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So what about them games, eh?

By Oz_Media ·
Despite a rough start that included an opening ceremony 'glitch', rain on Cypress, a most horrific and fatal accident on Whistler's skeleton track, transportation issues (hundreds of people stuck on Cypress waiting for arranged coaches on the first night, a bus full of athletes getting lost in North Vancouver etc.)cancellation of some standing room tickets for Snowboard spectators and the slagging of the Own The Podium program (due to public misconception of its intent), the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games were simply outstanding.

The opening ceremony glitch was humorously sorted out by a stereotypically Canadian mime/clown with a belt full of tools, who got it working again to open the closing ceremony (a little laugh at at our own expense, a little humility and self-deprecation that was recognized and applauded worldwide). Catriona Le May Doan popped out of the floor with her torch and finally got to light the flames.

The sun and crowds came out at Cypress.

The city came alive in a way I haven't seen here in all my years in Vancouver. OTP program got some reprieve as Canada received the most gold medals, in fact the most ever won in Winter Olympics history.

And then there was "The Game"! The Canada US hockey match-up. After losing the opener against the US, Canada had to win 4 straight to get back on the podium. What a game it was, I won't even begin to mock the US team, it was a riveting and exceptionally well played game by both sides. No silly penalties or bad calls resulting in game winning power plays, just 73 minutes of well played and simply incredible hockey.

Between the curling, bobsleigh and hockey alone, the edge of my seat has now become threadbare.

One thing I liked the most was the stories. Athletes assumed to win, often didn't. Athletes assumed to put in a reasonable showing, often won gold.
How Joanie Rochette, after sadly losing her mother who had just arrived in Vancouver for the games, came back two days later and win a Bronze Medal or a flawless performance by Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir win gold (quite unexpectedly, I now love Tessa too, she's so purrrrdy an all!).

It reminded me of the old Wide World of Sports opening theme, "The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat"

It was a way for Canada to show the world what Canadians really are about and I think it shed a positive, new light on a widely misunderstood nation.

So, in the end and despite some initial 'growing pains', it all came to an end with a hilarious closing ceremonies. Sure, some of the acts are bring widely criticized in both the US and Canada,
"Why not Celine?"
"I'm glad they didn't have Celine?"
"Why Nickleback?"
"Nickleback was the best"
"Avril was lip syncing!" (actually 90% of it was, and usually is in live events, including the symphony being dubbed in, for the TV broadcast)

But that is so trivial, it wasn't **** Clarke's New Years Eve Party after all, music was just the finishing touch. They even played the bands in reverse order, most popular to least well known, so that the crowd would filter out gradually and not congest the streets.

The idea was obviously that people would not be complaining about waiting through an hour of lesser known artists in order to see Neil Young or Michael Buble (which NBC interrupted for an hour in order to air a failure of a season opener by Jerry Seinfeld) they will find something else to complain about of course, "Why not (insert favortite Canadian artist here)?"

But one thing that rings true no matter where you stand, it was one for the books. American's dominated the overall medal count by taking an early lead that nobody could catch up to, Germany, the second largest population represented, came close. Norway, with a tiny population, showed incredible sportsmanship and winning spirit to drive up their medal count too, and what about them curling pants! Now that's having a laugh at yourself.

Everyone won in the end, the athletes, the locals, the tourists, the city of Vancouver, and Canada as a whole..and even the TV networks (despite NBC offering HORRIBLE coverage, that has received widespread bashing from upset US viewers)

Even the normally scathing, London, UK media, which initially condemned the games as possibly the worst, are now saying they learned lessons from watching how Canada came together to make it a great Olympic Games. They say they are carefully planning to try and create similar venue locations, atmosphere and "party zones" that hope to duplicate the scene from Vancouver.

It was a Winter Olympics that will be go down in the records as one of the best, or at least that's what the rest of the world seems to be saying, for now.

Sochi, ball's in your court now, have fun with it...and don't worry Russia, you'll win some medals again, once you get your attitudes back on a more positive track.

Go-Canada-Go!

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Canada Rules!

by Slayer_ In reply to So what about them games, ...

Nuff Said!

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Iwas pretty much with ya, Oz. Excepting

by seanferd In reply to So what about them games, ...

"...a widely misunderstood nation."

Really?

(Note that I don't consider ijits sayin' ijit things about Canada as "misunderstanding")

Go Canada!

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Yes it is

by Oz_Media In reply to Iwas pretty much with ya, ...

People don't understand what Canada looks like or is about in the same way they understand the widely publicized and presented nations of England, Germany, USA etc. It is a comment that was made by numerous people and foreign press during and after the games, I am simply repeating the sentiments of others, who aren't all just ijits.

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Sorry, not how I meant that at all.

by seanferd In reply to Yes it is

I was meaning to exclude the sort of ijitness one hears about Canada in the States from being under the rubric of "misunderstanding" in regards to my question. Had not meant to imply that those who do have this widely held misunderstanding of Canada were ijits. Better?

So, you were mentioning the sentiments of others - I'm just wondering what sort of revelations they had regarding the misunderstandings they held. I seriously pay little attention to press commentary. So I was curious. (For example: Did they expect that Vancouver should be bitter cold and 3 meters deep in snow year 'round? Did they think the mayor was Dominic DaVinci?)

Was just looking for some type of example or definition of the misunderstanding.

edit:
<i>giant mounties, inflatable beavers and moose, but then that's what people THINK Canada is like</i>

Is that something of what you meant? Yeah, I can mesh with that.

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Exactly it

by Oz_Media In reply to Sorry, not how I meant th ...

no worries, just misunderstood.

I think the only thing missing from the tongue in cheek ceremony was a giant bottle of maple syrup or inflatable strips of back bacon.

Stereotypes is what I meant. Many people just don't see much of or hear much about Canada, besides eastern winter storms that hit global news.

That whole Bob & Doug MacKenzie or igloo living stuff is just too old these days.

We've actually had some really nice sunny weather, not so welcome for winter games I suppose but still it is nice for those experiencing Vancouver for the first time, it is a damn beautiful place, especially on a sunny day.

Even Steven Colbert was surprised when he got here and quickly renegged his previous scathing commentary. Just look at his show to see what downtown Vancouver really looks like on a sunny day.

Sure we get constantly listed as one of the most livable cities on Earth, but those are just words and reviews.

I think it was a change for people to be recognized as free standing Canadians and not just that partner of big brother England or that other, cold country, in America. (note not North America, in many of the world's eyes, North America IS America.)

So it was a way for the world to actually experience what Vancouver and Canadians were really like, and I think Canadians looked pretty damn good, for the most part.

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It's sunny in Vancouver?

by Slayer_ In reply to Exactly it

Our Burnaby office would disagree

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It was yesterday.

by Oz_Media In reply to It's sunny in Vancouver?

Today it's a bit overcast and spitting off an on, but that's fine. I was just out for a walk, picking up breakfast getting cigars etc. No jacket, no problem.

About 9 degrees downtown, 10 in Burnaby (I'm 5 mins from Burnaby right now, teh truck says it;s 11 degree but it is usually reads 2 degrees warm)Celcius of course :)

Howeverm our weather can be pouring in the morning and bright and sunny in the afternoon. Then pouring overnight and warm in teh afternoon again. It's teh patterns in a rain forest with mountains, patterns move in fast overnight due to the atmospheric tem amd air pressure changes, then clear up through the day. Welcome to spring, it's pretty predicatable.

Morning weather pics.
http://vancouver.weatherpage.ca/cameras/

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Great games

by NickNielsen In reply to So what about them games, ...

Kept the TV on ESPN. Excellent curling coverage. Even had a strategy brawl in the bar in Myrtle Beach! :0

"What was he thinking, putting that stone there?"
"What do you mean, what was he thinking? "You effin' idjit!"
"You m-effing' moron!"
Biff! Pow! Bop!
:^0

Felt like I was back home growing up in New York. B-)

Congratulations, Canada. Job well done!

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Bread and circuses

by santeewelding In reply to So what about them games, ...

Arms across chest.

If anybody asks.

Which, they didn't.

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Hard to imagine a better games

by JamesRL In reply to So what about them games, ...

There are always going to be glitches in an event that size.

I was disspointed in Alpine Canada, given that Whistler is where they train the most and many of the skiers call it home. Many of them just took too many risks.

The hockey was great, I like it exciting and it was a nailbiter. Given how many Europeans are in the NHL now, all the teams have excellent players. Slovakia was a surprise.

The inflatable beavers didnt thrill me, I got that it was humor, it just wasn't my taste. Bill Shatner was kinda funny. Catherine O'hara was not.

Nickelback was fine, not my fave but seemed to perform well. I'm not one of the haters, my son tells me they aren't cool for some reason. I dreaded Celine, or Justin Bieber, so I was happy they weren't there.

Furlong could have used an editor and a language coach. That speech almost put Rogge to sleep.

But Vancouver can have a rest now, job well done.

James

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