. Most of America, if not the world, became familiar with the son of NBC News journalist Tim Russert following the anchor’s death in June.

Russert, 22, a May graduate of Boston College with a degree in history and communications, will cover the youth vote through the national political conventions and the general election, the network said. Russert said he would be an at-large correspondent reporting for many of NBC’s outlets, including “NBC Nightly News,” TODAY, MSNBC and msnbc.com.

Good for him. As Russert points out, he is not without media experience, having done a radio show for more than 2 years. His role as a big fish in a little pond will be changing as he shrinks to something smaller swimming in a much larger and choppier sea. TP wishes him luck.

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Speaking of that network, the NBC Olympics Grand Pooh-bahs are most likely having kittens about now. American gymnast Paul Hamm’s withdrawal is a definite ratings hit, and now there is word that Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova is also out. Both were forced to withdraw because of injuries; it seems likely Ms. Sharapova will be able to play in the US Open either.

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With the start of the Olympic Games so close, here is a great shot of No. 1 ranked Laser Radial sailor Anna Tunnicliffe (left) of Team USA. Find out why so many of the members of the US Olympic Sailing Team have been doing the major diet. Bigtime.

What is TP taking to the beach for reading material?

Well, one going in the tote bag is the newly released Party Favors, described this way:

Temple Sachet’s got style, smarts, and the party planning gene in her blood. Having grown up in New Orleans, surrounded by the pageantry of Mardi Gras, Temple learned a thing or two about how to turn a fantastic party into a money maker. It’s a skill that pays off big when her gala for the Missouri Opera turns into a Ray of Hope internship at the White House. Within weeks, Temple’s caught Potomac Fever—a hopeless, incurable addiction to D.C. for which there is only one cure: a nasty-tasting spoonful of disillusionment….

Party Favors gives a deliciously witty peek into the secretive world of political fundraising in D.C. Written by a former Director of Finance for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the novel explores the very real truth that favor means you owe, winning won’t save you, and, ultimately, you will be betrayed.

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