Sunday, February 14, 2010

Olympic Spirit, Canadian Style

Tempting as it is to seek ways creative or otherwise for completely avoiding the puffed up coverage of the current Vancouver-Whistler Dunciad, this would be to forego just too rich an array of the sort of hypocrisy, your Grouse feeds on like an orca on a stranded seal pup. Thus we shall probably re-visit the balmy melting slopes of the Winter Olympics as the transgression list inexorably lengthens.

Segueing in, I’ll begin by first linking to a short, perhaps a shade too obvious but still worth-marking angle not only on the dishonest claims generally made about any Olympiad, but also of the utter irrelevance of the ever-expanding array of obscure winter sports about which, at any other time no one gives a rat’s ass – nonsense like moguls, skeletons, snowboarding, and strangest of all, biathlon (as in ski, ski, ski, shoot something, then ski, ski, ski… etc.) Jason Zengerle, senior editor for the the New Republic mag concludes his article Why Bother with the Olympics by contrasting them with the merited worldwide adulation of soccer, which, “requires no affirmative action. People just like playing it and watching it.”

Yes, obvious, but amidst the jingoistic Canadian trumpeting of how we are "welcoming the world," it’s good to hear a stark reminder that, in comparison to the upcoming World Cup in South Africa, Vancouver’s Olympiad is truly small potatoes.

The unseemly haste with which the organizers – those long-notorious bullies called VANOC, released a statement exonerating themselves and their lightning-fast (read bloody dangerous) luge track, for the tragic opening day training death of Georgia’s Nodar Kumaritashvil. And I quote:

“It appears after a routine run, the athlete came late out of curve 15 and did not compensate properly to make correct entrance into curve 16. This resulted in a late entrance into curve 16 and although the athlete worked to correct the problem he eventually lost control of the sled resulting in the tragic accident. The technical officials of the FIL were able to retrace the path of the athlete and concluded there was no indication that the accident was caused by deficiencies in the track..”

Even run of the mill traffic accidents need more investigatory time to assign culpability than this self-serving “the-show-must-go-on” gutterwash. But, then, VANOC has never been known for sensitivity to what it breaks or whom it hurts in its fanatical headlong rush to these "games" (Read Read Read)


Item 2: Ah the glory of it, the exemplary spirit of true international sisterhood, seen in the opening game for Canada’s defending gold medal women’s hockey team! Saturday against the lowly Slovakians: they run up the biggest blow-out in Olympic hockey history. 18-0!

Was it really necessary to have laid it on so thick and humiliate an obviously inferior squad ? Sure, part of it, is that goal differentials affect final standings. But, get real: does anyone seriously doubt that Canada’s ice-borne amazons will make it to the final against their US arch-rivals? Lovely job of hosting, ladies, putting the lie once more to this “welcome the world” and “we-re a nation of nice ‘guys’ “ crapola.

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I can’t hardly wait to see how we’re going to follow-up on the first 24 hours of blaming the deceased victim of a dangerously-designed luge course and running up big scores against hapless underdogs. GO CANADA, GO!