Monday, February 15, 2010

Reflections of Olympic Proportions

NEWS FLASH: The 2010 Olympic Winter Games are in Vancouver!

But of course, unless you were under a rock, you already knew that.

The Opening Cermonies were quite well done with only a few hiccups. K.D. Lang singing Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah was moving, the standing ovation upon the arrival of the Georgian Olympic Team who were wearing black arm bands in rememberance of their fallen comrad. There were at least two flubs, the first and most obvious was the failure of the Olympic cauldron within BC Place to rise on time or altogether (i.e. one of the arms didn't rise leaving Katrina Lemay-Doane standing centre stage with nothing to light). The second flub was by the host television network, CTV, for those watching the feed online. At midnight Eastern (Toronto Time) just as the indoor cauldron was about to be lit the feed cut out for good. I had to reload to the TSN feed. By the time I got the TSN feed up Wayne Gretzky was running up the stairs to leave the stadium on his wild ride on a back of a pick up truck through the streets of Downtown Vancouver to light the outdoor cauldron. But such is life without cable.

One ongoing Olympic embarassments in Vancouver is the outdoor Olympic Cauldron itself as the Toronto Star reports in today's paper. The Olympic Cauldron on Vancouver's waterfront is surrounded by 10 foot high barbed wire and chain link fencing to ensure it is secure. While the general public (read: the great unwashed) mass along the fenceline wishing they could get closer, the overpaid big wigs, media and others running around in official looking Olympic gear probably made in China but not sold at HBC Stores, get their pictures taken at the foot of the cauldron. What is really galling to Canadian taxpayers is the bill for security for these Olympic games is going to be over 900 million dollars. Yet a chain link fence has to be erected to keep people from vandalizing the flame instead of a couple of a couple of burly Canadian Mounties in red with Army back up. What a disgrace.

But there was good news from Vancouver on Sunday. Canadian Alexandre Bilodeau finally ensured Canada struck Gold for the first time while the Olympics were on Canadian soil. Bilodeau took Gold at the Men's Mogels. Now thanks to him and other Canadian Olympians, Canada has the "Royal Sampler" of Olympic Medals.

As Alex Bilodeau said: "The party's just starting for Canada."

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