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Vancouver 2010 - The cursed games?


ard72
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I fear the damage has been done. It's just been adding up. The luge death, the cauldron, the Richmond ice embarrasment, the hindsight mistake of Cypress as a venue, the weather, the ticket cancellations. Individually, nearly all of the glitches are explainable, excusable or bad luck. But they're adding up now, and the world media has sniffed blood and gone in baying. I fear Vancouverites and Canadians are gonna have to steel themselves to have to mount a constant defence for years to come against the notion of Vancouver as the Mark-2, Winter version Atlanta.

And before I flamed, I DO think that's unfair. To BOTH Vancouver and Atlanta. As one who was on the ground in Atlanta (my first first-hand games) my memories of it were of the exhilaration and joyful spirit on the streets and the bleachers, fantastic competition, and the warmth, joy and hospitality of the hosts and volunteers. I suspect and sense that that is the same for Vancouver. And I would say that could be contrasted against a games that was technically and organisationally almost flawless - Beijing - but which (and I'll try to phrase this diplomatically) were perhaps wanting in a sense of spontaneous joy and spirit.

Edited by Sir Roltel
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I fear the damage has been done. It's just been adding up. The luge death, the cauldron, the Richmond ice embarrasment, the hindsight mistake of Cypress as a venue, the weather, the ticket cancellations. Individually, nearly all of the glitches are explainable, excusable or bad luck. But they're adding up now, and the world media has sniffed blood and gone in baying. I fear Vancouverites and Canadians are gonna have to steel themselves to have to mount a constant defence for years to come against the notion of Vancouver as the Mark-2, Winter version Atlanta.

And before I flamed, I DO think that's unfair. To BOTH Vancouver and Atlanta. As one who was on the ground in Atlanta (my first first-hand games) my memories of it were of the exhilaration and joyful spirit on the streets and the bleachers, fantastic competition, and the warmth, joy and hospitality of the hosts and volunteers. I suspect and sense that that is the same for Vancouver. And I would say that could be contrasted against a games that was technically and organisationally almost flawless - Beijing - but which (and I'll try to phrase this diplomatically) were perhaps wanting in a sense of spontaneous joy and spirit.

Do I detect a touch of the worm turning for you SR? And are we all too eager to leap to the defence of Vancouver because (1) we want all games to be successes (2) we hate getting into flame wars and (3) the more intellectually honest who aren't there are willing to say they can't condemn a games they've not seen in person?

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Do I detect a touch of the worm turning for you SR? And are we all too eager to leap to the defence of Vancouver because (1) we want all games to be successes (2) we hate getting into flame wars and (3) the more intellectually honest who aren't there are willing to say they can't condemn a games they've not seen in person?

I'll certainly plead guilty as charged to (1) - I REALLY want these to succeed, I've built up a bit of an affection for Canucks on my time on this board, and i really want them to be able to experience the same type of thrill and exhilaration we got to experience in Sydney. And I do think they're being gracious hosts. Which leads to (2) - I don't mind getting into some flame wars - I can enjoy rolling up my sleeves and hoeing into a good argument when the debates are intereasting. If anything, I think the Canadians are being too typically polite and should be telling the negative press to go stuff themselves. C;mon Canada, defend your honour. As for (3) - the games are a global village and broadcast event as much as an event on the ground. The vast majority of us are quite entitled to follow their feelings, go through the various sources, listen to the celebrants in host central and make out judgements. For better or for worse perceptions and final verdicts around the world are gonna be shaped by second hand reports. But I'll always listen and give greater weight to those who've experienced the Games first hand.

Ultimately I'm enjoying what I'm seeing, get a feeling the Olympic City is buzzing with fun and joy - but already I think there's gonna be issues which will be argued thashed over about them for a long time to come.

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Australian woman injured at Winter Olympics in Vancouver after barricade collapsed

February 18, 2010 5:33PM

A YOUNG Australian woman was among 20 people injured when a barricade collapsed at a free Winter Olympics concert in Vancouver.

Jessie Adams, 20, from Darwin, was taken to hospital with a suspected broken leg, the Northern Territory News reports.

She was at the front of thousands of fans watching the band Alexisonfire when a barricade gave way, plunging her forward.

Her mother Sue Fraser-Adams said: "She is very distressed as she is on morphine and in shock. She was the most severely injured of everyone.

"She said her left shin is just gone.

"She was right in the front and when the barricades collapsed she was crushed under people. When they pulled her out her leg was severely injured."

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As much as this isn't pleasant news and I assume the events have been reported accurately, believe me when I say that the Northern Territory News is the one of the least salubrious newspapers in Australia. The NTN is well known to forget a huge news event that would receive blanket coverage or screaming headlines in other national or international papers, and run with something like 'Croc takes dog' or 'Darwin Stubby Record Broken' :D

If there's a local angle they'll find it...

Edited by eusebius65
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Perhaps they want an Opening Week rather than an Opening Ceremony. :huh:

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Games’ rebound pleases Olympic organizers

After shaky start, games likely to be viewed as big success, officials say

dv_to_getty_3507980_0.hmedium.jpg

Associated Press

Feb. 24, 2010

VANCOUVER, British Columbia - With four days left for the unexpected to happen, organizers say the Vancouver Games have recovered from a shaky start and succeeded on many fronts, from combating doping to strengthening Canadian national unity.

Even with the return of rain after a welcome stretch of good weather, leaders of the Vancouver Organizing Committee told a group of reporters Wednesday they were proud of their resiliency in the face of multiple glitches and harsh criticism early in the games.

"We have tried very hard to look at every day through a critical lens," said VANOC's CEO, John Furlong. "If there's the slightest imperfection, we're trying to attack it and make improvements."

Story continues below ↓advertisement | your ad here

The most welcome surprise, Furlong said, has been the enthusiastic response of area residents, who conveyed some ambivalence about hosting the Olympics in pre-games opinion polls. Now, downtown sidewalks and public gathering areas are packed with upbeat crowds, and locals and visitors alike line up for hours to get into prime attractions

"They have chosen not to be spectators," Furlong said of the local populace. "They have chosen to live this with us. ... There's a prevailing atmosphere in the city of trying to help and contribute."

The president of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge, concurred.

"I have never seen a city embrace the games as Vancouver has done," he said while attending a speedskating event. "What we have seen here in the streets of Vancouver is extraordinary."

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These Games are cursed!! Another skier dies!!

http://www.comcast.net/articles/sports-general/20100225/US.California.Skier.Death/

OK, it didn't happen in Vancouver or Whistler; but the timing!! While the XXIst Games are heppening in Canada, they try to commemorate it in Squaw Valley, and a skier there kills himself!!

So sad...these are the 2nd most tragic Games in history!! :(

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All this talk of a "failed" Games is just plain crap. There have been glitches -- there are at every Games. But Vancouver has done a remarkable job in hosting a Winter Games in a metropolitan city with a population of 2 million. And the city has come in solidly behind these Games. The venues have been full and the social atmosphere has made the press for being so free and easy.

This is what happened in Montreal 1976 as well. Those Games are remember for the financial issues, but those who were there will tell you that the Montreal 1976 Olympics were very similar to Vancouver in terms of how the city was involved and how much fun guests had at those Games.

In the end, I believe Vancouver 2010 will be remembered as a great success for the Olympic movement.

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These Games are cursed!! Another skier dies!!

http://www.comcast.net/articles/sports-general/20100225/US.California.Skier.Death/

OK, it didn't happen in Vancouver or Whistler; but the timing!! While the XXIst Games are heppening in Canada, they try to commemorate it in Squaw Valley, and a skier there kills himself!!

So sad...these are the 2nd most tragic Games in history!! :(

How can you possibly link that to Vancouver? I think the kid from growing pains was more relevant than that.

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All this talk of a "failed" Games is just plain crap. There have been glitches -- there are at every Games. But Vancouver has done a remarkable job in hosting a Winter Games in a metropolitan city with a population of 2 million. And the city has come in solidly behind these Games. The venues have been full and the social atmosphere has made the press for being so free and easy.

This is what happened in Montreal 1976 as well. Those Games are remember for the financial issues, but those who were there will tell you that the Montreal 1976 Olympics were very similar to Vancouver in terms of how the city was involved and how much fun guests had at those Games.

In the end, I believe Vancouver 2010 will be remembered as a great success for the Olympic movement.

Frankly (and I understand your partisanship) I wouldn't be too loud in extolling the virtues of Montreal. Boycotts, drugs and the incredible amount of debt incurred under the stewardship of Jean Drapeau left many wondering what the merit was in actually hosting the games. It might have been relatively smooth organisationally and spectators may have had fun, but alongside the other 'M' disasters of Munich and Moscow Montreal was a nadir for the modern Olympic movement. Consider how when faced with the arguably crippling losses from Montreal no one except for LA was willing to bid for a SOG for 1984. Montreal's legacy could have meant Moscow would have been the last SOGs, if LA and Ueberroth's LAOOC hadn't brought in a small profit after 84.

As for Vancouver, it's certainly more successful than Montreal (i.e. no boycotts, no systemic drug programs, no debt that'll take more than 2 decades to pay off) however when all is said and done I think Lillehammer and Salt Lake City will be more prominent as better achievements in the hosting of OWGs. Vancouver is probably on a par with Torino and Nagano. And frankly, if a city of 2 million can't get behind the Olympics, Winter or Summer, then it shouldn't get the games no matter where it is.

And finally, Vancouver is not a failed games, but there have been only a handful of Olympics where a 'glitch' turned out to be fatal...

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And still, my positive feelings about these Games have grown stronger and stronger in the course of these Games, after I had coped with the tragic events on opening day. It's simply because of the atmosphere which seems to be even better than in Salt Lake and on practically the same level as in Lillehammer. And I will say it again and again: It's the atmosphere, stupid. The atmosphere determines very strongly the overall success of Olympic Games, especially if there are no major mistakes in the logistical organisation of the Games, as now in Vancouver's case.

Maybe this is only a very subjective rating, but in my opinion, these are the second-best Olympic Winter Games ever (right behind Lillehammer). And that doesn't diminish Nodar Kumaritashvili's death -- it rather shows that the Games were a tremendous success in creating enthusiasm despite the initial shock about the events on opening day.

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