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Showing content with the highest reputation on 08/03/2011 in all areas

  1. Well, I know it aint over till the Fat Lady Sings and the Flame goes out, and we've got a few more important medals to come, including the all-important, for Canadians, men's Hockey Final. But I'll literally be packing my bags the moment the Closing Ceremony finishes to get ready to head off OS (Japan) for a week's R&R. But being a dedicated GamesBidder, I couldn't resist the urge to give my verdict before heading off. For what it's worth, my scorecard: Judge: Sir Roltel Judge category: Overseas broadcast spectator Technical Scores Planning Grade: B+ Comments: In hindsight some issues such as the choice and kitting of Cypress, and questions on the luge-run design, but the long-term legacy and sustainability seem promising. Pity BC Place roof couldn’t get done for the Games. Preparations Grade: A+ Comments: Probably the most noteworthy aspect of the seven years running up to Vancouver 2010 was how scandal free and smooth it was by past standards. Immediate pre-games jitters notwithstanding, the organisation and preparation were a triumph of smooth and steady operation. Operation Grade: B+ Comments: Early glitches sparked a premature furore over the Games’ staging. While much was due to bad luck (particularly weather, always an intangible for any Winter Games) and feral media, questions will persist about the luge track and crowd capacity and competition planning for Cypress. Other glitches (ice-making) were minor. No major transport problems beyond the inevitable early hiccoughs. By the games’ second week, organisers hit their stride. Competition Grade: A+ Comments: A subjective assessment. To me it depends on the markers’ interests, enthusiasms and loyalties. Australia’s great success certainly stoked the fires Down Under. And after Canada’s traditional slow start in table rankings, the hosts’ achievements swelled by games’ end to sit (at this point even) clearly atop the Medal Table, and no chance of toppling off . That’ll sure leave fond Canadian memories (assuming the Men's Hockey final works out as planned). C’mon, it’s the Olympics, it had its share of memorable moments from the figure skating rink to the snow courses. No major judging or cheating scandals, a mixture of champions fulfilling expectations and unexpected heroes gave us some great sporting memories. Past Legends bowing out, New Legends being born. All the memories we love. And remarkably free of major scandals! Atmosphere Grade: A+ Comments: From an outside observers’ point of view, it seemed to have the passion that Torino promised but never quite sparked in attendance. Huge and happy crowds, gracious and friendly spectators and a swelling pride in home-town achievement seems to have given this winter games its best home spirit and support since, well perhaps Sydney. It’s telling that by the time the games began, any disgruntled protesters were swamped into insignificance and impotency. Venues Grade: A- Comments: Aside from the aforementioned questions over Cypress and the lugetrack, the venues seemed attractive and high quality. The indoor venues – particularly for ice hockey – were impressive, and the outdoor sites offered plenty of scenic splendour, even if they were, as in any Winter Games, subject to the vagaries of weather. Artistic Scores Branding Grade: A Comments: A beautifully integrated and delicately coloured “Look” really set the high bar for in-games branding to now. Only a rather unappealing main logo, which didn’t really integrate with the rest of the design, brought it down from excellent grades. Elegant torch design, and nice use of native art in all aspects, particularly medals. Opening ceremony Grade: A+ Comments: A highly literary and poetic declaration that managed to bridge Canadian pride and modesty, and provide the right mix of aboriginal, historic and modern Canadian culture. This was enhanced by a simple yet beautiful use of drapes and projections and memorable and tasteful music and song to make this one my personal contenders for best Winter opening. Cauldron Grade: B- Comments: Disappointing in design, execution (don’t trust over-engineered Aussie cauldron ideas) and initial display. Tried too hard then blew it in presentation. Closing Ceremony Grade: Un-marked (not counted in overall grade average) Comments: Have yet to see this, but expect Canada to provide a warm, festive and affectionate send-off. I will update and edit if I get a chance, though I don’t expect it to change my overall impressions. Medal Ceremonies Grade: A Comments: Can’t vouch for entertainment line-up, but from what I saw on broadcast here, BC Place was packed and pumped for the ceremonies. It would seem long-sought home town success fed the excitement and enthusiasm of the ceremonies. Only anthems I heard were Advance Australia Fair and Oh Canada, so can’t comment on overall anthem musical arrangements. Overall Score Grade Point Average: A (actually, I think I counted an A-, but bonus marks at scorers' discretion ) Verdict: Certainly no “Disaster”. But the luge death did set a big question mark over the games and was a major factor in most of the lesser ratings I gave above. It’s certainly always going to be one of the first things recalled about these games. But did it warrant a “fail” mark. I don’t believe so. Congratulations Vancouver. Congratulations Canada. You showed graciousness and good humour which in the end overshone and triumphed over the inevitable glitches. And your confidence and performance seemed to grow and feed off each other as they went on. A memorable and warm games that’ll live on in ours and your memories. Anyway, it’s (almost) all over now folks. And back to reality soon Canada. Deal with it. Be gracious to your successors. The Dream ends for all of us hosts eventually.
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