Best Games ever? Prob­a­bly not, but who cares?

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS - BY ROBIN SHORT

the lugers, skele­ton ath­letes and bob­sled­ders. Per­haps the Cana­di­ans could have al­lowed ath­letes from other coun­tries more train­ing time on the track.

Ul­ti­mately, how­ever, when you’re zip­ping down a sheet on ice at speeds of 140 clicks per hour on a phone book, the op­por­tu­nity for dis­as­ter ex­ists.

You can only imag­ine the law­suits that will arise from the Ge­or­gian luger’s death.

I haven’t been around enough to de­ter­mine where th­ese Games stand in re­la­tion to oth­ers. From all ac­counts, Lille­ham­mer gets the most votes for best Games. It’s thumbs down to At­lanta.

Who re­ally knows un­less you were there.

So on that note, I can speak with ex­pe­ri­ence when com­par­ing the 2010 Van­cou­ver Games to the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy.

In Van­cou­ver, the streets are alive with Olympic rev­el­ers, young and old, men and women. Familes and young cou­ples. Vir­tu­ally all are adorned in red and white — take your pick — jer­seys/sweaters/jack­ets/coats/hats/mit­tens.

In the hockey are­nas and the curl­ing rinks, at the freestyle ski­ing and short track venues, a tail­gate party at­mos­phere ex­ists both in­side and out.

In Torino, there was no such sign of Olympic mer­ri­ment. Medals Plaza in cen­tre city Torino was alive each night with cer­e­monies and con­certs, but oth­er­wise, Ital­ians greeted the Olympics with a col­lec­tive shrug of the shoul­ders.

Canada, a coun­try gen­er­ally pas­sive by na­ture, is sud­denly giddy with pride. ‘Go Canada Go!’ is the cho­rus in the are­nas, on the streets, in the sub­ways.

We will not lead the charge in medals. We won’t even catch Ger­many for sec­ond.

But for once, on an in­ter­na­tional sport­ing stage that is more than just hockey, there’s a de­light that comes with say­ing you’re from Canada.

So if suc­cess is de­ter­mined by wins and losses and to­tal points, by medals and eclips­ing ex­pec­ta­tions, the home side has fallen short in Van­cou­ver.

But if Olympic tri­umph is de­fined by an over­whelm­ing em­brac­ing of the Games, a mo­ment for Cana­di­ans to watch and care whether a kid, who a day be­fore was a no­body from Montreal, wins a moguls ski­ing gold medal, whether a lit­tle fig­ure skater who just lost her mother can skate the pro­gram of her life, whether a bunch of mil­lion­aire hockey play­ers can win gold, if all this right here at home can cause Cana­di­ans to file into the streets feel­ing real good about them­selves, it can’t be all so bad, can it? Best Games ever? Who cares. They’ve been pretty darn good.

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