VANOC Lets Down Home Side Again
|CHRIS SO/TORONTO STAR|
|Canadian skaters turning the corner in practice at the Richmond Oval.|
VANOC says they need that time to prepare the Richmond Olympic Oval fully for the Games, to put in all the additional seating, lighting, get the concessions built. They say it’ll be a construction zone and they don’t want that to make the trials unfair for the athletes because the ice would be in poor shape.
In other words, they’re saying it’s not a big deal and they’re doing what’s best for the speed skaters.
What’s best for the speed skaters is skating on the Olympic ice two months before the big show.
That’s the way it was planned for a long time. It was on the Richmond Olympic Oval schedule. It was on the Speed Skating Canada schedule.
VANOC’s also known for a long time they’d have to do all that construction. So, it appears like poor planning from this angle, poor planning that hurts the athletes.
The thing is they’re not just making the Oval inaccessible to Canadian athletes from Dec. 27-Jan. 5 – the dates of the trials, which will now be in Calgary – but they won’t be able to skate there for a month and a half.
This isn’t the first instance of VANOC letting a sport down when it comes to trying to maximize home advantage. The Canadian cross country ski team has run into a litany of problems in dealing with VANOC, including also being unable to hold their Olympic trials in the Callaghan Valley because of all the construction there in December.
There was a telling quote recently from VANOC head of press operations, Lucia Montanarella, who despaired in an interview with Associated Press about what the economic problems were doing to her plans.
"My vision is gone,” she said. “I live in damage control now.”
Let’s hope that’s not the VANOC motto during the Games.