An umbrella, not a winter coat could be the must-have accessory at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.
That’s because Vancouver is all wet. Usually it’s just the city that sees a lot of rain in the winter, but the warmest January on record and temperatures that are still above zero have caused moisture in the local mountains to fall as rain.
That’s proved to be a major headache for Olympic organizers and it didn’t help the Games’ image when stories of snow having to be trucked in to Cypress Mountain from three hours away started to be reported around the world.
And when people heard that helicopters are being used to move snow to the upper parts of the mountain they started questioning how much more this would add to the cost of the Olympics. We haven’t been told yet.
On Wednesday, it looked like the Vancouver Organizing Committee got a break when a light dusting of snow fell on the home of Olympic freestyle skiing and snowboarding. But the enthusiasm was dampened because Environment Canada is forecasting rain Thursday through Saturday. Ouch!
Well, it’s about time the rest of the world learned what Canadians already know about Vancouver – it has the mildest weather of any major Canadian city and that usually means wet winters.
People here embrace the rain. Everyone knows the popular “I love N.Y.” T-shirts. We have similar T-shirts but with a rain cloud instead of a heart.
When you watch the Opening Ceremonies on TV this Friday see if you can tell the locals from the tourists. They’ll be the people with an umbrella in their hands and the designer rubber boots.