Olympics Notebook: Vancouver 2010

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


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.

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.