Canucks in an Olympic muck

Well it’s been a wildly successful Winter Olympic games thus far, except for perhaps that one teeny-weeny little error that occurred when the International Olympic Committee decided to award the games to Vancouver.

“In hindsight, the Olympics probably should have gone to a place that actually gets snow,” said one IOC member, “It’s definitely making us rethink our decision to give the 2014 Winter Games to Tampa Bay.”

Other than bad weather, spectator injuries, security breaches, lost ticket sales and widespread chaos, the games have gone on without a hitch, starting with an opening ceremony that was completely awe-inspiring. At least, that’s what I was told. I fell asleep on the couch somewhere during hour No. 17. They were still going on when I woke up startled a few hours later. I’m no prize in the looks department, but there are lots of other things I’d rather wake up to than the sight of k.d. lang in high definition.

I did get to see the mishap involving the partially failed rising of the Olympic cauldron. The Canadians have taken some heat for this, but common mechanical errors are to be expected. After all, it’s not that easy to get a piece of metal to rise out of the ground when all you have to work with are numerous highly trained engineers, hundreds of millions of dollars and eight years of prep time.

But because these ceremonies were held indoors, organizers built an additional cauldron outside, which — in keeping with how the Olympic flame exemplifies mankind’s unwavering spirit of freedom — is located in an industrial area and surrounded by chain-link fence.

But let’s not focus on the negative, shall we? Let’s point out the good things the Vancouver Olympic Committee has done. For example: The hot dog vendor carts at the speed skating arena remain fully stocked with two types of mustard: regular and spicy. In other good news, a committee spokesman points out that although last Wednesday’s mishap involving the Zamboni machine was regrettable, “the doctors believe they’ll be able to re-attach the Belgium skater’s foot.”

So there are some promising developments, such as how the security has been vastly improved since a troubling incident that occurred during the opening ceremonies. According to an actual story in the Washington Post, “A mentally ill man breached security and got within 12 rows of Vice President Joe Biden.” Fortunately, the crazed, babbling, incoherent man was quickly taken away. So was the mentally ill guy.

Additionally, these games are socially responsible. According to MSNBC.com, 100,000 condoms have been distributed to athletes in the Olympic Village, which finally answers the question: “Where has Tiger Woods been hiding out?”

Yet despite the abundance of condoms, mustard and the alluring beauty inherent in chain-link fencing, not everything has been hunky-dory in Vancouver.

Warm weather at Cypress Mountain caused unstable conditions in the spectator area, resulting in 20,000 people having their tickets canceled. And they were the lucky ones. I say this because of the 19 spectators at an Olympic venue who fell and were injured when a barricade collapsed — an event that inspired what I feel is a completely inappropriate new MasterCard commercial:

“Third-row seats to the women’s giant slalom finals: $125.”

“2010 Olympics souvenir T-shirt: $20.”

“A Vancouver Mercy Hospital proctologist removing bleacher splinters from your butt: Priceless.”

So from what I’ve witnessed from NBC’s coverage, I’d say these Winter Olympic Games have been somewhat of a mixed bag. On one hand you have those touching stories of inspirational athletes whose dedication toward achieving their life-long dreams makes you want to become a better human being while, on the other hand, you have those Charles Barkley Taco Bell commercials that make you want to kill yourself.

Thankfully, though, these Olympics are almost over, meaning we’ll have an entire four years of anticipation leading up to the excitement of the next Winter Games.

I can’t wait for Tampa Bay.

E-mail Steve Beauregard at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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