Olympics hate to love or hate to hate?

This blog is a slightly edited version of one I wrote just prior to the beginning of the Olympics on my old site.  I thought I should gradually move my old posts over here.  My opinions have developed since this was written since my perspective is now from “within” rather than looking forward to.  I am planning on posting another Olympic blog in the near future that will reflect some of this change:

In case anyone is concerned, there is no need to worry because yours truly has not caught Olympic fever. That’s right despite residing near the epicentre of the worst epidemic Vancouver has seen since the H1N1 outbreak of last fall I have manged to avoid the bug–perhaps Cold Fx does work after all…

Irreverent imagery aside it has become impossible to ignore the increased enthusiasm directed towards the Olympics in Greater Vancouver over the last few days. However as the games have drawn closer I have found myself growing increasingly frustrated with the glossy-eyed, waive-your-flag supporters and the balaclava wearing protesters.

The title of this blog really sums up my feelings on this event. I find myself feeling guilty for either being unable to ignore the darkside of the games or for recognizing the good. As I listen to news reports on CKNW, read the paper, or chat with friends about the games I constantly find myself saying “That’s why I hate the games…” or conversely “That’s what’s good about the games”.

Several days ago I thought it may be an interesting exercise to record my ever-growing list into the categories of pro and con. Of course some of my cons may be your pro and my pro your con…For your amusement here are a few examples from each side…

Pro:
family events, good role-models for kids, free things to do, Blue Rodeo, Burton Cummings, Canada Line, nostalgia, multitude of cultures coming to Vancouver, amateur sport, people having a good time, celebration of heroes from the past and present

Con:
Volunteers wearing their goofy passes all over town (we get it you’re proud), insane ticket prices, paranoia of terrorism, $900 Million in security, crowds, stupid mascots (are they Wii characters?–I swear I saw something that looked just like them on my friend Nick’s favourite animé show), “Corporate Canada” buying gold metal men’s hockey tickets and giving them away to people who could probably afford them anyway (I know that one hurts…), VANOC, the mistreatment of the poor, IOC, Corporate Sponsorship (and not just because I prefer Pepsi, don’t have a Visa, and bank somewhere other than RBC), the Olympic torch, rites being threatened/ignored, “Big Brother” trying to sue any small business that has “Olympics” or something similar in its name (see “Olympic Pizza” in Vancouver), the fact that people can’t use the word “Olympics” unless they are a sponsor, ugly torch-carrying track suits, and Paying God-only-knows how much to truck and helicopter snow to Cyprus…

In terms of quantity I recognize the modesty of the former and the fact that the latter could rival one of Dr. Cox’s best rants from SCRUBS. However it is also important to recognize the variability in regards to quality.  The former list is short but each of the items are quite substantial.  The latter is a mix of pet peeve and serious concern.  Nevertheless I find the negative attributes of the Olympics continually waring me down—however no need to fear as I shall keep my balaclava in the closet and you’ll find me doing what any good student of John Stackhouse would…Making the Best of it

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4 comments

  1. Ryan · February 26, 2010

    Travis, you should be able to just import your entire blog from Blogger to WordPress rather than moving posts over individually. Here’s a link that tells you how:

    http://en.support.wordpress.com/import/

    Enjoy the rest of the Olympics!

    • travisbarbour · February 26, 2010

      Thanks Ryan, will do. I appreciate the tip. I’m still learning how to use wordpress. Do you know how to create a link without having to type out the whole URL. I have seen other blogs that have hidden links in bolded words…

      I will enjoy the rest of the Olympics. In fact I went to Burton Cummings last night at BC place as part of a medal ceremony. He rocked and rolled!

  2. David Younghusband · February 26, 2010

    Being a Leafs fan I thought that you might enjoying having a team to cheer for that might actually win…

  3. Ryan · February 26, 2010

    Just highlight the word that you want the link to appear on, then click the link box (above the main text box—the little chain link icon) and past the URL in there. That should do it.

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