March 1, 2010

Golden Games

by Dan Bilicki In: Olympics

They may have started out pretty rough – heck, a guy died before the Opening Ceremonies even took place – but the hosts sure come together and the as the days moved on.

The beginning of Vancouver 2010 was a comedy of errors, from the Georgian luger’s death to the weather being the warmest in Winter Olympic history to the lighting of the cauldron going horribly awry. Weather delays, traffic and seating snafus didn’t lighten up the next few days, but finally, people stopped looking at the negatives and focusing on the positives.

Canada wasn’t on the podium as much as the States were, but they were getting to the top more consistently and ended up setting two records. First, Canada continued its upward trend in number of medals and set a new Games-high with 26. Then, on the final day of the Games, with a win in the men’s ice hockey gold medal game, Canada set the record for most gold medals in Winter Olympics with 14.

I actually had two favourite “scandals” of the Games and both were due to youthful enthusiasm, if nothing else. First, American snowboarder Scotty Lago got into some trouble after partying with his bronze medal from the halfpipe event. He was sent home early because he was photographed with a girl kissing the medal while he was hanging it in front of his crotch. Seriously, if that’s the worst scandal you can come up with, you’re reaching. I can see how that might look slightly offensive, if you’re a complete prude. Since when did a celebration like that start drawing national ire?

The Canadian women’s ice hockey team also got into their share of trouble after winning the gold over Team USA. It seems like a few members thought it would be a good idea to come back out on the ice and smoke some cigars while drinking some beer. The problem here: It’s illegal to smoke inside the arena and one of the drinking party was underage according to B.C. law. But why didn’t they get in any trouble from the law? Partly because officials didn’t really care. Here’s what Regional health protection director Domenic Losito of Vancouver Coastal Health said:

“While the complainant has urged us to process charges against the offenders, it is unlikely that we will because we would be challenged with identifying them, issuing them violation tickets, and successfully prosecuting them should they contest those tickets, given that most of them will have left town by Monday.”

Let me get this straight: You couldn’t identify people wearing uniforms with their names on the back? You couldn’t issue them tickets when you know that they’re all staying at the Athlete’s Village? You couldn’t successfully prosecute them when you have photo evidence of them committing the act? All of this reeks of someone just not caring about their job.

I can guarantee you that had the U.S. team pulled a stunt like that, Losito would have stepped up his investigation. Talk about a home ice advantage.

1 Comment

  1. A great hockey game! Too bad there had to be a loser!

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