Activists in the Downtown Eastside held a “$6 Olympics” yesterday, in protest of the “$6-billion Olympics” that will take place in Vancouver in little more than a year.

The Poverty Olympics featured short skits of athletic events like Housing Hurdles, Wrestling for Community and Skating Around Poverty.

Gena Thompson, who co-hosted the second annual event dressed as mascot Chewy the Rat, said she was representing all the people of the Downtown Eastside “who have got nothing out of all the Olympic promises.”

“(The Olympics) does nothing for poor people and nobody from this ‘hood is going to be able to afford the Olympic village once this is all over,” Thompson said.

The Poverty Olympics began with a torch relay/ protest march through the Downtown Eastside to the Japanese Language School on Alexander Street.

The first event, Sweeping Aside Poverty (curling), featured poverty Olymp-ians pitching rocks (painted milk jugs) across a cardboard ice sheet covered with obstacles like bureaucratic red tape and paperclips.

Meanwhile, their opponents, a slick-looking team called ‘Vanoc,’ had no such difficulty. They were able to sweep away obstacles with ‘bailout’ brooms or cut through them with help from their friends in the police and corporate media.