Olympics Notebook: Vancouver 2010

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.

The audience at the BC Place stadium appeared confused by the decision to gather Nancy Greene, Steve Nash, Rick Hansen, and Catriona Le May Doan along with Gretzky to share the honours. Was that it? Was it over?

Well, no, not so fast! It turned out Gretzky really was the chosen one, as he ran out of the stadium, hopped into a pickup truck and went off to light a second cauldron on the Vancouver waterfront. For one horrible moment it looked like that cauldron’s flame had gone out but no, we were spared another long wait while somebody found a match.