Olympics Notebook: Vancouver 2010

Olympic icon carries hands-off warning

The hot Olympic ticket for those without tickets to the Games seems to be a trip down to the Vancouver waterfront to see the four-pronged metal cauldron where the Olympic flame is burning.

Except that heading down to the waterfront means joining tens of thousands of others with the same idea, and obeying the strident instructions from Olympic volunteers trying to herd the horde in the right direction without letting people fall under a bus.

It’s a slow trek through the crowds, with disappointment at the end. The flame, symbol of the Games, is half-hidden behind hoardings and a tall chain-link fence, both to protect the public and to stop anti-Games protesters getting their hands on it.

Organizers promise to look at ways to replace the ugly fence with something somewhat more photogenic, but right now the message seems to match the sign: “No Trespassing.”

Reuters Sportswrap: Sven Kramer Special

The Dutch are calling these Games the Svencouver Olympics after Sven Kramer’s victory in the speedskating on day one.

I went down to the Dutch House in Richmond for a look at the celebrations … click on the video to see.

Sweden’s Queen of the Slopes revels in lack of attention


OLYMPICS/All the pre-Olympic attention in women’s Alpine Skiing has been on American Lindsey Vonn, her form, her posing on the cover of Sports Illustrated, her shin injury, her cheesetherapy, her husband/coach/spokesman Thomas and her ever so hip social networking ability (yes, she tweets her facebook updates). It’s almost as though seven-times world champion Anja Paerson wasn’t here…..

Which suits the 28-year-old Swede just fine. The true Queen of the Slopes, the most successful active women’s skier on the circuit, Paerson doesn’t mind the lack of attention.

Winter Games: Picture of the Day



Each day, Paul Barker chooses his favourite frame from the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Today was day one of comeptition … over to Paul:

“Reuters photographer Lyle Stafford caught Sven Kramer’s emotion perfectly after Kramer climbed into the stand to celebrate his 5,000 meter speed skating victory with his father and mother (top) and other supporters from the Netherlands.”

Vancouver podcast — day 1


Kevin Fylan is joined by Steve Keating, Ossian Shine and Mary Milliken for a fireside chat on day one of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

We discuss the opening ceremony, and that extraordinary failure at the end, plus the state of Lindsey Vonn’s shin and the first gold medal at the Games.

Winter Olympics — day one

After the tragic death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili, followed by an opeing ceremony that largely successful — apart from that Olympic sized fail towards the end — the Winter Olympics gets properly underway on Saturday.

There are five golds up for grabs now that the alpine skiing has been cancelled, with the first of them due to be decided at around 1115 local time (1415 ET and 1915 GMT).

Was Fortress of Solitude an Olympic fail?



The bit we were all waiting for at the Winter Olympics opening ceremony veered from Superman’s Fortress of Solitude, to Harry Potter’s Leaky Cauldron and finished up with Wayne Gretzky as Running Man, which was appropriate enough, I suppose, considering Arnold Schwarzeneggar had been one of the torchbearers earlier in the day.

Sadly, it didn’t quite add up to a satisfying Hollywood ending.

The long, awkward silence waiting for the first cauldron to be lit in a team effort seemed to be because one of the four giant icicles from the Fortress failed to appear. At least, that was the view of many commentators. Within minutes of the ceremony ending there was already a long Twitter feed under the hashtag #olympicsfail.

Winter Games: Picture of the Day



Welcome to our Picture of the Day feature from the just opened Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Each day of the Games a senior photo editors will choose a frame they particularly like from our team of photographers at the Olympics here in Vancouver, and up at Whistler and Cypress.

Georgian luger dies in horrific crash – update

OLYMPICS-LUGE/Georgian luge competitor Nodar Kumaritashvili has been killed after a horrifying crash in training for the Winter Olympics.

The 21-year-old’s sled left the track at the Whistler Sliding Centre at around 90mph, according to observers, and smashed into a course side structure.

Winter Olympics opening ceremony

Welcome to our live blog on a big day for Vancouver, as the city welcomes the world for the Winter Olympics. The opening ceremony doesn’t get started for another eight hours or so but we’ll be here all day to keep you posted on the torch relay through the city and all the excitement travelling with it.