Saturday, February 13, 2010

Winter Olympics - Canada's games off to a muted start

As regular readers will know, I'm a great big jessie where snow is concerned.

You would think, therefore, that I'd be hiding behind the sofa whenever things like the Winter Olympics, or Dancing on Ice come on the television. Not so. I love them and watch them avidly. From Robin Cousins' enchanting skating gold medal in 1980, to Torvill and Dean's dramatic Bolero in 1984, to their return in 1994 to today, I have been hooked. I, who won't set a foot outside the door if there's snow on the ground if I don't have to will quite happily watch the cross country skiing and the skating events to my heart's content.

In the early hours of this morning, this year's games got underway in Vancouver.Up until yesterday, the hosts' biggest headache was whether there would be any snow up in Whistler to run the mens' downhill. The answer to that is no, or at least not until Monday, as it's been postponed.

Sadly, the death in training of 21 year old Georgian luge athlete Nodar Kumaritashvili has meant that the opening ceremony took place in an atmosphere of shock and grief. I expect his brave compatriots will barely remember the spontaneous applause which greeted them as they marched into the stadium behind their black etched flag, their sadness plain to see.

Obviously this has been a terrible start to these Games. I feel so much for Nodar Kumaritashvili's family and friends and for all the organisers and competitors as they deal with the ways in which this tragedy affects them.

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