Music conservatory grad brings his talents to Olympics opening ceremony


Kansas City Star

A worldwide audience didn’t witness it, but Bryan Pinkall will forever be able to say he was the first flag bearer for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

Last month at the first rehearsal of the Parade of Nations — the start of the Olympic opening ceremony — Pinkall volunteered to carry the flag of Greece, leading the way for the country that invented the games. Later he hoisted the flags of Monaco, Canada, New Zealand and … his native land.

As soon as the United States was announced, first in French, he made some noise — and kept it up through the English and Russian translations.

Oh, and by the way: “I’m an opera singer by trade,” Pinkall said. “I screamed pretty loud.”

Pinkall, 28, a 2013 graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance, is one of just two Americans on the 250-member team producing the opening ceremony, which kicks off the 22nd Winter Games on Friday (starting at 6:30 p.m. on NBC). As many as 3 billion people could be watching.

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