The 2010 Winter Olympics are exactly one year away.

I suspect most Canadians greeted by that news will smile a little and start hoping we win lots of medals, or, if nothing else, gold in hockey.

The last time we hosted the Winter Olympics, in Calgary in 1988, we all had a good time, but Canada didn’t win any gold medals.

So the excitement is starting to build across the country.

Here in Vancouver, on the other hand, you’d think we were beset by the plague.

I’ve never seen or heard anything like it, although it’s probably the same in every city awarded the dubious distinction of hosting an Olympics. The Games have become the scapegoat for every social activist, environmentalist, anarchist, conspiracy theorist, not to mention a vast array of uncategorized unhappy campers.

Now that there’s one year to go, that’s the signal to ramp up the wailing, the gnashing of teeth.

If you’re an environmentalist, it’s time to get even more uncivilly disobedient over the loss of animal habitat to make way for improvements to the Sea to Sky Highway to Whistler.

If you’re a taxpayer, it’s your cue to get increasingly furious that no one really knows how much the Games will cost, but you know you’ll get stuck with the bill.

If you’re a social activist, it’s time to kick some real butt. Why haven’t these billions gone to provide shelter for the homeless, help the sick and feed the poor?

Now, if only we can make it through the next 12 months. Let the pre-Games games begin.

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