Vancouver Olympic Games organizers dealing with criticisms
VANCOUVER (CP) — Every Olympics has teething problems.
In the first few days, bus drivers brought in from out of town didn’t know where they’re going. Athletes settled into their new home and discovered it’s too bright at night to sleep. Broadcasters got ornery when the Olympic rings weren’t positioned perfectly for their beauty shots.
But Vancouver’s Olympics are five days old and the perception is now that the problems are more akin to a toddler’s tantrums: sometimes they come without warning, sometimes they can be avoided but either way they will ruin the entire party.
“As Vancouver faces up to Games that appear to have been cursed, there is one positive outcome for London. Many believed that London would be overshadowed hopelessly by the glitz of Beijing in 2008, but Vancouver may have provided a buffer of reality that will make whatever London does look like light relief compared with Canada’s gloom,” wrote Kevin Eason in the Times of London. London is the host city for the 2012 Summer Olympics. The list of challenges is piling up. Almost 30,000 spectators have been turned away from Cypress Mountain because the standing room area has become waterlogged and unsafe.
An ice resurfacing machine twice broke down at the speedskating oval in Richmond, delaying competition in some events by over an hour.
Timers’s errors threw off the results of Canadian biathlete JeanPhilippe LeGuellec and those of a Swedish biathlete medal contender in pursuit races in the Callaghan Valley on Tuesday.
Another British newspaper has groused Vancouver’s Games might go down as the “worst” ever.
The retort by Games organizers, athletes and sports officials has been swift. Which Games are you at, exactly?
“ We are very fine here,” said Gerhard Zimmerman of Germany, a technical delegate of the International Skating Union.
“ We are in preparation with them (Vancouver organizers) since a couple of years, we have very experienced people here, they know what they are doing. We have no complaints, we are very, very satisfied.”
Canadian Olympic Committee president Michael Chambers said Vancouver residents and Canadians in general have embraced the Olympics.
Critics in the British media “are not living the same Games I am living,” he said.
“We continue to be impressed by the level of organization,” said Mark Adams, the spokesperson for the IOC.