The Glitch Games - Vancouver's Less Than Stellar Olympic Outing
Poor Canada, can't get a break. Not even halfway through the Vancouver 2010 Games, it's been dubbed the "Glitch Games" for the many hiccups and bugs that have surprised and aggravated city and Olympic officials.
As the date for the games approached, city, provincial and Olympic officials secured snow for barren mountain slopes looming over the downtown Harbor. Driving rain made the effort more than a little challenging, causing spectator areas along the snowboard cross course to virtually disappear, collapsing under hay bales that served to support the snow.Crowds were reduced on the racecourse to limit viewing areas, leaving some unhappy ticket holders with no place to stand.
Burdened with a horrific pre-opening fatal accident, organizers were forced to scramble and make adjustments to the luge track, as well as change opening ceremony plans to acknowledge the tragedy. The respect the Olympic Committee showed in how they handled the death of Georgian luge competitor, Nomar Kumaritashvili was admirable, but they was swiftly rewarded with a mechanical malfunction when one of four pillars of the Olympic torch was being readied for lighting. Four Canadian sports icons stood at attention, including legendary hockey player, Wayne Gretzky, who was uncomfortably twitching while producers scurried to see if a hydraulic arm could be hand-cranked. The anticipation gave way to impatience.
To make matters worse, there are logistical and transportation issues plaguing visitors. With the games distributed across a broad area from north to south of the Vancouver harbor, getting from venue to venue is as hard for athletes as it is for tourists. Buses, with drivers not used to mountain conditions, continue to breakdown causing traffic delays around the resort venues.
The speed skating venue has also been hit with its share of challenges, forcing delays during ice resurfacing, and leading the event's organizers to admit they had gone for a non-branded Zamboni to do the job. But not to worry, the cavalry is on its way from Calgary, in the form of an official Zamboni-branded machine used in the 1988 Olympic Winter Games held in that province.
The browbeating of Canada doesn't seem to be letting up online, with a number of lyrics from South Park's spirited song, "Blame Canada" accompanying the latest news of technical and weather woes. As @newsmedia laments, "The Daily Mail blames us for the death of that Georgian Luger: 'Canada's lust for glory is to blame for this senseless tragedy'."