Lighting the Inukshuk For 2010

Rebecca and I ventured down to English Bay last night for an interesting ceremony. The Inukshuk will be “lit” until the winter olympics arrive here for 2010. I could be wrong, but I could have swore that the Inukshuk was always lit at night.

Some various shots from the event last night.


Mayor Sam Sullivan was there as well as John Furlong to represent VANOC for the event. It was pretty amazing to see these people in the flesh. It really puts everything into perspective. The games are real and will be here in four years.

We stood there watching the whole event with our respective hot, soy drinks in hand, surrounded by various protesters, and listened to people around us complain that they couldn’t see. The most interesting thing that happened was the people talking to the guy with the pirate flag protesting the money being spent on the games. I’ll have more to say about that another time.

Last night was just awesome. Nothing fancy, but I really enjoyed the night. Rebecca kept freaking out because the weather turned warm at the start of the whole event, but the sun going down really changed that. We were both pretty excited walking home thinking that if we just keep living in the west end, we’ll have a pretty good location to get to the venues once the games are here. This city will just be nuts.

Showing Off At the Olympics

It seems to me that there have been a number of medals lost by team USA athletes due to this bizarre display of selfishness showing up here and there. The medal heat of the women’s snowboard cross kind of demonstrates my abstract thought here. I missed the race where Jacobellis’ grab cost us the gold medal, and she claims to not have been showing off. I find this kind of hard to fully believe. She wanted to share the excitement with the crowd but we’re to believe that she wasn’t showing off the fact that she had an untouchable lead? Talk about crash and burn.

Then there is Bode Miller. You love to hate him, and hate to love him. He’s a guy who speaks his mind and tells you how it is. On the other side of that, what he says can sound absolutely stupid. He’s good at what he does. He knows this. Miller is nearly his gift to you. His disqualification in one event meant to him that at least he wouldn’t have to drive a couple hours to Torino for the medal ceremony. This was the guy to watch. Known for being daring, skiing intoxicated in competition, and just being one of the best.

What is happening to team USA? Where is the team? The desire has shifted from the glory of competition and representing your country to being the best of your best. In fact, even those winning gold medals like Shani Davis exhibits this idea of this being an all for one situation. It is completely his call to participate where he believes he can be the strongest, but the team saw his abilities to win. He did bring home the gold in the 1000m, but maybe he could have another one for his fellow team members.

$25,000 bonus. That is what a member of team USA gets when they win a gold medal. Some of these people scrape by to live out their dreams for a brief moment, every four years. Others have endorsement contracts that makes the money a drop in the bucket. Joey Cheek is donating his bonus towards the cause in Sudan. That’s class, but not everyone gets this added boost to their pocket book in other countries. Canada certainly doesn’t, but there is talk of doing it in the future to “buy more gold medals” from their athletes.

This is a moment of a lifetime to just be in the games and representing their country, no matter how big, small, spectacular, or brief the event is. You show up at the opening as our country. I bet there are a bunch of people who will skip out of the closing ceremonies because it’s just too fluffy for their more important, personal lives. It’s ugly. It’s confounding.

This is where you expect me to say that I’m ashamed to have them represent my country in the olympics. I’m not saying that. I’m more so trying to portray the thought of, what the hell?

“That Wouldn’t Be a Home Run in a Phone Booth”

I grew up watching Harry Caray. It is nearly safe to say that he was the one who made me excited about baseball while I was growing up. He slurred, didn’t always get the calls right, and had some of the strangest references about some story from out of nowhere. It was brillant. He made you want to like the Cubs. We are fans of a different breed. It’s not about next year. It’s about having a good time. And baseball, too.

The guy who lost out on the job Harry held for a number of years still holds a grudge. Milo Hamilton feels the need to tell everyone that Caray was a miserable human being, a control freak, and hard to work with. The last part I can understand because the guy was nuts. Just watching him you had to wonder how this guy could do this job every single game of the season, switching between TV and radio the whole time.

All these years and this guy is still ticked off over the fact that Harry got the job that he didn’t. Maybe the issue is deeper, but he waits eight years after Caray’s passing to whine to the world. An attack on his character? What a load of crap. It almost shames me more that Milo is originally from Iowa. Harry’s gone. Get over it and get on with you life, Mr. Hamilton.

Snowboard Cross is the Jet

Up until about an hour ago, I had never heard of this olympic event. When you first hear the name, you know it involves the snowboard, but what the hell is the “cross” all about?

It’s a race. Pure and simple. Think of motocross, dirt bike racing, but on snowboards. They take off out of the gate, go down the course, up, down, over jumps, passing on the curves, and all at once.

I love the olympics. Always have and probably always will. This event just gives the whole thing a jolt of aderline. It can be debated if it’s needed or not.