Where the golds fit, and too many blue rings
WHISTLER, B.C. – Sitting up here, waiting for the bobsleds to roll and watching that great Canadian, Clara Hughes, go out with another Olympic medal, it seems that for Canada right now, it’s six of one and half-dozen of the other.
That is six gold medals and six silver or bronze, including Hughes’s in the 3,000-metre speedskating, and while there are plenty more medals heading for the Canadian pile in the next few hours and days, we should all note that six golds represent the same number won at Nagano and is only one below the seven won at Salt Lake and Turin. Prior to that Canada had won more than two Winter Games golds only once, and that was three at Lillehammer in 1994.
In terms of Summer Games golds won, other than the boycotted Los Angeles Games of 1984, whose 10 come with an asterisk, the high-water mark there was seven at Barcelona in 1992.
Just pointing all that out for the sake of argument, because there will be plenty when the final medals count, and what it all means, is being batted around.
Speaking of counting, the security crew tends to operate on a strictly random basis here at these Games. Upon entry into any secure Olympic venue, whether a sports site or a media centre, our bar-coded credentials are scanned and our faces pop up on a laptop next to the scanner. The person checks to make sure we are who we are credentialled to be. There’s a coloured ring around our pictures on the laptop; green means in you go with a cheery wave. A blue ring means you get searched, like a standard airport search.
Scuttlebutt says 1 in 10 arrivals is searched on a random basis, but in the first 10 days here, I was searched only once. No big deal; it takes about two extra minutes and for some reason they decide to frisk only your left ankle.
Well, that was then. My number keeps coming up; five of the past nine entrances to venues I have been blue-ringed. Either than flies in the face of randomness, they know something, or I am due for a hot streak.