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Vancouver 2010 - The cursed games?


ard72
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- Dead luger

- Luge course chopped down in distance

- Torch malfunction

- Broken down buses

- Bus drivers getting lost

- Lack of Cypress snow

- Snowboard ticket refund

- Running out of food at venues

- Dead Zambonis at the speed skating

and still 13 days to go ...

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It happens, nothing is perfect and these games certainly won't be.

Though some of those problems like the snow is completely out of their control, the death and subsequent luge debauchery is a combination of athlete error and lack of designer foresight.The ice issues at Richmond are certainly poor planning and VANOC's refusal to use the top ice making people. Especially in a country that has so many top icemakers.

There is some positives, the SBX course was excellent.

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- Dead luger

- Luge course chopped down in distance

- Torch malfunction

- Broken down buses

- Bus drivers getting lost

- Lack of Cypress snow

- Snowboard ticket refund

- Running out of food at venues

- Dead Zambonis at the speed skating

and still 13 days to go ...

Without negating these obvious defects (and in the luge situation downright tragedy) I see a few similarities with the Wily Old Falangists best games, my beloved Sydney 2000. We had...

  • Bus drivers getting lost
  • A hiccup in the cauldron's mechanics
  • Ticket problems and controversies before the games
  • Gymnastic apparatus set at the wrong height
  • Flatwater canoe venue with weed and wind problems

A lot of these things were fixed in 2000 and I'm sure VANOC is doing its best re their probs (bit hard to go them for the weather for now, but not maybe for venue selection). But if we were talking Atlanta...well, that's another story :P

Edited by eusebius65
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I'm finding a bit of a disconnect between what I'm seeing on the TV coverage, and hearing from many Canadians here, with a lot of the waspish coverage that seems to be going on with the world headlines in the print and online media.

Remind you of any recent games SR? (hears the sound of bazoukis and smells yeeros on the grill). The world's media can be like sharks going in for the kill when it comes to smelling organising committee blood in the water...

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-The Dutch will say the games are a disaster because of the zamboni problems.

-The Germans will say the games are disaster because of the lower start in luge.

-The Norwegians will say the games are disaster because of the snow/weather at the nordic center.

-The Americans will say the games are the best ever because they're owning everyone so far ;)

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Things have not been ideal for VANOC, but I will definitely say the media (at least from what I have seen in headlines and a bit on tv), is smelling blood. It of course began with the bad weather and the luge tragedy, but negative headlines are customary for an Olympics. It wouldn't be the "Games" without gripes.

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I don't think Vancouver is "cursed." I also don't think that the media is out to get Canada. At least here in the U.S. NBC's coverage has been very flattering. In my opinion NBC could have made some harsher observations if they wished to. It does seem that Vancouver is experiencing more than their fair share of challenges. Many of these challenges were out of the organizers' control and people recognize that. Transportation was a concern with Vancouver from the time they bid and it does seem like some of those concerns were justified and VANOC could have planned a bit better. It also seems like there was a better way to address the concessions troubles. The weather and the protests are clearly beyond VANOC's control. Perhaps wiser decisions could have been made regarding the cauldron and the luger, but there was no reason why they should have expected things to go as badly as they did.

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-The Germans will say the games are disaster because of the lower start in luge.

I think the lower start in luge is a bow for Nodal, but wasn't/isn't necessary!

NO, Vancouver 2010 isn't a disaster - I enjoy them - the problems, which are Vancouver facing, are just problems of many big events - they just can happen

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Glitches happen at every games. The Weather Gods are fickle at any time, especially to the winter games. The luge death - well, the jury's still out on it, but I consider it a tragedy - NOT a total games-wrecker.

On the plus side, in the lead-up over the past years I'd say Vancouver's preparation has been above-average, the OC is always a matter of taste but seems to have been generally approved of, the protesters have been largely irrelevant and ignored, the competition has been engaging and the crowds seem large and enthusiastic.

Overall so far, I'd probably give the games a very personally subjective A minus. It would have been A or even A plus if it hadn't have been for the luge death.

To me the test is really the spirit and joy on the streets of the host. I seem to get the vibe that it's positive so far. I expect and hope Canada's medal tally starts to grow and lifts the home excitement and engagement factor.

Edited by Sir Roltel
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Yes, the weather is outside of VANOC's control, but the fact that the Cross and aerial events are taking place at all astounds me. I remember John Furlong talking to George Stromobolougvdowajfoejhfus on The Hour a few months ago and he said they had to plan contingencies in case of poor whether. Well the whether probably couldn't have been any worst. Yet because VANOC practically moved a mountain, all events are generally taking place as planned.

The situation as the Richmond Oval is getting a little ridiculous, but it will fix itself over the next few days.

I wouldn't pin the death of the Georgian luger on the organizers. I suspect it was part rider error, part overly ambitious design, but I would pin most of the blame for that on the sporting federations.

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I absolutely agree that Vancouver has experienced more than their share of bad luck. However, not everything is beyond VANOC's control.

Take just one example: the cauldron.

The two cauldrons were a bizarre concept to begin with. The design within BC Place did seem overly ambitious and was a bit strange looking under the best of circumstances. It was too bad that Catriona LeMay Doan couldn't take Gretzky's place in lighting the outdoor cauldron. Would've been a nice way to make up for the disappointment of the malfunction. Then VANOC decides they have to fence off the outdoor cauldron so nobody can get anywhere near it. NBC was just saying that the cauldron is very difficult to see if you're not in the broadcast center. Poorly conceived all the way around. Too bad, considering the flame is such an icon of the Games.

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Cursed Games? Why? After the initial shock about the luger's death and the cauldron malfunction has passed, I think that these Games are getting better every day -- atmosphere-wise. And I agree with those who say that the few logistic flaws are within the normal range for every major sports event. Most importantly: The venues really seem to be mostly sold out which is one extremely important factor for the atmosphere and success of Olympic Games.

Also, why should the Germans be unhappy with the luge track being shortened? They already won gold and silver on that track, and they're heading for one, two or even three medals tonight in women's luge. Not to mention the good chances in the remaining luge, skeleton and bobsleigh events.

No, so far I'd also give Vancouver an A-.

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Some truely dreadful aricles in The Times and The Guardian today on Vancouver - made my blood boil as they are so shite!!

Guardian

wondewhat he'll write once london host the games. the games in only 4 days old. for pete's sake. he made it sounds as if the weather can be controlled as well. well, that's what i got from him.
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*looks out of hotel window to crowd of hundreds down in the streets singing and chanting* I think that would be an understatement.

That's what the "best Games ever" are made out of.

I mean, telegenic resonance is important. An enthused host reads and resonates ten times more than the availability of concessions or the competence of bus drivers. And I've said it before, the Canucks to me seem like the most uninhibitedly enthused host since maybe Sydney and Salt Lake.

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