Aubut turns up the heat
|RICK EGLINTON/TORONTO STAR|
|Marcel Aubut, president-elect of the Canadian Olympic Committee, speaks to the press on Thursday February 11.|
Seconds later, after a question (again with this question!) about such an attitude being perhaps not very Canadian, Aubut's COC colleague Michael Chambers chimed in and even from my seat at the back of the quarter-filled hall, still feeling the effects of a 4:30 a.m. wakeup call and a flight across the country, you could see his forehead wrinkle, his Adam's apple bob and his eyes goggle. Okay, I was at the back of the hall, so I really couldn't see anything - but his words! They rang clear, true, and almost strong. "We're still going to be nice," he assured. "But we're going to be nice and winning. ... It'll be respectful winning, winning with honour, in the Olympian way."
Oh, dear. Next thing you know someone else in the COC will be offering to give the smiling Yanks, the cocky Swedes and those suspiciously super-nice Norwegians some home-baked maple cookies on their way out. Fellas, light the flame already. This Canadian chest can't take much more of this tippy-tapping.
Actually, the guys in the suits who've spent tens of millions of our money to Own the Podium™ have nothing to worry about. Our secret weapon was announced yesterday: MuchMusic will be broadcasting nine hours a day from Vancouver/Whistler. Nine hours! Who needs Sidney Crosby when we've got Devon Soltendieck? Beamed right into the athletes' village. "We decided as a team not to have TV in our rooms, but it's in the lounges all over the place," said ski-cross' David Duncan. He didn't mention Soltendieck, or Much. He didn't have to.
Mind you, the visitors are trying to match. Snooki may show up, being a given at these kind of things now. And the Swedes - yeah, them again - have lobbed this one into the quadrennial race for Worst Sports Anthem:
Thanks (I think) to Aftonbladet's blog for that. I'll be scalping from them a few more times before this is out, I reckon.
And I loved this Dave Perkins description of standing at the top of Whistler's ski-jump hill:If this city were an actor, it would acquit itself beautifully in a supporting role — Philip Seymour Hoffman before Capote. If it were a fighter, it would be a middleweight, albeit one so slick and well marketed that you think of it as belonging among the heavyweights — any of which would, in fact, clobber it.
I took the chairlift up to the 90-metre starting point today at Whistler Olympic Park. Walked out across the steel mesh walkway suspended above the mountain, never letting go of the handrails, until reaching the start house, which is about the size of a two-car garage, with a little balcony/walkway kind of thing all the way around.
This, mind you, was not even the big guy, the 120-metre hill. This was “only’ the little jump and let’s just say if anyone wanted to make big dough, he could open a life insurance stand right there at the starting point and sell to tourists. It’s scarier than Elin Nordegren’s divorce lawyer.