A photo of Vancouver's 2010 Olympics Clock ticking down.
National media are checking the excitement level today. 365 days from now, the world will gather in Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Games. This is the third time that Canada has hosted an Olympiad - Montreal in 1976, Calgary in 1988 and now Vancouver's turn in the spotlight is rapidly approaching!
ALL of the sports venues are ready. World Cup Alpine Ski races and bobsledding have already been help up at Whistler. The Four Continents Figure Skating competition was held here in town just last weekend. The reports on facilities and organization have all been great. Canadian athletes are glad to get a leg-up by being able to use the competition venues over the next year. In fact, the Four Continents' men's gold medal winner was a Canadian whiz kid, named Patrick Chan. If you love figure skating, remember that name. He just turned 19!
The City of Vancouver is responsible for construction of the Olympic Village. The developer has suffered due to the worldwide credit crunch and city taxpayers are now on the hook for a gigantic bank loan, sufficient to ensure that the Village is completed on time, this November. Nevertheless, there are 14 cranes on the site working day and night. After the party, the waterfront, eco-friendly properties will be sold off as high-end condos. So - City Hall says "Don't worry!"
The Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee(VANOC) released the design of the torch and torchbearer's uniforms today. You can expect to see what look like space aliens running from one side of Canada to the other with a whalebone. But I do like the Olympics colour scheme - all natural green, ice blue and white. The colours capture Vancouver and Whistler, just as red and gold reflected Beijing.
Vanoc and some (jealous) media in other cities are scolding Vancouverites to get with the booster spirit. We are such a laidback bunch here. Sooo... west coast. It takes a lot to get us excited but I think that the goosebumps are on the rise. Our metro population is extremely cosmopolitan. I am sure that it is our immigrant and first-generation Canadians who are most interested in having the world come to call. In the end, good down-home Canadian hospitality is sure to kick in. I can believe VANOC's predictions that the streets of downtown will be filled by up to 250,000 celebrants EVERY night of the Games. We are getting ready. Rain or shine. Here they come!