If you’re looking for the real spirit of the 2010 Olympic Games, go east young man!

 

To Calgary.

 

If our arch-rival’s response to the Olympic torch relay this week is any indication, Cowtown is eating our lunch, spirit-wise. We haven’t seen that kind of excitement here since the Games were awarded to Vancouver, which seems like a long, long, long time ago.

 

Maybe it’s inevitable. Here in Vancouver we’re bombarded by Stupid Olympic Tricks daily that never make it across the mountains.


I mean, when they start talking about scraping the snow off the parking lot at Cypress to cover the exposed mountains so the skiers and boarders don’t kill themselves, that’s a buzz killer. I keep hearing rumours that they are days away from packing in the entire Cypress venue and moving to Whistler where there’s still snow.


If you want real Olympic anxiety how about this: According to the New York Post, creditors of Fortress Investments LLC, which owns Whistler Blackcomb and recently missed a half-billion-dollar payment, are threatening to seize control of the resort. If this keeps up we’ll have to hold the Olympics at Big White.


Or Calgary.


Calgary, still basking in the glow of the flawless 1988 Games, has spent the week frolicking around the 2010 Olympic torch, generating one feel-good story after another:


Just one example: Thousands watched as Audrey Forzani, 95, matriarch of the Sport Chek family, and the oldest of the 12,000 torch bearers, did her 300 metres in her wheelchair. Where have you gone, Sam Sullivan?


Meanwhile, back in Vancouver, we learn the Games will no longer be declared smoke free to accommodate IOC officials, who demand the right to light up their own little torches at will. Now that’s the spirit!


Calgary has several advantages over Vancouver in the spirit department. For one thing, it has snow. Even after the recent chinook, there’s still snow on the mountains. If we continue to enjoy 13 C temperatures, the cherry blossoms will be at their peak just in time for the NBC announcers to turn up in their designer parkas.


Calgary is also less, er, politically diverse than Vancouver, which has a large population of socialists who frequently remind us that these Games are being held on stolen aboriginal land, even though the aboriginals seem happy to accommodate a steady stream of Olympic ads on their giant electronic billboards.


Anyway, it’s good to see someone has the Olympic spirit. Maybe, if we’re good, Calgary will let us have some. Don’t bogart that torch!