Vancouver Games Open With Some Less-Than-Great Moments
February 13, 2010 in Olympics Tags: BC Place, CBC, Georgian luger, Gordon Campbell, Governor-General Michaelle Jean, Laureen Harper, Nikki Yanofsky, Noder Kumaritashvili, Rick Nash, Stephen Harper, Wayne Gretzky, Whistler
The dust (rain) has settled on the opening day of the Vancouver Olympic Games, and several things jumped out as I watched it late at night with the help of a remote control.
There was the tragic death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili earlier in the day at Whistler, and what struck me, as I’m sure it did many others, was why were there steel beams so close to the track. The Georgian was out of control, flew through the air, and crashed into one of those steel beams that in my eye should’ve been placed back about ten feet. But I’m not a luge track architect so what do I know?
The chiefs of the native bands were late getting to their seats at BC Place and so while the festivities began to unfold, only Stephen Harper, wife Laureen, Governor-General Michaelle Jean, and few others had taken their places; some were in the process of removing their coats and shuffling about, and most of the seats in the box remained empty. To me it looked amateurish and unorganized. How come the chiefs and others were late?
One of the four hydraulic structures failed to rise as Wayne Gretzky, Rick Nash and the others waited impatiently and appeared slightly embarrassed while holding their torches. We all waited impatiently and were slightly embarrassed. How come the hydraulics didn’t work? And reading CBC comments later on, someone mentioned that now the jokes about Canada “not being able to get it up’ have started.
British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell, who was also late getting to his seat, looked like he’d had a couple of extra glasses of wine as he swayed back and forth and waved his flag in his front of Laureen Harper’s face. I think he just wanted to be noticed. He’s like that.
“Oh, Canada” was sung extremely slow and jazzed up by Montrealer Nikki Yanofsky, and judging by comments on CBC, pretty well everyone is in agreement that they hated it. I wasn’t crazy about it either. Why do people want to tamper with anthems?
Wayne Gretzky got into the back of a police pickup truck and rode through downtown Vancouver in the rain to light the final stage. Imagine if the truck didn’t start?