Vancouver Olympics Prologue

First of all even before the actual competitions or ceremony could begin a horrible tragedy at the Whistler sliding center as a luger from the former Soviet Republic of Georgia was killed during a practice run when his sled hit a wall and he was ejected from the course, hitting a metal support beam above the track.  I have read in articles leading up to the Games that this course could be particularly dangerous, with competitors referring to Turn 13 as “50/50” as in those being the odds of getting through there still progressing towards home.  In the wake of today’s tragedy my friend Nick at his blog http://illdothedriving.com has suggested closing the course and moving luge, bobsled, and skeleton competitions to another facility, perhaps Calgary.  They’ll never go that far.  Hopefully someone thinks to throw some pads around exposed beams around the track.  But those competitions could end up being less about thousandths of a second like it normally is at the Olympic level and more about which handful of competitors is able to complete their runs without wrecking at full speed.

As for the Opening Ceremonies I thought they were fine.  I perhaps get bored more quickly than some with the theatrical productions aspect of these things and I was personally hoping for some Gordon Lightfoot music somehere, but it was okay.  The head of Vanoc needed to cut his speech to about 20% of its actual length.  I was almost getting bored enough to grab my snow shovel and do some more work clearing the parking spot at the end of the block despite it being 11:30pm and me awake for 18 hours at that point.  I like the torch lighting, even if it didn’t exactly come off as planned.  Speaking personally I was hoping they would get Mario Lemieux involved; I hope he doesn’t feel too left out with Wayne Gretzky obviously a principle torch lighter and Bobby Orr one of those carrying the Olympic flag into the stadium.  One could argue he was bigger in his sport than Steve Nash.  But its a small detail.  Can someone tell me what the Germans were thinking with their team uniform colors?  I almost ralphed into a bucket.  Thankfully the United States was more tasteful.  My friend Nick doesn’t like the hats but I’m fine with them.

In any event, let the Games begin!

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