Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Olympics Sunday in Vancouver

After a very wet Saturday at Cypress Mountain, Sally and I donned some red Olympic gear and set out for a day in the city. At times, it was exhilarating to see the large crowds, many also dressed in Olympic clothing . Particularly impressive were the pedestrian zones along Robson Street and Granville Mall (which I suspect will one day be permanent fixtures in the city) and the area around the Convention Centre. However, it was very sad to see the the make-shift chain-link fencing around the cauldron holding the Olympic Flame, and one can only hope that VANOC (with some encouragement from the Mayor) will realize that this is completely wrong. If it is there to protect the flame from 'terrorists' and protesters, I say don't give in to them...Furthermore, as others have pointed out, with literally thousands of police officers and security personnel in the city, surely they can protect the cauldron. If necessary, they can be equipped with taser guns as far as I am concerned. For those of you who have not yet ventured into the city, or who sadly will not make it to Vancouver, here are a few more photos. There are two 'Live Sites' in the city, where the public can watch events on large screens, enjoy a variety of entertainment, and visit surrounding pavilions and drinking spots. One includes Canada House, another major disappointment in the city. (I will create another post to show you around the facility) But suffice it to say, something went terribly wrong in Ottawa, and I would like the bright and usually candid Minister James Moore to explain what really happened. Of course he won't, but having worked for the Federal Government for almost ten years, I can surmise some of the scenarios. Without wanting to appear partisan, I think Quadra MP Joyce Murray is quite right in continuing to seek some answers. I am looking forward to another two weeks of Olympic life. While it is difficult not to be disturbed by some of the things that have gone wrong...the tragic death of the Georgian luger, the failing ice-making machine at the Olympic Oval (unfortunately, Zamboni is not an Olympics sponsor) and other happenings...especially the vandals seeking a world stage...(I heard the father of one of those arrested for carrying a dangerous weapon supporting his son's behaviour this morning on the radio...so what if he was carrying a bicycle chain...he's protesting our increasing carbon footprint.) but it is wonderful to see the city dressed up, and the many tourists and local residents in red and white who have decided to take part. It is also fascinating to see some of the changes around the city that I will cover in another post. Personally, all of this is much more important than the medal count!

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