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Monday, Feb. 15 - update

See in the Monday morning paper that one of the vehicles in Mr. Biden’s motorcade was involved in an accident serious enough to send a couple of passengers off to hospital.  I don’t have any details on the incident but it speaks to that old adage – “stuff happens”.  Motorcade driving, especially in a motorcade the size I saw downtown on Sunday, is very much an art. Done properly, it’s more like watching a train in which all the component parts move as one rather than a bunch of vehicles trying to keep up; but, like a train, when it goes off the track it can get really ugly, really fast.

February 15, 2010
By Paul Dixon

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It’s been
great to see the happy crowds on the streets of
Vancouver. Talked with friends who were at
an event over the weekend to get their impressions. First, there is no parking
anywhere near any of the event venues in the
Vancouver region. Your event ticket is also
your public transit pass for the day. Getting there by bus was no problem but
they took the wrong road from the bus stop and once they realized their mistake
were even further misdirected by a VANOC volunteer. When they finally arrived
at the right gate it took about half an hour to get through the security
screening which was very thorough, down to removing all rings and examining
wallets. How did they feel about it? No big deal.  Everybody had to go through the same drill
and everybody was having a good time. For them it was all part of the Olympic
experience.

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When I
look at the crowds on the streets I go back to Canada Day 2001 in
Ottawa when we were visiting friends.
One of our reasons for going to
Ottawa was to spend Canada Day on
Parliament Hill. What could be more Canadian? It certainly had the potential to
be a great day but the weather didn’t co-operate. Sound familiar? Cold and rainy,
it didn’t deter us or the tens of thousands of others who showed up for a day
of national pride. It was interesting to watch the crowd dynamic change over
the course of the day as the family groups that had initially made up the bulk
of the crowd were superseded by a younger and more boisterous element, fuelled
by more than just their patriotic spirit. Long before we wanted to leave, my
host and I realized it was time to leave as the crowd around us was “on the
verge”, as in too much of a good thing. We formed our families into a little convoy
and made good our escape with not a moment to spare.

Many of
the European media have been commenting that Canadian attention appears solely
focused on men’s hockey, to the exclusion of everything else. The hockey gold
medal game is the last event of these Olympics, scheduled for the afternoon
before the closing ceremonies. Not to put any pressure on “the boys”, but I
sure hope “we” win, if only to keep everyone happy. 


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