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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.


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I'm ready to move to Canada

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

Now that the flurry of activity that was the 2010 Olympic Winter Games is gone, Vancouver is looking like a decent place to live.

As for London making comments on the games, let's see how they do with reclaiming that 110 or so hectares of "brown area", providing no-car transit, and providing security to 1000s of athletes in a city of over 7 million.

I think most in England can appreciate the effort, and will do their best as well to put on a safe, successful event.

Now...when can I move to Canada? :^0

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Ask Neil about those London papers

by JamesRL In reply to I'm ready to move to Cana ...

The same ones who published all the crap about the Vancouver Olympics have also published stories about the Diana murder conspiracy etc. The National Enquirer learned from them.

Pravda got in the act as well, if you want to see sour grapes check out this link:
So now Canada controls doping control (no its an independant agency) and fixs skating contests (boy thats rich, doesn't anyone remember who bribed figure skating judges in the last scandal).

There is always some criticism at the games.


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by jck In reply to Ask Neil about those Lond ...

Sad really.

It's hard enough to organizing and bringing things together for them, let alone having to dedicate a PR machine just to deal with the crap in the press.

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They did it well, here

by Oz_Media In reply to yeah

When SOME UK press trounced all over Vancouver for a terrible Olympic ceremony, merely due to the arm failure at the ceremony, David Atkins (the main designer) said he wanted to throw it in their face by having local laugh at our own expense. So the mime raising the last arm was a way of just spitting inthe face of (some of) the UK media, which was done very well and with style. It's hard for someone to pass blame for an error when you admit the error yourself and do it with a laugh.

Unfortunately, the guy who oversaw designing of the medals, chose the mascots, and took care of all the promotional work, passed away just before the games, at age 39. (Les Ostabaum - October 26, 1969 ? August 21, 2009). To do all that work and not see it come to fruition, now that's a hard pill to swallow.

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I still want to move to Canada, darn it!

by jck In reply to They did it well, here

Sorry. Frustrated. I think I need to live somewhere that I can be alone in the woods.

Grow my beard out and let people call me Grizzly JCK. :^0

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Yeah, that's my plan

by Oz_Media In reply to I still want to move to C ...

I've seen where I COULD live, and its a lot cheaper than living here too, except you'd have to grow weed or something to pay the bills because there's no work and no businsses within an hours drive.

There are all kinds of these little 'spots' where you realize you could own lakefront property for $150K right in the middle of nowhere.

I am always looking though and have been tempted. I saw a place on one of the Gulf Islands (a chain that runs between the mainland and Vancouver Island) a while back, 4 bedroom, with 4 car two storey garage, on 4 acres, waterfront with boat launch, guest house etc.
$235K !

To compare, 3 'apartments' in Coals Harbour (downtown Vancouver) just sold for $12 million each, the average is around 4-6 million pre Olympics.

A decent (but not too high end)NEW home in West Van now averages 3 - 8 million with an old home, with no acreage sitting around $700,00+. (and that's a fixer upper).

Yup, you gotta have money to own land here, unless you head North. Then you can get a simple trailer on a massive plot of land in the middle of nowhere (not a trailer park or something)for next to nothing. Build your own log cabin!

Such as: Ootsa lake (Northern BC)Mountain views, 28.9 treed acres-clean, comfortable, renovated modular home with decks, new wood stove, shop, 2nd completely serviced building site, fishing, wildlife, waterfowl, private setting, year-round or recreational.

Ever heard of Richard (****) Proenekke? He's the guy who went to Alaska, by the twin lakes when he was in his early 50's and, in complete and absolute solitude, he lived for 30 years. His cabin and the films he made up there are historical masterpieces of making it on your own.His family finally convinced him to move hom ein his 80's and he died shortly after. I often wonder if he would have lived longer if he stayed or even if it would have been better to pass away right there in his little spot in paradise.

there are a few short clips on YouTube, but his videos are worth buying, renting or downloading. In fact I am going to down one to watch tonight again, fascinating! I don't know if I could do it, unless I had to in order to survive. Maybe that's why he made it, survival and a heart felt desire to do it.

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paying millions for a house

by jck In reply to Yeah, that's my plan

it would have to come with people to wipe for me. :^0

Just to give you an idea:

I got a 2 bedroom, 2 bath house on 1/3 acre with everything (doctors, banks, stores, food places, etc) within a 5 minute walk in 2003.

total cost: $84,500

You can get in some places here even cheaper, less than 1 hour outside of most metros cause the housing is so slumped.

I have an offer to get help working for the Canadian government from my friend, if I want to move to Ottawa. But, I don't think it'd agree with me. -25C in the winter just isn't my kind of climate.

Maybe I'll just stick with going to either NC/SC area, TX, or CA.

I can always come visit Vancouver :)

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We have seminars in Toronto about buy FL real estate

by JamesRL In reply to Yeah, that's my plan

Lots of agents from Floriday advertising here, for potential snow birds, vacationers etc who want to buy a cheap condo, 5 minutes from the beach.

I lived in Ottawa for 5 years, visit almost every Christmas. It is colder than Toronto. More snow. Less freezing rain. But I don't mind it, -25 C isn't something that happens often. Average January high temp in Ottawa is 23 F/-5C, Low(nighttime) is 5F/-15C.

But its reasonably cool in the summer, gorgeous fall weather.

Ottawa has some other attractions. The M/F ratio is definately in men's favour. Housing is more affordable that Toronto or Vancouver. Lots of restaurants, outdoor activities. Driving distance to Montreal (2 hours) or Toronto (4.5 hours).

And if you are so inclined you can be in the wilderness in an hour or so.

Plus the fed government takes good care of the place, parks, greenbelts, festivals etc.

I came to Toronto for the jobs, stayed because of the MIL in Ottawa. I think I enjoyed Ottawa more for sure.


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I can say this

by jck In reply to Yeah, that's my plan

If you have money, right now buying property on the outskirts of Tampa, Orlando, or Jacksonville is a smart thing for a long-term investment. You can get 3 bed homes on .25-.50 acre for sometimes as low as $75k.

And yes, the beach properties that aren't "exclusive" places are about 60-75% down in price from their peak. You can get in a nice beachside condo that you own for less than $150k some places.

Of course, I am looking to go someplace that I know I can get 10 acres for $35k, and build a 3000 sq ft cabin for less than $175k because the craftsmen and businesses there don't rip people off or charge an arm and a leg for their products to get rich quick.

I'll be less than 2 hours from an international airport too, so going to see family or friends around the world isn't out of the question.

Saving up for retirement. Hopefully, that's only another 15 years. :)

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You can do that in Ottawa.

by JamesRL In reply to Yeah, that's my plan

If you cross the river to Quebec and go north for an hour or so, there are some inexpensive plots of land, many on nice lakes. Some of the people I used to work with did this, they even bought cottages and winterized them, for a small fraction of what they would have spent in Ottawa. Taxes are higher in Quebec though....

This plan wouldn't work in Toronto, you have to go three hours out to get to wilderness, and the class a farmland close to Toronto is very expensive.


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