Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you should be fully aware that the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, British Columbia are now well under way.
The rain, warm weather, lack of snow, an opening ceremony that didn’t go as smoothly as planned, and of course the video of Georgian luge racer Nodar Kumaritisvili’s tragic death have combined to make for and Olympics games like no other.
The most indelible image thus far is the graphic video of a luger violently dying after being flung from a controversial course. The second was when a mechanical malfunction at the Opening Ceremony left Wayne Gretzky, Steve Nash and others awkwardly looking for a torch to light.
…Vancouver’s Opening Ceremony on Friday didn’t stand much of a chance. It was in the impossible position of following the Beijing Games, when the Chinese government, sensing its chance to speak directly to the world, spent lavishly (a reported $100 million) to produce a four-hour show that featured 15,000 performers.
Some have declared it the greatest live performance in the history of earth, which meant the Vancouver organizers watched and must have immediately burst into tears. There was no way to compete.
…When it came time for the grand finale, the torch lighting, a hydraulic malfunction delayed the cauldrons from rising up, leaving a long, awkward pause. “You’re thinking: Live; three billion people watching 60,000 in the stadium,” director David Atkins told CTV, admitting he considered catching the first flight out of the country during the failure. Eventually three of the four lifted up. Speed skater Catriona LeMay Doan was left with nothing to do, yet in loveable, classic Canadian fashion, shrugged it off.
Olympics Luge Tragedy Video