Olympic Opening Ceremonies, 2002

The Olympic Opening Ceremonies are a reasonable bet as global events go, because they are designed to give us a focus, and they succeed in large measure. In the prediction registry, I suggested that the opening ceremonies for the 2002 Winter Olympics would be engaging not only for the people in Salt Lake City, but many millions around the world who are watching their athletes coming together in this long-standing ritual of sportsmanship. Even though the games have been sullied by scandal, they do engage the attentions of people quite deeply and genuinely. The Opening Ceremonies were scheduled to begin at 18:00 local time on February 9, 2002, (which is 01:00 on the next day in UTC) and to continue for the duration. The ending time was not given in the schedule, and in keeping with past specifications, I assigned the period of three hours. The time from 01:00 to 04:00 UTC, 020209 was thus specified as the formal segment.

The Chi-square was 10978 on 10800 degress of freedom, for p = 0.113. The development of the departure from expectation over the three hour period is shown in the following figure. An exploratory look at the context shows a continuous positive trend beginning an hour earlier, at 5 pm, and continuing until midnight.

Olympic Opening Ceremonies,

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