The Winter Olympics are now at the half way point and not without controversy. The games are being held in Vancouver, Canada, not my home town, but a nice part of the country.
Everyone prior to the event expected one of the best Olympics ever. I mean Canada: modern, progressive, efficient, and friendly. Unfortunately these Olympics will be mired in controversy due to poor judgment and a lot of bad luck!
The games started with a dark cloud over them when the day before the opening, a young Georgian hopeful crashed his luge in a practice run. He left the side of the luge run hitting a metal girder and died later in hospital.
Experts had been warning about this part of the track in advance citing its dangers. What is more startling is that when you look at the pictures, there is no webbing or fencing to prevent competitors that leave the track hitting any of the steel girders beside the track.
I mean really, does it take an expert or a death to point these most obvious dangers out before they are remedied? If it had of been a death on a Vancouver building site, it would have been shut down until the accident had been fully investigated! The organisers have continued with the use of the track relatively unmodified; let us hope there are no further fatalities.
Unfortunately, this was only the start.
Though weather is a force of nature, the incompetence of holding the snow park events at Cypress Mountain, 1000m, in West Vancouver has to be one of the monumental errors in judgment in Winter Olympic history. I mean really, it rains in Vancouver during the winter and the resulting mess and chaos to both participants and spectators is just unnecessary.
And then there is Petra Madjic who fell on a cross country ski run, off the side of the run down into what looked like a crevasse. Has no heard of fences or barriers to prevent this sort of thing from happening? After clawing her way out, she went on to win a Bronze medal in the final, with four broken ribs from the fall. What a star! Her Olympics and season are now over.
A wall at an Olympic concert crashed injuring onlookers, the buses keep breaking down or not showing, the weather even at Whistler is ‘uncharacteristically warm’ so the snow conditions are not great, the ice on the speed skating track is some of the worst ever experienced and even Joe Biden got into the action by crashing his car.
The opening ceremony was unfortunate in that one of the 4 mechanical pillars of ice that came protruding out of the ground for the lighting of the flame failed to surface. Thank goodness no one was paying too much attention to Bryan Adams failing to lip sync the opening song and looking surprised to hear himself singing to thousands of people.
Nothing is going to run perfectly to plan at any Olympics, and often events like this are easy targets for criticism, but in this case, my fellow countrymen should take note. The world will always view the Vancouver games as tarnished. Bad luck is understandable, incompetence unacceptable.