Olympics Notebook: Vancouver 2010

Oh no Canada! But don’t be so quick to write off these Olympics

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OLYMPICS-ALPINE SKIING/The 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver have been beset by tragedy and trials, from the death of the Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili, through the Goldilocks weather up at Whistler and Cypress — too much snow or too little snow, it’s never just right — to a biathlon scoring fiasco described as “the blackest day ever“.

Then there was the opening ceremony fail with the missing fourth ice pillar, the PR disaster of moving ugly chain fencing in front of the outdoor cauldron so no one could take a decent picture, the thousands of ripped up tickets and having to call on Calgary to the rescue after the ice machines broke down.

It’s quite a list of mess-ups and there are plenty more besides.

But calling these the Worst Games Ever? That’s quite a stretch just a few days in and it may have more to do with certain sections of the media looking for a good overarching narrative — a theme they can keep going back to in every story they write. An entire press pack cannot live on one outside hope of a curling medal alone.

I don’t want to skate over the problems — see what I did there? — so I encourage you to follow the links above to read all we’ve written about them, but I also think we risk losing sight of a few things that have gone well in Vancouver. Here are a few reasons why these might well turn out to be not such bad Games after all.

Olympic icon carries hands-off warning

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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.

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