Olympic Blog – Days 3 and 4

Oly Blog: Thumbs up, Thumbs Down… in no particular order
Thumbs up:
1) Vancouver Spirit – Who knew? Our truly ‘felt the love’ while walking down to see the flame on a gorgeous spring, er, winter, day. I love seeing all of the jackets and uniforms from other countries and shared a couple of pints with a wonderful journo from Nine Network in Australia last night. I would bet that many of the people walking the streets are in fact coming in from the ‘burbs – where support for the Games is ABSOLUTELY overwhelming. People in Vancouver proper HATE the suburbs. Fuck ‘em, this is the revenge of the Real Canadians.
2) Opening ceremonies – not too sure about the ‘multiple torch lighters’ concept – great to see Nancy Greene-Raine included – (though why they left Al Raine’s name off is beyond me – what, they can’t get their heads around the hyphenated names?). I loved all of the different unis (check out that Mongolian outfit!) – the Austrian one was suitably fascistic… Loved the version of Joni Mitchell’s ‘Clouds’, the fabulous ‘whales’ that came out of the floor, the First Nations dancers (did they EVER STOP?). I even loved the cheesy, American Idol-inspired Bryan Adams/Nelly Furtado duet.
3) Alexandre and Frederic Bilodeau – Because they BOTH won gold tonight. Truly a night to remember – and – haha – I called it on my blog at NBCOlympics.com! I have tons more to say on this, basically, I love three things – the fact that AB is Quebecois, and continues a long line of excellence from that province, that he kept talking about ‘how more medals are to come’ from Canada, rather than tooting his own horn (which he would never do; I have interviewed him and he is just the best) and – I loved his aerials. That double twisting backflip off the top was sheer poetry. What else did I love – the fact that CDNs finished 4, 5, and 11 as well. Outstanding team effort!
4) Speaking of which, I LOVED the fact that one of the Russian bump skiers tossed in a ‘truck driver’ move. That is New School steeze, to the max. Jonny Moseley said “I love that trick, but the judges don’t!”
5) I love the torch, but hate that it’s behind a chain link fence. But that will change, apparently! It is a wonderful beacon and focus of energy during the Games. People will really miss it.
6) The incredible energy at Whistler – your days are coming, and the world will love it.
7) The huge museum quality prints in the Main Press Center of Olympics Games gone by. They were contributed by the Associated Press.
8) I love the fact that the Games are just so damned INTERNATIONAL. People from all over the world. Did I mention how I love the uniforms?
9) Hearing Jonny Moseley’s commentary for NBC has been awesome – he is a real pro and I’ve really come to respect his analysis. Come to think of it, OBS (Olympic Broadcast Services) has a tremendous freestyle announcer. I have no clue who he is, though!
10) Getting an edition of the Globe on Sunday. Even though I haven’t cracked it, or the NYTimes, or The Province, yet.
11) The US Freestyle one-piece uniforms. Did I tell you I love all of the international unis?
12) Vancouver, when it’s sunny out, like it was today and tonight. Outstanding. The best place on earth. Shit, did I just say that? Sorry, NDP…
13) The First Nations logo inside the maple leaf. IO thought it was just the hockey team, but all of the unis have it.
14) That quite wonderfully Tourism Quebec commercial which shows telemark skiers and superb views of the St Lawrence valley.
15) The D-Spin. A staple of any freestyle skier now, it’s the best and steeziest move the bump skiers throw in. And it was invented by Mike Douglas.
16) Jenn Heil. She threw down an awesome run, but Hannah Kearney was just THAT MUCH better. Am curious as to how it would have turned out had the course been rock hard, since speed is Heil’s forte. Still, she ‘won the silver,’ as they say. Good on her! Loved Chloe Dufour-Lapointe’s run as well.
THUMBS DOWN:
1) The Olympic criminals. The idiots who broke the Bay windows and tied up all of the traffic. Hopefully, we’ve seen the last of ‘em. They are not ‘the Olympic protesters’ – they are criminals and I hope they throw the book at ‘em.
2) Cancellation of standing room tickets at the Cypress venue. Yet another reason why this place should NEVER have been selected to host the freestyle events. I have never received an answer to that question.
3) The horrendous bus lineups to get back to the city. Like, did VANOC not do a few dry runs of this beforehand?
4) The overwhelming sense that this event is ‘all about TV’ – don’t get me wrong, I love my HD, but so much of this event is tailored for TV audiences.
5) Brian Williams – he used to be so great, but has become so overawed with his own self-importance. Or something. I still really wish that CBC was the rights-holding broadcaster, frankly. CTV is SO commercial. But their ratings are through the roof. And they did have a good freestyle analyst.
6) Rainy, crappy weather like yesterday. As my colleague Lisa Richardson said, “Time to go home, El Nino.” That said, the rainforest is SO beautiful.

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