My Love-Hate Relationship with the Olympics

Posted by on Friday, January 22, 2010

The Olympics are starting in a few days (I have mentally blocked out the countdown clock that everyone talks about so I really have no idea exactly how many days it is until the Olympics - please forgive me) in Vancouver.

But I am having a hard time with the whole concept of Olympic legacy.

Don't get me wrong - I am the most patriotic Canadian that there is (well - except when we lose at international hockey - then I denounce my citizenship for a couple of hours while I pout and whine and blame everyone from the Zamboni driver to the play-by-play commentators for the loss) (and no worries - I am a dual citizen with Great Britain so it's not like I won't have a back-up nationality) - I will cheer on our athletes like there is no tomorrow... heck - I even stand and sing O Canada when our athletes win gold.

But I just don't see how the Olympics benefits the "regular" person living in Vancouver and Whistler (well - and a few other random rants thrown in for good measure).

For example:
- the tickets are amazingly expensive and you had to have a Visa to buy them
- the IOC won't allow the women to ski jump. Fuck 'em... I'm sorry but I will be boycotting men's ski jumping just because of the double standard (I will be doing the same for baseball in the Summer Olympics since they cut women's softball)
- THE DEBT! The damn debt. You can't tell me that there isn't a correlation between the BC Government's debt and the Olympics... not to mention that they are cancelling surgeries because of the Olympics.
- I am not quite sure how Vancouverites will be able to get around during the Olympics because VANOC seems content on shutting down every major artery. While I agree that it safety is important - Vancouver already sucks ass when it comes to traffic. Good luck anyone that needs to get to work during the games... let the force be with you.
- the fact that they seem to be pushing the homeless aside as opposed to dealing with them. Do I agree that homeless should just "get" new digs? No... but I do think the rightful thing would be to offer affordable housing to them once the games are over and I somehow doubt that will happen.

Again... all the ranting aside - I will be cheering for our Canadian athletes like there is no tomorrow. It isn't their fault that the governments and VANOC are asshats.

PS... I hope you'll all excuse me now because I will probably be sued any minute now for putting the Olympic rings on this post... kind of like the poor guys at Olympic First-Aid in Vancouver.

PPS... I still don't get why an inukshuk is in the logo for the games. The games are being held in southern British Columbia. Where they are making snow hills out of hay. Trust me - there are no inukshuks in a 1000 mile radius of Vancouver.

3 Comments

  1. LOL.. I SO AGREE WITH YOUR POST.. I love the Olympics.. love watching the various events, but you can bet I wish I did NOT LIVE HERE!! I want to be as far as humanly possible during the Olympics!!

    You forgot to mention my fave topic.. schools. We had to tack on an extra 10 minutes per day so they could shut down schools for an extra week in order to save 500K. They have completely cut music programs in North Van school district. We have no resources, our school could not even afford art paper this year!! Seriously, I get so annoyed that Gordon Campbell is such a fucking douche.. and yes I can complain, I voted!! Obviously not for him!

    I am supposed to go downtown for a field trip on Feb. 24, I will let you know how it goes. Guessing it will be a GONG SHOW!! Awesome!

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  2. Anonymous12:10 AM

    Olympic legacy my ass. It will be debt until we depart, our children depart, their children depart and so on and so no and so on. But like most other true Canadians I will be watching on TV the sports I like as I really do like the Olympics, just not in my back yard simply because of the debt load that comes with it. Gordo can say anything he likes, but we will and are paying at all cost. And what is it with a friend of a friend not being able to drive her car into Richmond from Ladner for work. She has a deaf child who needs to go into Vancouver three days a week for preschool ( the only one in the lower mainland), but she isn't allowed to take her car to work. Sure she should get on a bus and transport her child to school and then go to work. Travel time apporximately 5 hours to work a 4 hour shift. Does not make too much sense now does it. Enough, let the games begin - not sure which day they start though!!!!! Carmen's Mo

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  3. February 12th. 18 days.

    So the city is going to be insane. I work downtown, which means I will be leaving earlier and coming home later for two weeks. I'm going to have to deal with traffic and crowds and a whole bunch of crazy.

    But.. I'm performing in the opening ceremonies. I bought tickets to attend games when they first went on sale, which means I'm attending for a hell of a lot less than it costs to go to a Canucks game. The other day I got to lay on the floor of the stadium, alongside hundreds of other performers, and watch sections of the show. I'm pretty sure it'll be memories like that I will be looking back on in 10, 20, 30 years, not the time tacked onto my commute for two weeks.

    In regards to VANOC and the government, yes, there are secrets and lies and a lot of bullshit surrounding the games. But the Olympics in my hometown? Once in a lifetime. The aftermath does worry me, and I understand that there are people who are being hit a lot harder than I am - family, children, schooling, jobs, etc. But personally, I can't wait.

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