While the rest of the country is having a great time moving the Olympic torch across the frosty landscape, here in Vancouver we’re wringing our hands in the rain.
With less than a month to go before they light the torch at BC Place, the host citizens have a bad case of Olympic Anxiety.
The condition is probably endemic to any host city suffering from Olympic information overload, but we have a pretty severe case. The primary symptom appears to be an exaggerated and unrealistic personal sense of responsibility for the success of the Games. While the barons of the IOC whiz around in police-escorted motorcades eating caviar, we’re doing the worrying for them:
What if it’s too warm and the downhill racers have to dodge daffodils?
What if NBC doesn’t make a profit? Will we all be required to watch Conan O’Brien at 2 in the morning to boost the ratings?
What if the Cowichan people get a Supreme Court injunction against the official Olympic sweater?
What if there’s an earthquake and the Richmond Oval sinks into a bog?
What if all the hotels are full and tourists have to sleep in the homeless shelter under the Granville Street Bridge, forcing the homeless people to shove over?
What if scalpers buy all the tickets to the good events and the rest of us have to make do with events like Combined Gridlock or Dead-end Transit?
What if Canada’s men’s hockey team loses to Bosnia?
Etc. I’m sure it just seems that way, but every minute, there’s another acid-reflux producing bulletin from the front. The current crisis seems to be the weather, which is just perfect because there’s absolutely nothing we can do about it.
But there’s something particularly unnerving about Cypress Mountain staff scrambling to scrape snow off the parking lots to patch all the brown spots on the mountain so the freestyle skiers don’t crash on the rocks.
The actual Games can’t get here fast enough, as I’m not sure we’ll make it until Feb. 12, when ski jumping (men only) begins. No doubt, it will go like clockwork. (Please, Gods of Olympus, not like the Olympic Countdown Clock).
But … what if the roof deflates on BC Place and the rain extinguishes the Olympic torch during the opening ceremonies, causing the musicians pretending to play to scurry for shelter while the music continues to play anyway? In front of a worldwide TV audience?
Could happen. Just saying.