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Vancouver 2010 - The cursed games?


ard72
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It looks to me like some people in the british media just want a security blanket in case of the London games being subpar. Like: "You think London is bad? Remember the disastrous Vancouver games...".

It's too bad they canceled the standing room tickets for the snowboard cross. If a spectator had injured himself badly or worst, the guy from the Guardian would have even more things to whine about :lol:

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It looks to me like some people in the british media just want a security blanket in case of the London games being subpar. Like: "You think London is bad? Remember the disastrous Vancouver games...".

It's too bad they canceled the standing room tickets for the snowboard cross. If a spectator had injured himself badly or worst, the guy from the Guardian would have even more things to whine about :lol:

alas - my view exactly - apologies to our canadian cousins - you are doing a great job and i wish i was there to share the excitement!

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WTF is wrong with your media? I hope karma will come back right at them come London 2012.

You've been posting on internet forums for years and you've only just realised the verocity of the British press?! :P Anything that sells they'll write; it's nothing personal and London 2012 has bourne more of the brunt of the British press than any other organising committee. For what it's worth the BBC coverage has been excellent and the coverage of the less positive things has been proportionate (certainly more so than American news outlets which, I've heard are showing the replay of the luge accident over and over; the BBC decided against showing it at all by contrast)

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Sydney resolved its lost bus driver issue a few days before the Games when Rogge suggested volunteers as guides

Not sure about Rogge being the one who made the suggestion, but yes this was fixed very shortly.

I sooo want to play devil's advocate because it must be said that the death of Nodar Kumaritashvili has cast a pall over these games and certain parties (not Canadians or more specifically VANOC) need to have blame shafted home to them. And let's not forget the British media are writing for a domestic market concerned and suspicious about London 2012. It could be said Cypress was a venue with some reservations but quite rightly everyone can say that no one at the IOC or at VANOC can control the weather.

Every games deserves to be critiqued and analysed, but at the same time from half a world away Vancouver 2010 seems to be being enjoyed by so many there as well as many watching on TV, and it's certainly drawn more positive attention to the city, the province and to Canada than if the games were not being held there. Falling into the trap of having a perceived malicious dig at the Canuck hosts leaves you wide open for a go at the Brits in 2012

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This one is linked to the front page of AOL: Canada Shaming Itself at Stormy Olympics *shakes head*

I think in all fairness the article is not so much attacking Vancouver as an event or as a venue, but more the 'Own the podium' program. Now it must also be said this is an op-ed piece so unlike straight reportage is designed to be unbalanced, to present a subjective view. So...is this a fair representation of the Vancouver Games as a whole? No. Is it an interesting opinion piece about a change in Canadian sporting culture that actually may be less impressive than the sought for results? Yes?

And of course anything written by Americans about Canadians (and vice versa) must have huge cultural sensitivities that few outside that context can understand (I guess it must be akin to how we Aussies feel about Kiwis and them about us).

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I think in all fairness the article is not so much attacking Vancouver as an event or as a venue, but more the 'Own the podium' program. Now it must also be said this is an op-ed piece so unlike straight reportage is designed to be unbalanced, to present a subjective view. So...is this a fair representation of the Vancouver Games as a whole? No. Is it an interesting opinion piece about a change in Canadian sporting culture that actually may be less impressive than the sought for results? Yes?

And of course anything written by Americans about Canadians (and vice versa) must have huge cultural sensitivities that few outside that context can understand (I guess it must be akin to how we Aussies feel about Kiwis and them about us).

"Own the podium" is just the name of a high-performance sports funding program. The same kind of program we find in dozens of other countries.

I guess they should have named it the "Winter sports funding program". Then maybe those journalists wouldn't be so offended.

And you can bet VANOC and Canada will also be blamed for the sucky performance of all these female snowboarders. Seriously, I think there have been 10 straight crashes...

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IMHO, great part of these criticism are overreactions by the media (specially the british one, shame on them :angry: ). Any olympics can have organization problems, nothing's perfect, and i'm sure Vancouver will be able to handle all of these issues and the games will come to a happy conclusion.

We must remember that the weather problems goes beyond VANOC hands, as it can be very unpredictable. Anyway..i believe the media is also taking advantage of the luger's death to feed their criticism as well.

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A friend of mine isn't happy today

They had a ticket to the Alpine Super Combined today and awoke at 4:30am this morning to get a bus at 5:30am to Whistler. 1 1/2 hours into their bus trip, news comes through that event postponed and they turn around and go home.

Event postponed to Sunday ... and of course they leave Vancouver on Sunday morning

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And VANOC hits back:

Officials fire back at international media criticism of Games

Journalists around the world have been revelling in the Games' many problems in the opening days, from a lack of snow on the ski and snowboard courses to ice problems at the speed skating venue. Now, Olympics officials are pushing back.

"We continue to be impressed by the level of organization. It's been a very well organized Games -- has been right from the seven years we've been working with VANOC," said International Olympic Committee spokesperson Mark Adams.

"The key thing is (problems) are identified and dealt with, and we feel that's being done. We're very happy."

Criticism has been particularly harsh from the British media, which has collectively declared that the Games so far have tarnished Canada's international reputation.

The Times Online has criticized Canada's $100 million-plus athlete-development program aimed at raking in this country's largest medal haul in the history of the Games.

The Olympics, according to the Times, make a "global statement about a host city and its nation. For the Canadian hosts, the statement they had intended to make was tied up less in infrastructure and more in hard-nosed competitive edge; they pretty much told the world that they wanted to win medals more than friends."

Ouch. And it's just been downhill, so to speak, from there.

The Times declared that the Games "appear to have been cursed" and organizers are wringing their hands as the competition "staggers from one crisis to another."

Indeed, representatives from VANOC have faced tough questions during daily media briefings about everything from a transportation system that has stranded athletes to the weather.

Before the Games began, organizers were forced to start trucking in snow to Cypress Mountain, home to the freestyle skiing and snowboard events, which has been left slushy and foggy from rain and warm temperatures.

Comedian Stephen Colbert joked about the weather on the Colbert Report, suggesting that "on future Winter Olympics hosting applications, you might want to add the question, ‘Does it snow there?'"

But the Times went so far as to suggest that Vancouver tourism officials have their work cut out for them to counter the negative publicity that comes with snow-less mountains in a premier ski-holiday destination.

"Much rides on an Olympic Games, not just financially but for the nation's global image," wrote reporter Kevin Eason. "Experts are still weighing up the potential damage to Vancouver's ‘brand' as trucks laden with imported snow roll down the highways through the rain to ensure that the Olympic venues have something that looks vaguely wintry for athletes to compete on."

"Let's be honest, you are probably not going to book a skiing holiday in February in Vancouver if you have been watching the Games on television," Chris Lightfoot, a branding expert, told Eason.

Calamity?

On Monday, a headline in the Guardian newspaper screamed: "Vancouver Games continue downhill slide from disaster to calamity." Underneath the headline was a prediction that the 2010 Winter Games could go down as the "worst in Olympic history."

Reporter Lawrence Donegan criticized the organizers' decision to hold events at Cypress Mountain, a location known for spotty weather. The rains have left organizers no choice but to refund thousands of tickets to snowboarding events because viewing platforms would be too unstable.

Donegan also mocked the malfunctioning hydraulics system that left one of four cauldrons surrounding the Olympic flame to remain buried underground during Friday's opening ceremonies.

Indeed, the endless series of calamities has led a writer on U.S. online magazine Salon.com to "fire" Canada as Olympic Games host in a humorous, but pointed, post.

"This is not a decision we made lightly. Believe me, we wanted this thing to work," wrote Steve Almond. "But put yourself in our position, Canada. All we want to do is watch the strange, mostly obscure sports of the Winter Olympics -- and yet every day you, as the host nation, deliver up a fresh disaster.

After the men's 500 metre speedskating event was delayed for nearly an hour because of problems with the Olympia keeping the ice clean at the Richmond Oval, NBC's Bob Costas called the situation "not acceptable," and Almond wrote the following:

"Because, I mean, look at it: what's the one thing you should know how to do at this point, in terms of athletic preparedness? We're not asking you to produce a gripping television series, or a memorable historical figure. Just keep the ice smooth, Canada. That's all you had to do. And you had, like, eight years to plan for this."

It also must be said that the Games started off on a sombre note, when Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili was tragically killed during a training run hours before the opening ceremonies.

The Times called the response to the tragedy, including blaming the crash on Kumaritashvili's own mistakes, "not only indecent but utterly unconvincing. The organizers explained that the track was perfectly safe, yet made dramatic changes to it, including extending the wall that could have saved him."

Some praise for the Games

Despite the myriad international criticism, representatives from VANOC say they have identified and dealt with problems as they arise.

"The goal for us is to continue to adjust as we see fit and to make sure the two priorities: the athletes who are here for their Olympic experience and the spectators both here and on television have the very best possible Olympic Games," said Renee Smith-Valade, VANOC's vice president of communications.

And some members of the international media are quite enjoying their time in Vancouver.

"I can't help feeling sympathy for our Canadian hosts here," blogged Daily Mail reporter Rick Broadbent said. "They so want to be loved and the negativity has grown until it is now the default setting of every cynic who thinks the Games are only here so a bunch of suits can go whale watching.

And veteran sports reporter Christine Brennan of USA Today predicted that Vancouver's Games will not indeed go down in history as the worst ever.

"It would be natural to fear that the lasting image of the Games had been seared into our minds even before the Olympics began, with a young athlete beginning a training run that in a matter of seconds ended his life," Brennan wrote.

"But we're in Canada, a place where every day is Christmas morning, so despite their star-crossed start, these Olympics have more than a fighting chance to turn things around."

CTV

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I was watching the Canada Norway game on BBC a few hours ago, and the commentators mentioned a few times how the atmosphere in Vancouver is better than it has been in any of the previous Winter Games he's been too, and how from what he's witnessed there so far it's by far the best Winter Olympics in the past 12 years.

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I was watching the Canada Norway game on BBC a few hours ago, and the commentators mentioned a few times how the atmosphere in Vancouver is better than it has been in any of the previous Winter Games he's been too, and how from what he's witnessed there so far it's by far the best Winter Olympics in the past 12 years.

Let's be honest here, he may have just been cordial. I mean, let's not forget Samaranch's speeches at the closing ceremonies.

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