Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Take Off - to 2010!

I have come to the conclusion that there must be something wrong with me. Either that or else, I am one of the very few people bold enough to voice my opinion. I think BC's treatment of the pending Olympic Games, sucks! Now please don't get me wrong I am 100% supportive of the actual Games, especially the Winter games, ya wanna know why? Because they have HOCKEY!!!! Do any of you know how seriously awesome that game is? Do you have any concept of how big a part of my early 20's is played? Probably not but I'll tell you about that later, tonight, I'm ranting and you, if you are here and still reading, are gonna have to grin and bear it.

Where do I even start with the list of problems in the handling of these 2010 Olympic Games....when did I get so bitter? Hmmm, well it all started back in December when Corey and I were watching the evening news and this horrific story about how a family visiting our beautiful province was travelling the Sea to Sky highway in a Limo when they were struck by an on coming truck who'd lost control due to the bad weather and treacherous highway. The mother was instantly killed, in front of her children! The story shook my world and I wanted to cry. The news anchor spent maybe 15 seconds talking about the impact of something so awful on her family and then continued on to talk for a good 2-4 minutes about the disastrous impact an accident like this would have on our 2010 games. This particular station was far more concerned about the fact that if an accident like this happened in 2010 and closed the highway for hours it would cause a major detriment to the revenue collected at the games, than they were concerned about the fact that 2 children that night were motherless and 1 man would never hold his wife again. I was appalled. In general fashion I composed a fiery and angry e-mail to the news station, edited it about 4 times after my temper had settled and sent it off. Of course I never heard back - why would they respond to me? My viewing or not viewing has no effect on them at all....the number of people tuning for the Olympics will more than pad their already paper lined pockets.

Now that's the worst of the worst, but then lets take a look at the "useful and necessary" (read: stupid and a waste of our money) count down clock. Not only do I think it's an eye sore to the building it's stationed in front of (we've been down there, I've seen it, trust me on this one), it's also an insult to our intelligence. Are the citizens of good ol' C-eh-N-eh-D-eh -Canada, so slow that we are incapable of looking at a calendar and counting back the days? I mean yes it requires more than your fingers and toes but really...last time I checked that's why they gave us calculators in grade 8. The city of Vancouver spent a crazy amount of money on said clock only to have it vandalized a short time later and now, to prevent someone from defacing (or decorating) this large ticker they have security watching it. Did you see that? The money swirling down the drain?

Here's the kicker though, have you met our "mascots"? I don't even know how to word my feelings on these - now I have nothing against Anime but it doesn't seem very well...Canadian. Couldn't they have done a Killer Whale, a cute Maple Leaf or some Native art? These mascots look more like they represent a different country and culture all together. Yes, our beloved Canada is multicultural (hooray for our differences!) but couldn't for just this one thing, we stick to the few things that make us Canadians? And have you seen the Olympic clothing they are selling at Zellers and the Bay? It's official clothing, it's supposed to be the gear to wear, but you know what? I wouldn't buy that if it were on sale (because I almost always purchase my clothes on sale, or on a BIG sale), in the $1 discount bin with an additional 75% off. I would however, salvage it from the burn pile to use as cleaning rags. That kinda sweatshirt material works great for cleaning off paint from your hands.

Maybe you feel differently than I do. Maybe you are so excited about the pending arrival of the Olympics that you head downtown Vancouver once a day just to see those numbers decreasing. Maybe you've purchased all of the Mascots and have then adorning the dash of your 2008 Mitsubishi, and maybe just maybe you are wearing your Official Olympic Sweatshirt, shorts and hat with pride.

To you I say, I'm sorry. I'm sorry we differ in opinion, I'm sorry if I've hurt your feelings and I'm sorry I didn't get to you sooner. Had the intervention come at an earlier date I could have saved you from one of the biggest "What Not to Wear" moments of your life!

I still say YAY! 2010 Olympic Games, it's gonna be fun. But maybe as individuals, as a Province and as a Nation we need to take a really close look at the priorities we are setting. I mean really, these games will leave a last impression on millions of people's lives - let's make it a real, Canadian one. Now - Take off, eh!

4 comments:

Kristina said...

Ashley,
My jaw dropped, and I got shivers when you wrote about the family and the news anchor. Same as you, I am appauled. I see so often the news spending such a short time on a tragic story, and such a long time on less important things like... the olympics! I hereby stand beside you on this one girl. I really don't agree with this whole olympic thing right now... they could be doing it better. The mascots are a joke for sure, and you put the words out just so clearly.
I believe the moneyused for the olympics right now could be used elsewhere. We have many homeless, and many ill that need help. Schools need help right now... !

Kami said...

I second this! What a ridiculous situation. We have people starving in the streets of the very city who spent millions to have a clock to count down to the games and are now paying security to watch it.

Classic case of putting the blinders on and not paying attention to the BIG picture.

And the "mascots"? Really, you have got to be kidding.

Anonymous said...

The money spent to create, operate, clean and secure the countdown clock comes from VANOC, not city taxpayers. VANOC's operational money comes from the private sector, through sponsorships and broadcast revenues mostly.

Secondly, if an accident closed the Sea-to-Sky highway for even a day during the Games, it would have little effect on the overall revenues of the Games. Athletes and employees putting on the Games that day won't be travelling the route; they'll already be in Whistler or Vancouver.

Yes, VANOC would have to refund some money to disappointed spectators who couldn't get to Whistler or Vancouver (depending on which way the spectators were going) to see a couple of events, but VANOC will have contingency money set aside from upfront ticket sales for things like this and it would be the equivalent of a drop in the bucket to the total revenue from ticket sales, and the Games that day would go on, (and quite a few spectators will also already be in their seats having made earlier travel plans), because millions more will be watching on TV.

Anonymous said...

Hey Kiddo, Mom here.
Way to go for voicing your opinion and standing by it. I agree that Canada is not being represented as well as it could be. I don't know why they don't let the general community of our country vote on different mascots, the clothing etc because... it IS representing us as a country. We need to celebrate mulit culturalizm (sp?)... but not get it so weighty to one side that we forget who we are. As for the annoymous comment... not all the athletes etc will be staying in Whistler and Vancouver. Just heard the other day that the community I live in (Chilliwack) will be hosting some at bed and breakfast, hotels etc. So. yes acidents can cause problems. The biggest problems is loss of life whether during the olympics or not, but the focus on that station you referred to was more on the olympics than the lives that were forever changed. The olypics started out as a religious thing by the Greeks to celebrate Zeus I think it was. I wonder what the Greeks of old would think of the way it has turned out. Political, costly, and... in a lot of ways missing the point. I celebrate the athletes that work their butts off to gain the skills they have. They work hard to compete and stand for our country... so besides the fact that I see the waste of money (no matter where it is coming from).. I see the athletes and have made up my mind that I will stand behind them..and try and put all the rest of the "crap" to rest. Go Canada Go!! you as athletes make us proud.. (the rest of the politics will continue whether we like it or not). Stand strong Ashley in your opinion and cheer on the athletes because really it is about them. Love ya dear have a good day!!!
Love Mom