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Wednesday, Feb. 17

Tuesday was the “official” start of the Olympics as the men’s hockey time took to the ice. A comment posted in Tuesday’s TimesOnLine blog says that most Canadians view this Olympics as “a hockey tournament with a bit of skiing thrown in”. Driving along Marine Drive in North Vancouver at 7 p.m. while Team Canada was playing, one could be forgiven for thinking he had somehow landed on the set of The Prisoner. Where was everyone? Glued to a TV presumably, with traffic non-existent.

February 17, 2010
By Paul Dixon

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At least
the weather shouldn’t affect the hockey. VANOC has had to cancel 28,000 tickets
to snowboarding events at Cypress Bowl this week. Last year, Cypress remained open for skiing and
boarding almost to the end of April, while you know this year’s story. Heavy
rains over the past week melted much of what snow there was other than what had
been artificially crafted for the snowboarding and freestyle skiing venues,
making the areas that were allotted for general-admission, standing-room
spectators unsafe.

 

The
European press, especially the British, have been hyper-critical of everything
to do with the Olympics in Vancouver and Whistler, maintaining as one British
blogger comments, “the time-honoured tradition of British press cynicism and whinging”.
Last week they were complaining about actually being charged for wi-fi access
in the media centre. The media centre is quite impressive. The new-age
electronic media are housed in the new side of the Vancouver Convention Centre,
with their cousins, the ink-stained wretches, housed under the iconic sails of
the original VCC. More than 200 TV studios have been constructed on the trade
show floor. I can’t begin to imagine the electrical requirements, let alone how
the same thing can be broadcast in 200 different ways.

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I heard
at one point last year that organizers were pushing to have the convention
centre sprinkler systems turned off for the duration of the Olympics because of
the potential damage to the hundreds of millions of dollars worth of
electronics on site.  Strangely enough,
as this point was being debated, a sprinkler main broke the first week the
facility was open, flooding out the first conference to use the building and
damaging a number of computers.

The irony
of the Brits whinging about Vancouver’s warmest winter on record and the impact
on the Winter Olympics (quick, name the last Brit to win a snow sport medal) is
that the current weather in Vancouver will likely surpass the summer weather in
London for their 2012 Summer Olympics.


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