Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html en-gb 30 Fri 28 Nov 2014 13:58:53 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html bradyboy http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=99#comment222 I'm a Canadian ex-pat from Vancouver who lives in Manchester. I am visiting Vancouver for the olympics. Before I left for my visit, I had been embarrassed for my hometown - but now I'm just angry. Everything that's going on in Vancouver is just spectacular. It's an amazing moment for sport, culture, and humanity. The majority of the miniscule issues reported in the UK have been really dug up or embellished. Even the refund of seats was because the unseasonable weather created a mud-pit out of one of the standing areas so they cancelled it to prevent people from slipping. How is that a disaster? There were still hundreds of spectators at the event. In the UK, everyday is an adventure of swearing, shoving, bumping, scowling, complaining, yelling, and vomiting in the streets. Everything I do is hampered by bureaucratic screw-ups and nonsense. I can't get service of any kind, or even a smile out of people I encounter in my daily errands. I can't imagine what will befall London, where main venues are already over budget, but I know that when it does I'll be reading about the beauty of the sporting events in my daily Canadian newspaper. Fri 26 Feb 2010 05:37:02 GMT+1 mishules http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=99#comment221 There have been hints from athletes that some of the events have given preference to the Canadian Athletes.There seemed to be some bad sportsmanship when they complained again about Amy Williams' helmet after her win. This does not endear them. I don't think anyone can or seriously blames them for the weather but the changes to the Luge starts after the death of an athlete should also have been accompanied with a delay (even of a day) of the start of this to allow the athletes to have some practice on the changed track. There was no one more pleased that they got their first gold medal early, but some of their comments "we are owning the podium" does annoy people and seems to be away from the spirit of the Olympic Games. Sun 21 Feb 2010 21:22:55 GMT+1 noops01 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=98#comment220 Some of the taunting has just been funny, like quotes about the number of medals we have won. I don't think anyone over here has ever claimed that the Winter Olympics is our arena, the fact that Amy Williams is our first individual gold medallist in 20 odd years should say loud and clear what priority this competition is to the UK. There are any number of sports/events that we have a great tradition in compared to Canada but I wouldn't sit here making stupid comments because I understand they are things that you guys have no interest in.The BBC website should not be lumped in with newspaper coverage or even UK TV news, it's coverage is fair and impartial in most cases. It seems to me that all this website did was record what the IOC said about the Vancouver games compared to our preparations for 2012. It is a fact that our build up is going better than any in recent history, that was stated implicitly by the people that know. Too often we are negative about ourselves and many still think that it will be a failure, but, just as most Olympics are acclaimed the 'best ever' so will London 2012. Last time I checked the location of an Olympics was not picked on how good the weather is, London being in the South East is likely to have the best conditions of anywhere in the country and so therefore is the perfect place to have it in this country. It is far too long since we had an Olympics and it was our turn, so the fact that it may rain does not come into it. We are not a big country, generally if one part of the country has a poor summer then the whole country will but to say that should be some bar to us hosting this great event, that is just a dumb comment. By reading previous messages there were better places in Vancouver to hold events and if that is a fact then criticism is justified. Also no one should be dying in Olympic competition, if it's that dangerous then the designers failed the city of Vancouver. To say that these events are dangerous and that this happens, is again amazing to me, if that is the case then the sport is too much of a liability.Make no mistake our newspaper and TV news media push things far too far sometimes (John Terry springs to mind), but they also report stuff that people need to read that doesn't come out in other countries.Personally my interest in the Winter Olympics is very small, aside from the sliding events which I have avoided a little bit after the Georgian died. In fact a lot of the money spent on our competitors would probably have been better spent preparing our youngsters for 2012. In Beijing our summer athletes showed a great return on investment and in these times of recession this money should only be spent when we are likely to come away with a fistful of gold, rather than the one gold we will finish with in Vancouver. All in all the Winter Olympics is a great event if you like it, with the Six Nations going on, the Premier League being easily the best in the world and a cricket season starting in a couple of months there is far more interesting stuff around. Sorry but that's just the truth and as valid as anyone who is watching every event in Canada. Sun 21 Feb 2010 17:14:31 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=98#comment219 219. At 2:56pm on 21 Feb 2010, steve_41 wrote:"The transport to the events has been excellent (something London will defiantly find quite challenging)."---------[Don't really think of London Transport as "defiant". Truculent sometimes, yes, but defiant?]---------"Lets not forget the Olympic spirit the Canadian hosts have cheered every single competitor regardless of nationality, this would most certainty never happen between opposing UK football teams."---------We're like that. We want everybody to feel welcome, and to do well.---------"As for the weather the UK should know more then most that this is uncontrollable, to blame the organisers for the weather is outrageous."---------Well, yes, sort of.True, they couldn't have predicted that this would be the warmest Winter in 114 years.But most of the record high temperature years have occurred since 1990. And it's not much of a secret that Vancouver gets a lot of rain.VANOC weren't aware of that? Not aware of global warming? On Canada's loony left coast? Or maybe VANOC were in global warming denial?[That's an opening onto Canadian politics: nobody beats the CPC at global warming denial. How cosy are VANOC and the Conservatives? The Conservative party logo is basically the Games logo in italics. Confusingly similar? You bet.What other country padlocked Parliament from December to the end of the games, in part to avoid a scandal over the torture of Afghan prisoners? Politics and the Olympics together again, a true Olympic Games tradition.]You're right that the games organisers don't control the weather, but they did have control over which mountain they picked.There are plenty of big, snow-covered mountains in BC and Alberta. Why did they pick Cypress Mountain?Do you think it was because that's where they thought there would be the best conditions for high level athletic competition?Or do you think that maybe, just maybe, it had something to do with the Vancouver real estate market?They picked a marginal site, with a significant probability of poor weather conditions. And climatically speaking, those chickens have come home to roost. It isn't that much of a surprise. They have no one to blame for that choice but themselves. Sun 21 Feb 2010 16:50:13 GMT+1 steve_41 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=97#comment218 As a brit over here to watch the games I feel that first I must say something "Thanks Canada I am really enjoying the games". Unfortunately the UK media is once again doing it's best to put a negative spin on things. The transport to the events has been excellent (something London will defiantly find quite challenging). The event locations have been great. The organisers have arranged activities in Vancouver and the city is alive. Lets not forget the Olympic spirit the Canadian hosts have cheered every single competitor regardless of nationality, this would most certainty never happen between opposing UK football teams. The army of volunteers have been helpful and have made the whole thing possible.As for the weather the UK should know more then most that this is uncontrollable, to blame the organisers for the weather is outrageous.As for the comment about access to venues it's called home advantage some thing that I expect we will use in 2012. But to my knowledge competors have been given all access that was required.I only hope that when we welcome visitors to the UK in 2012 that they will not blame us because it rained and the sun did not shine.So Canada if my country men cannot bring them selves to say it I will."Thanks Canada I have really enjoyed your games" I will be in the pub downtown to watch the hockey tonight against the USA "GO Canada GO" Sun 21 Feb 2010 14:56:07 GMT+1 John Sauve http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=97#comment217 When any one posts anything of these games, should actually research and write the truths as I have not read, seen or heard anything form the IOC regards any concerns for these games, and all videos I have watched on line and from the events have all been of praise....the only few are those who want to moan like sad people...your the people who the majority do not want to hear from or see at the games...you the media also are of a pathetic nature complain about all the bad things, to sell a story, anything great is in the background....you should all make a televise statement of appology to the games organiser...as if they have a crystal ball to stop bad things happening... Sun 21 Feb 2010 14:25:56 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=96#comment216 208. At 07:21am on 20 Feb 2010, OrcaSurfer wrote:"Get your mind out of your wallet. There is a long line of lawyers passing out cards and jumping on the band wagon to drive our cost for the Olympics up!""The events are designed by the same people that use them. Do your homework, since 1988 they have worked hard to make everything "Eddy the Eagle" and "Jamaican Bobsleigh" safe. You earn your right to be there and they all know the risks."__________I certainly have have no conceivable financial interest in this, so your "wallet" comment is singularly inapt. I am, though, concerned that people be held responsible for a terrible accident. This should not be swept under the carpet.I'm also a little concerned that there are posters here who seem to have little if any understanding of the concept of civil liability. This is really basic stuff in a democracy. Do you not get the difference between right and wrong? Do you not understand that the imposition of negative externalities on others is morally indefensible?And no, these games were wildly over budget and financially out of control long, long before the first athlete arrived on sight. The root cause of that problem is different. Where you and I desire a celebration of amateur sport, other people may see a chance to make a publicly subsidized windfall on real estate speculation and development where they had 100% of the upside benefit, but effectively a capped downside risk, with an implicit public guarantee; and still other people see the opportunity to make a windfall extracting sponsorship licensing royalties on the backs of unpaid athletes.The part I really love is when organizations like VANOC are excused from public scrutiny because they are, nominally, private bodies rather than public ones, but we all know that once the games have been awarded no public authority is going to say "well, this private body just went bankrupt; not our problem; cancel the games." And just who is paying for the enormous military and police presence?Some of us think that the whole thing is inequitable, and that rather more investigative vigour would have been entirely appropriate. The IOC has been getting a free ride in the press for a long time. Let's take a good long look into these deals. Let's see where the money goes, and let's take a good long look at the basis of entitlement of those extracting the various fees.The point you make about a heightened awareness of the need to make tracks safe may not cut in the direction you think it does. It might merely make failure to make a track safe all the more glaring an oversight. Yes, well, now that you put it that way ... er, ... um.And as for the rather callous suggestion that athletes know the risks, and therefore we can collectively shrug our shoulders at the death of a young man with a whole bright life ahead of him ... Well, he knew the risks, so it's ok, not our problem.Perhaps you'd like to explain that in person to his parents? Sat 20 Feb 2010 20:03:08 GMT+1 L A Odicean http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=96#comment215 Why do medal winners these days scream and shout and punch the air in a most aggressive and intimidating way? I believe they have too much tostesterone, or whatever, running through their veins. It wasn't ike that in the old days. Gordon Pirie, Billy Wright and Emile Zatopek would never scream and punch the air. It's a disgrace. Sat 20 Feb 2010 17:47:05 GMT+1 J P Tics http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=95#comment214 It's not just the British media who have been (rightly) critical of the organisers. The three Swedish dailies I read on a regular basis have been equally concerned about weather, cancellations, and the scandalous scenes where biathletes were released too late.The IOC has criticised the organisers too, who have been unwilling to accept any negative comments about the games. That in itself is a legitimate cause for criticism to be voiced. Sat 20 Feb 2010 17:07:39 GMT+1 jonathan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=95#comment213 Olympic Mistakes are relative just like any mistakes ? Ever run a company Mr Warner? We all make mistakes. Sorry Gotta run now its 7AM. Off to play golf in a sunny 55 degrees at a challenging beautifully manicured Northlands course for 40 dollars . Hope my eledset daughter enjoys the downhill events today in Whistler an hours drive away. I wish my middle daughter hadn't been so noisy when she came home last night from the Robson Square street Party so full of her funtime, oh nevermind .Still cannot decide which party should i go to later today. Oh its so tough here.Everyone looks so miserable! You have to feel sorry for them. Sat 20 Feb 2010 15:59:06 GMT+1 Paul http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=95#comment212 The negative comments here and by the blogger are embarrassing. He talks about Canada not getting into the spirit of the games - one only has to walk the streets of Vancouver to feel the true spirit of the games - while he harps at anything and everything Canadian. Hypocrisy for sure.The blogger starts with the same complaints from the beginning and then says the list could go on and on. Actually it doesn't. Those were the key complaints. Hey, he's complaining that the lighting of the flame had a problem. Complaining! Why, did he have a bet that the flame would light without a problem. I just don't get why he should be complaining about that.And that is the whole issue. The British media, because we have the games in 2 years, have set themselves up as judge, jury and executioner on anything Canadian.To put some things in perspective. While Canadians had more runs than the other competitors, it turns out that everyone had more practice runs than in Turin. Because the Canadians had the facilities ready well before the games, they got in more runs. Will we have our facilities ready well before the 2012 games? Doubt it.Someone complained that the ice wasn't perfect at the Richmond Oval and that they should have run a major event here beforehand. Hello! If the world championship isn't a major event (outside of the Olympics) what is?Point is, a lot of mud is being thoughtlessly flung at the Canadians. I sure hope all the same media take an equally vindictive view of the London games. Oh, what am I talking about. This is the British Media, world renowned for being the most biased and acting like morons. As soon as the Olympics are over the British Media can get back to what they do best - assassinate England's World Cup chances with a sting or two. Sat 20 Feb 2010 15:48:57 GMT+1 Nostromo http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=94#comment211 As a Brit, I too am sick of our press. What annoys me as much as anything is - quite apart from the bad, lazy journalism where the writers never let the truth get in the way of a good story - the fact that the British people are judged on our media. It's embarrassing and makes me cringe.However, will people PLEASE stop being so negative about the forthcoming London games? I am fed up with people saying that our 'sorry excuse for a country' is going to make a right hash of it. You never know, it could be a fantastically successful games and let's hope it is. Or do you want us to fail (an attitude I can never understand)? Just knock off the sniping and negativity! Sat 20 Feb 2010 14:47:59 GMT+1 Tommy http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=94#comment210 PulpGrape, Spoonmehead & Glosballcarrier. Excellent to hear the usual positive comments coming out about our own games in 2012. For all those 'glasses half empty' miserable attitudes out there show some pride & get behind it for crying out loud! It WILL come together. London, like many before will be great and I for one cannot wait... Sat 20 Feb 2010 12:28:49 GMT+1 OrcaSurfer http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=93#comment209 This post has been Removed Sat 20 Feb 2010 07:44:22 GMT+1 OrcaSurfer http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=93#comment208 Stuart: Lawyers please stop! WE are hung over from Party'n'. Blah Blah Blah Just sit down and enjoy the show! Sat 20 Feb 2010 07:29:42 GMT+1 OrcaSurfer http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=92#comment207 Interestedforeigner:: Blah Blah Blah Nobody wants a lawyer at a good party. Get your mind out of your wallet. There is a long line of lawyers passing out cards and jumping on the band wagon to drive our cost for the Olympics up! The events are designed by the same people that use them. Do your homework, since 1988 they have worked hard to make everything "Eddy the Eagle" and "Jamaican Bobsleigh" safe. You earn your right to be there and they all know the risks. Sat 20 Feb 2010 07:21:39 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=92#comment206 206. At 01:42am on 20 Feb 2010, Stuart:It's sad, alright, and tragic, and everything else. If you have a child of your own, it's an awful thing to contemplate. You know how heartbroken his parents must be, and your heart goes out to them. This is a terrible thing.All the same, it is also the stuff of which lawsuits are made.One of the points I forgot to mention was that duties of care tend to fall more heavily on those who can prevent injury at the lowest cost, or who have the best knowledge of the risks, and the most opportunity to do something about those risks. This is a facility that cost C$ 100 m. (Approx GB L 65m?), remember.All of these factors point away from a young boy with big dreams.Pretty sure that everybody involved, including the multitude of prospective defendants, expects a statement of claim to be filed, probably sometime after the games are over and everybody has gone home. Sat 20 Feb 2010 03:05:59 GMT+1 Stuart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=91#comment205 INTERESTED FORIEIGNER - Yes I'm well aware that you have Common Law in all provinces of Canada, except Quebcec where they exercise the Napoleonic code (Civil Law).You clearly have a good understanding of Latin, and an even deeper understanding of the law;- perhaps you are a qualified Lawyer, in which case well done to you. I think we are being somewhat over analytical here. A sad, tragic, and fatal acident occurred. A young man's life was brought to a premature end. I simply do not accept that it stands to reason that some or all operating authorities responsible for the installation, and operation of the course were responsible for the accident. We are talking about The 21st Olympic Games. Hosted in a city several times voted by the W.H.O. as being the world's most liveable city in terms of quality of life, and in a country that is a major G20 nation with a thriving economy. The course was the same for all competitors. Sadly a fatal accident occured that appears to have been down to human error. We continue to mourn the loss of a young man's life. Let's also try and enjoy the rest of the games. Sat 20 Feb 2010 01:42:33 GMT+1 Stuart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=91#comment204 At 9.48 PM Gordon wrote some very intersting comments.Once one understands what "OWN THE PODIUM" is all about, and the programme behind it, it's perfectly understandable. The term on it's own unfortunately doesn't explain anything, and without an appreciation of it's raison d'etre, in fact sounds a little presumptious, possiby even a touch arrogant. Australia pushed forward with a similar programme;- didn't brand it with any fancy names, merely called it The Australian Institute of Sport. A public / private funded body where promising potential elite athletes would be invited to get involved with, in order to benefit from receiving high level specialist coaching in their respective field - whatever that sport may have been been. It really took off after their dismal showing at the 76 Montreal Olympics, when they managed a mere 3 or 4 medals. The Prime Minister & Head of their Olympic movement said at the time this would never, ever, happen again, and nor has it. Australia is a nation that knows a thing or two about winning, and I hope the Canadian programme might produce the same effect for your fine nation.For your good guide, we already get CBC & CTV News here. It's streamed via the internet, and both productions (under anchors Peter Mansbridge / LLoyd Robertson) are excellent. But just so as you know a bit more about the BBC, their product is almost identical to the Canadian brand;- i.e a vast array of foreign content and news stories in each news programme- a far cry from what ABC / CBS/ NBC put out in the country to the south of you. And I can assure you that the vast majority of British nationals have a very good knowledge about what happens outside our borders, and throughout the world. Why else would so many have come out in Canada's defence in this forum, expressing deep embarrassment about the writings of a small nunber of our journalists.Matey believe me....the world over, people love Canadians, and have a natural affection towards you. PLEASE don't change. The characteristics you have painted of this new Canada which is in the process of 'coming out', as you put it, sounds very American, and sadly does not bear the attractive attributes of the Canada much of the world knows and loves.Unfortunately the criticism of the games has been fairly widespread, and not confined simply to UK journos. Similar sentiments have emanated from the US, and several European countries. Having watched and enjoyed alot of the Vancouver events, I don't agree with what has been reported. Unfortunately it seems it's not just the British media who are struggling to find accurate news stories to come up with.Long may harmonius & affectionate UK - Canada relations continue!!!!! Sat 20 Feb 2010 00:08:44 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=91#comment203 200. At 7:42pm on 19 Feb 2010, Stuart wrote:"To Comment No 198 - Interested Foreigner:The short answer to your last question is that I wouldn't know. We here in the UK thankfully don't live in a litigation led society.If this young man had been foreced to participate in this event against his will, that's one thing. However I suspect he partook willingly. As stated earlier, the event in question is a high speed event that carries risks. The fact this young man's life came to a sudden & premature end is terribly sad & tragic. The entire Georgian & Canadian nations mourned his loss. If as you have suggested a Provincial Court in British Columbia might find one of the aforementioned bodies guilty of negligence, and subsequently hold them to ransom, then in my mind that is extremely unfortuate & saddens me. I wasn't previously aware such a litigation led society existed in Canada."__________No, we don't live in a "litigation led society".BC is a common law province and to a very great extent it has the same common law legal tradition, history, and current legal standards as England. Certainly it has the same basis Tort law.There is nothing wrong with people who have been injured seeking redress for their injuries. The whole of the law of Torts exists for that purpose. I would not be very keen on living in a society in which this was not done. We do not generally wish to encourage people to disregard their reasonable duties of care to avoid injury to others.The argument you make used to be associated with the phrase "volenti non fit injuria", meaning that is you voluntarily take on a risk, you can't complain of your injury later. We don't tend to have much patience with that argument nowadays. If you get a bruise in a boxing match, maybe. But where someone is permanently injured or killed, this argument just doesn't wash.The law is very reluctant to hold that any person can ever voluntarily agree to accept the risk of being killed. In a leisure or sporting activity it would not make sense.Each competitor will almost certainly have had to sign various releases and waivers to compete. Again, no matter what they have signed, the law is very reluctant to uphold those releases, waivers, or other contractual agreements unless there is a reasonably fair allocation of risk, and the parties accepting the risks had a reasonable opportunity to insure against loss.Where there has been a conscious allocation of risk among parties of roughly equal bargaining power, and it was the contemplation of the parties that one or other of them would be responsible for obtaining insurance, and the risk was readily insurable, then there is some argument that the prior allocation of risk ought to be upheld. Where it is merely one party imposing the strength of its bargaining power on another to force unequal terms, very different considerations apply, to the point where issues of unconscionability may arise. Our courts do not hold people "to ransom", and the maximum recovery for pure pain and suffering (as opposed to directly compensable loss under specific quantifiable heads of damages) was set by the Supreme Court of Canada in 1978 at a relatively modest amount.A young man, a boy, was killed in a sledding accident. The corollary to the position expressed in your posting is that you regard it as acceptable that the penalty for a momentary error in judgment or physical action should be death, without regard to whether reasonable precautions were taken to avoid reasonably foreseeable injuries or not.My guess would be that proposition has been untenable at law throughout the common law world for at least a century, probably somewhat longer. Fri 19 Feb 2010 23:22:26 GMT+1 Ri http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=90#comment202 Two points come to mind:-1. When I go to a major event like an Olympics it is to see the events and not the flame!2. London is holding the next Olympiad so if the British press are ranting lets hope London gets it right! Fri 19 Feb 2010 22:35:06 GMT+1 mindmenot http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=90#comment201 It's good to see Mr. Furlong standing up for his team and the Olympics in Vancouver. Even as a resident of Vancouver, I haven't seen/heard him so passionate about something ever since he got his job as the CEO. However, I don't see why we should fault a foreign media for expressing their thoughts or evaluating how VANOC has done so far with the games. I know we are the host city, but we are bound to make mistakes and run into difficulties, as this is an enormous event where lots of things can go wrong and things happen; others will pick up on the unfortunate incidents, comment on them and hopefully make things better next time when they get to host the Olympics.Among all things said by the foreign media, I am personally grateful that they have not forgotten about the luger and are reminding us what happened in the midst of all the glory and festivities here. It is something this Olympics will be coined with, whether Canadians like it or not. I just hope that the media will follow through with the investigation after the games and give us the unbiased truth to the incident. Fri 19 Feb 2010 22:16:21 GMT+1 Gordon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=89#comment200 First, thank you James for fixing it so we can see the video in Canada. After watching it, I want to start a movement to have John Furlong run as Premier. He handled your one tracked questions very well.Second. Would all you none Canadians stop saying "'Own the podium' is not very Canadian". That's for US Canadians to decided and WE decided to create the program - deal with it. Own the Podium, combined with our strong dollar, healthy banking system and strong economy is about Canada coming out. Get used to it, Canada has awoken!Third. "You're sophisticated, you live well. No need for an apology."Just a few lines from a recent article in the New York Times. The writer goes on to praise British Columbia for our pan-Asian cuisine and characterizes Vancouver as the "Manhattan with mountains," and as a "liquid city; a tomorrow city."I really enjoy reading the comments from Brits explaining how the British Media works - WOW! I thought Fox News was bad! Maybe we can send CBC to Britain so you guys can find out what really is happening in the world. Fri 19 Feb 2010 21:48:37 GMT+1 Stuart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=89#comment199 To Comment No 198 - Interested Foreigner:The short answer to your last question is that I wouldn't know. We here in the UK thankfully don't live in a litigation led society.If this young man had been foreced to participate in this event against his will, that's one thing. However I suspect he partook willingly. As stated earlier, the event in question is a high speed event that carries risks. The fact this young man's life came to a sudden & premature end is terribly sad & tragic. The entire Georgian & Canadian nations mourned his loss. If as you have suggested a Provincial Court in British Columbia might find one of the aforementioned bodies guilty of negligence, and subsequently hold them to ransom, then in my mind that is extremely unfortuate & saddens me. I wasn't previously aware such a litigation led society existed in Canada. Fri 19 Feb 2010 19:42:08 GMT+1 chrisbastille http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=88#comment198 Don't worry Canada. This is just (certain sections) of our British press being their usual venomous and ignorant selves. They probably still think all Canadians are lumberjacks. Unfortunately their next target will probably be the 2012 games in London, especially if Labour win the upcoming British general election in which case the Olympics can be portrayed as a "new Labour folly". They will rip the games to pieces before they even start - just like they did with the Millenium Dome in 2000 (speaking as one of the few people who visited it despite the negative press - and was pleasantly surprised) Fri 19 Feb 2010 19:40:32 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=88#comment197 197. At 6:21pm on 19 Feb 2010, Stuart wrote:"But are you implying VANOC/ IOC/ the course designer were negligent in their duty of care to some respect?"__________Clearly that is neither for me nor you nor the BBC to decide, but, ultimately, for a court of competent jurisdiction in the Province in which the accident occurred, should a plaintiff make a claim and pursue it to trial.It would not be surprising if Mr. Kumaritashvili's parents and perhaps others, VANOC, the IOC, the international luge federation, the track builders, the track designers, the track certifiers, and the insurers, all seek, or have sought, appropriate independent legal advice.A young man died on what amounts to a showplace sledding facility, an event captured on film and broadcast into the living rooms of the planet.What do you expect is going to happen? Fri 19 Feb 2010 19:03:35 GMT+1 Stuart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=87#comment196 To Interested Foreigner (Comment No 196 @6.02 PM)I'm not sure I take your point. Notwithstanding the tragic & untimely end to this young man's life, this is an event that entailss humans thundering down the track at speeds of greater than 80 MPH, and with little protection;- that is the nature of the sport. There are risks involved in such events. Very sadly accidents do happen in sport (some fatal.) But are you implying VANOC/ IOC/ the course designer were negligent in their duty of care to some respect? Fri 19 Feb 2010 18:21:25 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=87#comment195 195. At 5:38pm on 19 Feb 2010, Thor wrote:"Let's stop blaming Nodar Kumaritashvili for his level of experience and lets stop blaming the Whistler track designers. Neither of them wanted this to happen."__________Missing the point here?The issue is not whether anyone wanted the accident to happen. The issue is whether a reasonable man would have taken steps to prevent a reasonably foreseeable injury from happening.In what might be billed as the latest, spiffiest, most up to date, state of the art run in the world, you'd have to be kidding yourself if you don't think the duty of care is going to be found to have been pretty high.The thing speaks for itself: A momentary error in judgment or execution by an relatively inexperienced user of the track should not have cost the young man his life. Fri 19 Feb 2010 18:02:35 GMT+1 Thor http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=86#comment194 I am a Vancouverite and the games are fantastic. The positive aspects of the games such as the engagement of and ownership by First Nations have been incredible and far more genuine than the facade of Aboriginalness used in Sydney. Vancouver has come alive with locals and visitors mingling safely in the streets.A fence, a leaky ice machine and a long wait for buses are not worth wasting column-inches on. The minority of British journalists that are attacking the games simply look bitter. As many of the other commenters have mentioned, the London games will surely include some equipment failures and dodgy weather too.The only legitimate negative news is the luge fatality. Any fatality at a major sporting event requires that the governing sports federation conduct a calm, professional investigation to determine the cause of the fatality and to recommend changes that improve safety for all athletes at all venues, while retaining the competitiveness of the sport. For instance, here are some photos of metal pillars at the finish lines of luge tracks at:- Torino: http://jasondeem.com/popular/2/95743972_uLP92/Large- Salt Lake: http://www.rvretired.com/images/UTAH/parkcity/luge_finish.jpgLet's stop blaming Nodar Kumaritashvili for his level of experience and lets stop blaming the Whistler track designers. Neither of them wanted this to happen. Fri 19 Feb 2010 17:38:18 GMT+1 MarkB http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=86#comment193 I am a Brit living in Canada for the last 17 yrs, i am proud of my roots and would love to see some medals for GB, im am also rooting for Canada. The spirit of the games is truly here, its too bad that the British Press has to spin a negative on the games, but i dont read to much into it, many friends that i have here have seen and read what the british press have said and laugh about it.Yes there have been a few hiccups and a tragic death of an athlete, it does happen im sorry to say.But the games are fantastic and its great that they are here, so Go Canada and Cmon GB lets get a couple of medals and show em thats were not just about the Summer Olympics. Fri 19 Feb 2010 17:16:00 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=86#comment192 91. At 3:25pm on 19 Feb 2010, toopyandbenoo wrote:"... these games are brilliant, athletes are walking the streets freely chatting to people and everyone is very happy...."I can only wish london could get the games to be a good as these ones.""This place is pure magic"__________All of these things may be true (and I hope they are for the sake of our visitors), but that's not the point.Look, you often feel pretty good when the wine is flowwing, but the next morning may be a different matter.Lots of people had a good time in Montreal, too, as I remember. But we all also remember the financial disaster that turned out to be, too.The taxpayers of Vancouver, municipally, and BC provincially, have already been left holding the bag for these games financially. You don't have to scratch very deep to cut through the feel-good veneer and find that the stuff underneath is slimy. Financially and organizationally these games were a train wreck before the first athlete arrived on site. And it goes right back to the legitimacy of the IOC to organize and grant rights to hold the games in the first place. Fri 19 Feb 2010 17:14:51 GMT+1 MapleLeafLondoner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=85#comment191 I have read every comment on this blog – incredibly interesting.I’m a born and bred Vancouverite, but have lived overseas for 20 years, the past 11 in London, a city I adore.A lot of British have been posting, “don’t worry Vancouver - no one believes the press”. Yet, the past week at work, I have had countless number of colleagues asking me why the Vancouver Olympics is such a disaster. So, someone believes it. My London friends perception of the Winter Olympics is one of negativity. And unfortunately this is due largely to the British media. Over the past week, I have become unusually patriotic, jumping to defend my native country. Yes, Canadians are ‘over-sensitive’ and ‘do not like criticism’. But better that than complete indifference to other’s views. Fri 19 Feb 2010 16:04:54 GMT+1 toopyandbenoo http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=85#comment190 I would like to put my two cents in as I am in Canada for the games and i can confirm that all the complaints are so minor in such a massive set up that no one except media looking in the haystack for something to complain about think these games are a massive success.I have seen some comments that no access to the sliding track was granted to athletes by Vanoc, this is untrue as all athletes have been given limited access at least 25 times, i say limited due to the quantity of athletes needing to use it and you obviously can not accomodate all of them whenever they need it and it was closed many times as it was being modified and tweeked at the request of the Federation, not vanoc so i hope that enlightens a few people. what are the other complaints? camera vantage points for the couldron, please that is just silly i got great pictures before they changed the fence by the way they changed the entire fence in 8 hours which is amazing. weather! really is this a problem, i dont think so, cancelling tickets at the snow boarding well that was done due to flooding that deteriorated the standing area the night before with a rain storm of some proportions i can tell you. what else is there, the ice machine breakdown, this is a good one, in Canada they use machines called Zambonis to clean and resurface the ice but the federation not vanoc insist on the use of an American machine that is contracted to the federation, so blame the yanks and the federation.There was also a comment about Vanoc blaming the luger that died, this to is incorrect, that was the luge federation again.Get more informed and by visiting the place and you'll quickly see these games are brilliant, athletes are walking the streets freely chatting to people and everyone is very happy.The slogan own the podium is a team slogan that is meant to inspire the country to seek a gold medal on home soil nothing more, they have done that.I can only wish london could get the games to be a good as these ones.This place is pure magic Fri 19 Feb 2010 15:25:49 GMT+1 pcmacdonald http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=84#comment189 At 03:50am on 19 Feb 2010, Down to earth Swede wrote:As a Swede i have to make a comment about this.We are absolutely FURIOUS as a nation how badly the games are handled in every way.It's up to a point where we just shake our heads in disbelief and make jokes about it. My comments?First, I always remain sceptical when someone professes to be the spokesperson for a whole nation. I seriously doubt that the majority of Swedes would be comfortable having you claim to be their voice to the world.Second, don't engage in such a lengthy diatribe. Please make your points succinctly. After all, you aren't writing an essay for your ESL class.Third, I thought this forum was to discuss the British press, and their articles about the winter games. Most of your rant is off topic.Fourth, I can't believe that Swedes make jokes about the 2010 Olympics. I thought that humour and happiness had been stamped out completely in your ultimate Orwellian state! Fri 19 Feb 2010 15:12:38 GMT+1 gfilmdog http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=84#comment188 Stop your belly aching about Canada and win a metal. From where I sit, I see that Canada, US, Germany, Russia, even countries like Kazakhstan and Estonia are on the metals map. Where is GB? What you guys need is the clicking of metal to start writing about things that you can be proud of instead of whining like sore losers.Get on the metals map GB and get your pride back. This whining is very unbecoming of a great nation. Fri 19 Feb 2010 15:04:29 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=83#comment187 168. At 06:16am on 19 Feb 2010, Down to earth Swede wrote:"Sweden won't host any upcoming olympic games but Lillehammer hosted a perfect 1994 winter olympics, and that was a little village in Norway."__________Lillehammer probably was the best Winter games ever.And the IOC hated it.The Norwegians wouldn't pamper the IOC brass.So it'll be a long time before Norway ever gets to host the games again.Long past time to get rid of the IOC. The major sporting countries could do it easily by mutual agreement. Fri 19 Feb 2010 14:34:54 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=83#comment186 Keep going BBC.To my fellow Canadians, look , we aren't slagging Vancouver, and we aren't slagging our athletes (or anybody else's). That's not the point.It's the whole rotten edifice that is the IOC.Underneath this veneer of sports they conceal (not very well) a seamy, putrescent, gangrenous reality.Largely speaking, the athletes are being exploited as unpaid cannon fodder for private profit by an unaccountable organization whose legitimacy seems to have no real basis, whose only genuine interest seems to be in the rapacious enforcement of trade mark rights (and on what basis does it hold those rights in the first place?), that smacks of fascism, that has no hesitation in attempting to suppress freedom of speech (harasses art galleries in Vancouver, tries to prevent protesters from crossing the border; demands that poets not criticize the games, and on and on).At the organizing level, there's VANOC, but there is, mainly, the IOC.Just who is the IOC?Who collects all these licensing fees?Where does that money go?The other day I wrote a lengthy piece on Ollie Williams' blog about the corresponding international sporting farce that is the IIHF. Rarely does confirmation in the press come so quickly:Write a long post on the inanity of international hockey one day, and the following day there is a big article on the Globe & Mail "NHL's Bettman feeling body checked by IOC" that provides yet another glowing example of exactly what I was talking about.The NHL provides players whose current year contracts run to $ 2B, and the IOC expects everyone will dance to the IOC/IIHF tune. Ridiculous.The hockey tournament provides a $ 10M bump in revenues for the IOC when the NHL players are included. But the IOC expects to call the tune. Ridiculous.Who in blazes is Rene Fasel?Which NHL team did he ever play for?Where, exactly, is his name inscribed on Stanley?Which AHL, IHL, WHL, QMJA, or OHA team did he ever play for, coach, manage or own?What has he ever achieved in hockey that has any credibility with anyone?What authority does he have to speak for anyone in hockey?Nobody who has any credibility in the sport ever refers to it as "ice hockey".Who owns the IIHL?Who owns the IOC?Where do all these licensing fees go?The IOC should have been put out of business long, long ago. Ditto for the IIHF. Different names, same male bovine excrement.Keep going BBC. Fri 19 Feb 2010 14:30:54 GMT+1 Gill http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=82#comment185 The British spend a lot of time complaining about their own weather so it's no surprise that they are complaining in Vancouver as well. Fri 19 Feb 2010 14:20:49 GMT+1 Ake http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=82#comment184 Oh dear, if you think the British press is xenophobic and biased, try living in Australia ! Fri 19 Feb 2010 13:15:15 GMT+1 One4yacht http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=82#comment183 As a brit living here we hear endless bilge about "own the podium" restrictions - its normal in any sport to keep the best facilities for the host nation - is anyone going to whine that British Sailors have had the advantage of sailing at Weymouth for 2012? No, so quit the whinging pom-ness about that.Secondly it is comical listening to what is ostensibly some stereotypical British whining about the weather, watch out 2012.The general consensus we sense is that the UK gets 50% excellent journalism and 50%, er, the rest. Sadly the rest sell alot of paper with stuff printed on it. Furlong is not a hero, he is however real and responsive to the gutter press and so he should. My suggestion of lining them up at the biathlon range is gaining support daily.So before you judge him and his cohorts, put your money where your mouth is and come to the games, come and see for yourself to see just how to create a superb atmosphere a city and nation - I hope Seb Coe can achieve the same in 2012.ps I heard we're all supposed to donate any spare change to UK winter sport, is that right? Fri 19 Feb 2010 13:09:26 GMT+1 chrissy2819 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=81#comment182 Also just wanted to say thanks to the BBC for the wonderful coverage! I'm so happy I'm able to see hockey :) Only thing I'd like is to see some Canadian curling but its understandable how its been done of course... The twitter updates on the side are fun too and its nice to see some British media that have a positive view of the olympics! Fri 19 Feb 2010 13:09:01 GMT+1 Tree http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=81#comment181 Is it just me, or is a lot of this all just being blown way out of proportion?Firstly, we all know that the British press have a habit of sticking their nose in where it's not always welcome, and it's actually changed a lot of people's views, and has even led to some momentous changes in sport (the sackings of high-profile football managers such as Sven-Goran Eriksson, for example, were completely media driven), so I kind of expected this to happen. I think the whole reasoning behind this is simply because everybody's already written off London's Olympiad in two years time, saying that it's going to be absolutely terrible (a view which I almost wholly agree with), and therefore the press are just trying to poke holes in other country's games in order to try and make ourselves feel better. That way, we make the comparison of "Oh well, at least it wasn't as bad as this one/that one.", which, I personally believe, shouldn't, and probably won't, happen, unless there is some kind of absolute miracle. I've always thought the IOC should have given the 2012 games to Paris, because it's much better equipped, and I still stand by that, even though I'm British.Anyhow, these games have actually been really good - yes, of course, there are problems, but who hasn't had some sort of issue at an Olympic Games? Even Beijing got some stick because they superimposed fireworks into the TV programming during the Opening Ceremony, and that's one of the best Olympics I've seen during my 20-year lifespan! Let's just look at the problems logically though:People can only see the flame through a fence - well, think about it, it's three ornately designed towers holding a huge cauldron up, with fire coming out of all four structures. If there's an accident with that, then surely that would be worse than not being able to see it very well?Public safety was surely also the reason why Cypress Mountain's viewing areas got closed down as well: who would want that sort of accident on their hands?The weather's something you definitely can't control, and it's just a case of unfortunate timing.As for machinery, sometimes it's just faulty. Cars break down, mp3 players break, an ice-surfacer doesn't work right - what's the difference?And, finally, the death of the Georgian luger (RIP). Of course, it really is a tragedy that he died, but sometimes these things just happen in sport. A few very good football players have died in recent years (Marc-Vivien Foé being one of them), Ayrton Senna died as a result of his sport and so have others doing their respective sports. Of course, you can put as many safety precautions in place as possible, but sometimes it just doesn't work out, and there are going to be tragedies in these types of events. That said, my thoughts are with the families of all of those athletes - it was surely too soon for that to happen.Aside from that logic, another thing that isn't helping is that people are of the belief that the National Press of a country is the genuine opinion of the people, which it actually isn't. Just because it's a select number of British journalists that have written these articles, it doesn't mean that this reflects the true opinion of the British population in total. My personal opinion is that the Vancouver games have been a great spectacle so far, and I'm looking forward to the next bits with interest (come on GB!). Well done Canada - keep up the good work :D. Fri 19 Feb 2010 13:04:16 GMT+1 chrissy2819 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=80#comment180 The argument about the Canadians getting more time on the luge track is really confusing. If they don't train in Vancouver, where should they train? Should they apologize for happening to live where the olympics are taking place? Honestly, like its been said that is how it goes at every olympics. It is unbeliveably unfortunate that a death occured but I have no idea how that could have been forseen.As a Canadian living in the UK at the moment I am quite suprised and a bit disappointed at how the British media has responded. Since London 2012 hasn't happened yet how can they judge and compare to Vancouver? I think that should be reserved until after the UK hosts the olympics. I am really proud of how Canadians have responded and to see the excitement and genuine happiness of the crowds makes me extremely grateful to be Canadian. Yes, its a competition and based on sport but its wonderful how its managed to unite the whole country. I'm just happy that they aren't allowing all the bad press spoil the amazing party- just wish I was there to take part! I wish London good luck in 2012 and I hope that the media is kinder to them and any mistakes that might occur since nothing is perfect!GO CANADA! Fri 19 Feb 2010 12:40:34 GMT+1 AussieInDubs http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=80#comment179 It's the British press, what is to be expected from the people that super-impose Kaiser helmets on German footballers?Here's another headline for The Times: "Auustralia 1, "Team GB" 0" - Go Torah The Soarer!! Fri 19 Feb 2010 11:11:27 GMT+1 Anne http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=79#comment178 I'm a Canadian who attended the luge final for women and I've noticed a lot of complaints about training time on the track. I am not sure if many of you heard about this, but the starting position was changed for both luge competitions.Since Canadian athletes had been training on the run at the original start for quite a while, it was incredibly difficult for them to adjust. Hence, what could have once been considered an advantage has quickly turned into a disadvantage. This is a good lesson for future host countries (like the UK) to not rely on such strategies. The only major issue still existing is the standing tickets for Cypress events, which relates to the warm weather the entire province has been hit by. Fri 19 Feb 2010 10:38:45 GMT+1 Ill Phil http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=79#comment177 The British press and the British people are separate entities. Calm down, Canada. We still love you.If you think the press are being harsh with Canada then watch them pour scorn on our own Olympics in a couple of years. If you can't wait that long then witness the inevitable torture of our football team in the run-up to the South Africa World Cup. Fri 19 Feb 2010 10:15:24 GMT+1 viking spirit http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=78#comment176 I'm glad I'm not a British journalist. What a depressing job to spend one's entire day looking for what is (may be) wrong and focusing on negatives. Whatever happened to the media reporting actual facts - good or bad? Believe me, we can do the sensationalizing on our own. Perhaps surprsing to the media, but most folks can also make their own opinions when given the facts.Some of you have complained about the term "owning the podium" and called Canadians "medal chasers". I'm confused, isn't this event about competitions and winning medals? Strange, I thought athletes from Britain also wanted to win medals? Does this mean the GB skater who received Gold today (Feb 18) wasn't working towards and dreaming of winning? Did he perform without believing there was a chance?I'm fortunate to be in Vancouver during these events. To be amongst the crowds of locals and visitors celebrating on the streets is an uplifting experience, and brief escape from the real doom and gloom of the world. Yes, unfortunately, there is the odd hooligan amongst the crowd, which is why the caldron is behind a metal fence. Otherwise some bonehead would climb it to light a cigarette, only to light himself on fire instead. London, when it's your turn in 2012, I truly hope you can show the rest of the world that it is possible to pull off a perfect Olympic games (it hasn't happened yet), even if posed with challenges such as weather. If not, I also hope the medias of the world are able to provide more balanced reporting and give you credit when credit is due.The death of the Georgian luger is devestating. Some of these sports are forever becoming increasingly dangerous. Every competition - Regionals, Worlds, Olympics - it's about making more challenging race courses and breaking speed records. But at what cost? A proud Canadian whose pride in her British heritage is sadly dwindling. Fri 19 Feb 2010 10:04:16 GMT+1 Ozman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=78#comment175 Haha, very witty matmix. Fri 19 Feb 2010 09:16:50 GMT+1 matmix http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=78#comment174 relax everybody.. if you know anything about the British press you will know that they reserve their most vitriolic, scathing, personal and hurtful criticism for their own.. Despatches from Vancouver and South Africa are a warm up, a mere walk though a sun dappled field of daisies compared to the carnage they will inflict on their own doorstep in London 2012... Didn't you know that the last BOC committee meeting ended up in a mass orgy involving 25 call girls, 3 cabinet members and a pantomime donkey... honest it's true! ;-) Fri 19 Feb 2010 08:58:21 GMT+1 Luyolo2010 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=77#comment173 Thank goodness the British media have found another target to shoot at for the time being, in South Africa we have accepted that the British press have nothing positive to say about us hosting the football world cup. However, they do not seem to have a problem when we host their cricket and rugby national teams, case of sour grapes? You be the judge.It seems as if the British press has conveniently forgotten that London will play host to the next summer Olympics. We are going to disappoint you by supporting you, instead of dishing out unfair criticism. Good luck in advance! Fri 19 Feb 2010 08:01:37 GMT+1 VancouverCanuck http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=77#comment172 Bring it on British Media. We can take it. The criticism is legitimate, although the actual situations may not be as dire as portrayed.VanOc really did prepare and you have to admit there are some real weirdo things happening. Not one but two ice machines malfunctioning at the Oval - machines that have been used without incident at the Oval for the past 2 years. The time clock at the Oval malfunctioning - when have you ever heard of that? The Cauldron malfunctioning? According to Gretzky they practiced 4 times without incident - so of course it had to malfunction during the opening ceremonies.What's the remedy? Fix it and move on. We are truly having a fantastic time here in Vancouver. It so much fun to be here and to be a Canadian at this moment. We are meeting people from all over the world and seeing fantastic sports (we LOVE curling!). The weather right now is awesome!So take your best shot, you can't rain on our parade - the local weather already took care of that. Fri 19 Feb 2010 07:43:11 GMT+1 Stuart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=76#comment171 Attention: Down To Earth Swede (Sven from Sverige)Perhaps it's a differnt TV feed you are receiving in Sweden. In the UK (where I now live) we have the BBC & British Eurosport. I've mainly been viewing the BBC coverage, and must I say it's all been well presented. I can only suggest the fragmented & disjointed TV coverage you have been receiving is down to weather related interuptions, but otherwise I don't know.In Canada we had one badly managed games - the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympics. I lived in Montreal at the time, and remember only too well how embarassing it was. However Calgary in 1988 was huge succeess, and I really don't see the Vancouver games as being anything but a success, especially bearing in mind the adverse & unfortunate circumstances outside it's control, as well as the terribly sad & tragic death of the poor Georgian 21 year old. On your side a great effort by Anja Paerson to come back after that nasty accident in the Downhill - well done to her. I think your Men's Curling team look very strong, and I hope your Mens Hockey team do well also. I agree with you about the Russians though - they do look strong. We shall see. Fri 19 Feb 2010 07:36:20 GMT+1 Jeric http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=76#comment170 To Down to earth Swede:1: The luge track was designed and approved by the International Luge Federation. The very same people who design an approve tracks in Europe. It was a freak accident that no one saw coming. Blaming Canada just shows your ignorance.2-3: Sorry but your coverage is only as good as your local networks. I've watched nearly every event on our local networks and haven't noticed any of the glitches you're talking about. This has nothing to do with the organizers.4: Actually events are delayed all the time, particularly for events of this magnitude. There are many factors that can affect this type of thing and ultimately its the same people who officiate every other major competition who are officiating this at the top level. The organizers are just there to help out when called on. Again, your coverage is only as good as your network.5: Without being specific, you can't control the weather, this could happen anywhere. Elite athletes should be able to adjust to a change if they've qualified for the Olympics particularly in a sport as straight forward as x-country skiing.6: I'm not sure if you're really from Sweden or just another member of the local "Olympic Resistance Network" but this is the Olympics, the course is supposed to be challenging. You can't throw these athletes onto a bunnyhill. There are plent of runs out there that are far more dangerous. You don't seem to have any appreciation for the risks involved in winter sports.7: Again little appreciation for the danger involved in winter sports. There were volunteers (I assume with medical experience) along the course and helicopters flying over in the case of serious injuries. I don't see how the airlift could have been much faster than it was. We have real mountains here not the bunny hills you see in Sweden.There's obviously something else to your negativity towards Vancouver and Canada. Seriously, look at the last 4 Olympics for comparison.Beijing - pollution, extreme media restrictions, millions kicked out of the city, spectators being paid to warm seats because of poor attendance, hostile visa regulations to potential visitors...Turino - Terrible media coverage/ratings, venue transportation problems, weather cancellations, doping...Athens - Unfinished venues, massive financial problems, insane security, hot dusty weather, transportation issues...Salt Lake City - Corruption from the start of the bid, issues with judge bribary, 9-11 level security, arrogance and over-the-top patriotism.. 9-11 9-11 9-11Where have your ridiculous Olympic standards come from? Certainly not from any of the games I've witnessed. Fri 19 Feb 2010 07:24:04 GMT+1 Kevin Keelan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=75#comment169 The British Media take facts and turn them into their own grizzly, grey, depressing expression of the way they wish to depict reality. It says so much about Britain as a society (it's they who buy the trash) and so much about Vancouver when they have such an eloquent, positive and passionate (Irish-sounding) spokesman. Yes, there have been mistakes, what Olympics hasn't had them, but for goodness sake have some perspective. And by the way, I'm, British and embarrassed Fri 19 Feb 2010 07:11:25 GMT+1 Jenn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=75#comment168 It's disappointing to say the least to hear such ignorant comments and criticisms coming from a mostly absent audience.I am in Vancouver. I am experiencing the Olympics first hand. It's amazing here, friendly, sunny and warm (yes warm).Whistler, where the majority of ski events take place, has a ton of snow. Cypress has enough snow, no matter where it came from! The weather is unpredictable and uncontrollable, but Vancouver has dealt with it very well and the show has gone on!As far as the Luge, yes it was tragic. I was left feeling...how amazing are these athletes that are so brave and driven and proud, that they partake in these extremely dangerous sports. One minute they're speeding towards victories, pushing the boundaries and taking incredible risks, the next, tragedy. This is the nature of the beast. The Luge in Vancouver did push the limits, which happens eventually as athletes get bolder and more competitive. Overall, it has been amazing here and I am so proud of this city. I actually feel bad for the British media for having to focus so hard on every small negative detail, instead of looking at all the great things that are happening every minute!GO CANADA!!! Fri 19 Feb 2010 06:35:00 GMT+1 Down to earth Swede http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=74#comment167 @Stuart. It isn't aimed at Canadians, it is aimed at how bad the games are perceived over here. As I say it will probably reflect badly on Canada in many countries in Europe. You know Germany and Italy have.I have no chip on my shoulder.We have a great number of channels to choose from when watching the olympics, total coverage of everything except for some curling matches. Plus the live streams (8 of 'em webstreams) and a bunch of other channels, so that isn't the problem. It's probably a great difference from when you were here. Sweden won't host any upcoming olympic games but Lillehammer hosted a perfect 1994 winter olympics, and that was a little village in Norway. So there's no excuse for messing it up when it comes to things I listed in my previous post!But why don't you ask some of your swedish friends about how they perceive how the olympics are handled. They will probably be very polite and not tell you what they really want to say (as Swedes do often), since it is a very touchy subject when you are the hosts.As a sidenote:Well, a swede is a kind of turnip in Britain hence the "down to earth" (and I'm that too). That was a really bad pun, eh?. But I have no problem with Sven.And, no, I wasn't back from a night out at Cafe opera. It's the olympics you know and they continue into the late nights/early mornings here and being the sports superfan I am I'm watching as much as I can of everything.Good luck to you too, lets hope for a Canada-Sweden hockey final.Bet Canada will win it all probably against Russia in a final, but you never know. We have The Sedin twins, Lidström, Alfredson and many more.And of course the old Peter "Foppa" Forsberg that just keeps bouncing back into the team!Could be a surprise! Fri 19 Feb 2010 06:16:40 GMT+1 Stuart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=74#comment166 Passionate debate this isn't it!! At 3.50 AM, SVEN FROM SVERIGE (under the user name of 'DOWN TO EARTH SWEDE') wrote us all, as well as the Canadian nation, an essay. With the very greatest of respect to you Sven, I have great difficulty in fathoming out your argument. Perhaps you simply just returned home after an all night bender at Cafe Opera in Stockholm? However I can't work out which chip is bigger;- the one on your left shoulder, or the one on the right? I don't know how much time you have spent in Canada, but I lived there for more than 20 years. I have also spent alot of time in Sweden, a country I have great affection for, as well as for it's people. I will be gunning for Canada to take the Gold medal in the Hockey, and if Canada can't do it, I hope that it will be Sweden that takes the top prize.It's unfortunate that you have found the experience of the 2010 Winter Games so appallingly bad, and I can only appologise for this. No doubt when Sweden next hosts an Olympic Games, you will know precisely how to manage & showcase the event in exemplary fashion, and devoid of any criticism. In the interim, as the Vancouver experience is so blatantly awful for you, may I politely and respectfuly suggest that you simply tune out. I know only too well the vast number of TV channels in Sweden that you have available to you at your disposal, and the wealth of alternative entertainment offered on such channels.Good luck to you mate and god bless. Fri 19 Feb 2010 05:31:56 GMT+1 Chris http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=73#comment165 The problem in N.America is that you have to be positive even when things are going wrong. This is the opposite approach to the UK where people are negative even when things are going well.For example, where i live in the US a journalist wrote truthfully that it had been a dry start to the winter season. The company that operates the ski-lifts in the area withdrew it's advertising from the paper that the journo worked for. The paper was left with no choice but to fire the journo, even though he been telling the truth!! (in the land of free speech).If more Canadians could speak other languages, they would also see that the Austrians, Swiss & many more other Euro countries with a good knowledge of winter sports are also being very critical of how these games are being run. Fri 19 Feb 2010 05:26:40 GMT+1 Dr W http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=73#comment164 This is part of the reasons we left England 14years ago! I am proud to say I am 100% Canadian! Fri 19 Feb 2010 04:20:43 GMT+1 John in Calgary http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=73#comment163 As a Canadian of British birth and frequent visitor to Britain, I can tell you that Canadians are rapidly tiring of the British ... or perhaps more specifically the English. Particularly offensive is the holier than thou attitude that feels free to lecture us colonials on everything from the environment, the seal hunt, and now the Winter Olympics. The Brits might keep in mind a number of things about their Canadian friends including our unfailing courtesy and quiet competence, and might remember the welcome that Eddie the Eagle was given at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics in ... but alas we are now rewarded with their yob culture journalists in Vancouver. Our Australian friends very early on developed a lexicon of less-than-flattering adjectives to describe the British, yet that fertile opportunity still lies before us here in Canada. Fri 19 Feb 2010 04:05:59 GMT+1 Down to earth Swede http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=72#comment162 As a Swede i have to make a comment about this.We are absolutely FURIOUS as a nation how badly the games are handled in every way.It's up to a point where we just shake our heads in disbelief and make jokes about it. Canada as a whole (not only Vancouver unfortunately) is very badly associated with this debacle. It isn't just two English newspapers as Mr Furlong made it to be.Not a minor thingI won't go into the three things in the video (luge, olympic fire, Bob training).They are just the tip of the iceberg.A large number of examples of extremely unprofessionally handled things:1. The Petra Majdic accident in the Sprint. Why on earth were there no safety nets at that point in the course? It would never have happended in Europe. Safety is not taken seriously enough. All experts and athletes were outraged!2. The faulty computer graphics and time system.They show the wrong times often in the cross country skiing and biathlon. It is very, very messy both for us tv-viewers and the commentators. And it doesn't seem to work when they are switching angles. The time goes away for awhile before it comes back. It often happens during the final sprint in a race, for a possible medalist, where you can't see his/her time until it is to late. 3. The tv-production as a whole is a spectacular fiasco! The wrong times is one thing, but focusing on the wrong athletes, being late to most things, timing everything wrong. You could use it as training material of how not to make a bad production, I guess. We are a bit spoiled with good organisation and tv-productions for winter sports in Europe, I guess. But the thing they output is to the point of being hilariously bad, if it wasn't so important for the athletes (and countries).The point is that we miss so much from what would have made an exciting competition because the production team doesn't have a clue about what is important, most of the time. Or they try to do too much at the same time (at times) and nothing gets done the right way.4.In the pursuit events in the biathlon some competitors couldn't start when they wanted to and others were let away too early. It has never happened to the magnitude it has in Vancouver. Both for the men and the women. They try to adjust times into the races, but of course the computer graphics can't handle that correctly (or something else is wrong). Again, these things should NEVER happen, especially not during an olympic game. And absolutely not repeatedly!5. They changed the track for the cross country skiing 10 km Women and 15 km Men without noticing the countries until a few days before the competition. Some countries were specially prepared for the type of course that was initially planned.Although this could be seen as a consequence of the bad weather conditions it was badly handled.6. How the womens downhill was handled could have resulted in a death crash. They NEVER should have allowed to start the race without at least a training session That has never happened before. That combined with a really dangerous jump at the end where, for example, Anja Paerson crashed out badly during a 60 meter jump, could have resulted in a repeat of the luge accidents outcome.They shortened the jump considerably to the combined the day after, but that just shows how they reason about safety. Nothing they can do about it, they said about the luge accident. Does anybody else agree about that, besides them? 7. During most accidents the rescue teams seems to be very late. During the Majdic accident she had to get up very badly hurt without assistance.When some skiier lies on the snow after finishing being beyond totally exhausted (at a dangerous level), in Europe you can immediately see some people (meds?) being there helping the athletes, checking that they are okay and so on. People have actually died from extreme exhaustion in these conditions, especially in cold weather/snow. I could go on and on and on, but you get the drift. Everybody, and I really mean EVERYBODY in the news, on the street, in the extremely well attended Facebook and twitter site for SVT(Swedish Television), other social medias, newspapers, say that it is shockingly bad over here. Is this really what the head honcho, Jon Furlong, wants?Some spectacularly bad PR for Vancouver and for Canada as a whole? It is too late to fix that now for him, but he could at least have shown some self reflection on how they really have handled the games, and not make it into a political farce telling us how great Vancouver and the Canadian people are. How "euphoric" they are and that we should be that too. Could there be a greater contrast in how we see things? Fri 19 Feb 2010 03:50:05 GMT+1 Philip Evans http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=72#comment161 Its made interesting reading, not really sure what their point is, could it be that the Brits, just making up the numbers a the winter games feel a little resentful? Or coming from their damp little Island whose best days are long past (if they ever really existed) feel (justifiably) envious of our vast wonderfully blessed, fabulous, prosperous sucessful country, to whom, according to Forbes magazine, the 21st century will belong. Who knows, what can I say, tak a chill pill guys get down to BC Place, watch a Canadian gold medal award and do what Canadians do best, kick back and have fun. You never know, you may enjoy it! Fri 19 Feb 2010 03:31:17 GMT+1 sam2i2am http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=71#comment160 This interview was fair in presenting both sides of this story. International press has been particularly critical of the 'Own the Podium' slogan adopted by Canadian athletes without understanding its context. The slogan attempts to correct decades of chronic under-performance by Canada's athletes on the world stage. Our last home Olympics in 1988 saw us win a total of 0 gold 2 silver and 3 bronze medals. Our medal count has always been low, but we were a small country after all. The Sydney games in 2000 were a wake-up call to Canada's athletic program as we watched Australia, with two thirds of our population, win 58 medals to our 14. No longer could we use our small population as an excuse for poor performances. Under performance even plagued our strongest sport, Ice Hockey, which went through a fifty year gold medal drought from 1952-2002. When our athletes were favoured to win, they often made serious mental errors. The 2004 women's hurdles saw Perdita Felicien taken out by the first hurdle in the final leaving face first on the track and devastated. Were we mentally tough enough to compete at the highest level? Our athletic programs, grassroots sporting organizations and coaching came under scrutiny. Lack of competition and underfunding at the grassroots level were often sited as reasons for top athletes under performing. Our lone bright star, 100m gold medalist Donovan Bailey, had been born and raised in Jamaica.When the Winter Games were awarded to Vancouver, we did not want to feel embarrassed. Our athletes were finally given sufficient funding and world class training facilities. There are no longer excuses for Canadian athletes not to perform at a world class level. We (the Canadian taxpayers) have done everything to give the athletes a chance to win a medal. Few outsiders can understand our long history of athletic inferiority, but to Canadians who have followed sport, 'Own the Podium' is refreshing in its bluntness to our athletes.(Whether good sportsmanship has been carried out regarding training times is another matter, but this is to put the 'Own the Podium' slogan into context.) Fri 19 Feb 2010 03:13:04 GMT+1 Sarah http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=71#comment159 I am a Brit in Whistler and can honestly say it is embarrassing to hear what the British press have been writing. It gives us Brits a bad name and I just hope Canadians realise that the views of the British press do not represent the majority of the British public. The Games have been brilliant. The atmosphere here is so special right now and the courses, facilities, entertainment and everything else has been great. Yes, everyone will talk about the luge accident but remember there have been world cup events on the track with no serious incidents and it was simply a freak and tragic accident. The other big talking point has been the weather but how is that anyone's fault? And there has also been a lot of wrong information regarding weather. Whistler has had one of the best winters ever with a snowbase of over 300cm. The forecast is for 6 days of sunshine and it is beautiful here. I am so lucky to be here for 2010 and will be back in England for 2012 so will have the benefit of experiencing both first hand. It will be interesting to see if the British press will be regretting their outspoken and frankly incorrent comments on what has so far been a brilliant Olympics. Fri 19 Feb 2010 03:08:10 GMT+1 Anthony Dunn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=70#comment158 3. At 12:28pm on 18 Feb 2010, PulpGrape wrote:Oh dont worry, the summer games here in London will be even worse so Canada will have the last laugh. If anyone can badly organise anything its Britain."SourGrape" more like it! It can always be relied upon for someone with an outsize shoulder chip to do their best to put the boot in on the London Games well before they have even taken place. One of the besetting vices of this country is how it tolerates the caustic negativity of chippies like this contributor. If it really is that painful living in Britain, kindly park yourself somewhere more agreeable, the rest of us can live without you. Fri 19 Feb 2010 03:06:26 GMT+1 scoolerman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=70#comment157 As a former Vancouverite and have been living in Calgary since 1979 I have experienced 2 Canadian Olympics. The Olympics in Calgary were without flaws. We had a balloon shaped like the Rockies destroyed by a Chinook wind during the opening ceremonies. It was the warmest February we had in 50 years. Snowmaking was being done during the night and many events were postponed due to the wind. However, working in a popular bar and meeting a lot of the athletes, they all said it was the best place that they had ever competed. Juan Samaranch at the closing ceremonies said it was the best Olympics he had experienced.This morning on our Olympic network CTV they interviewed Sebastion Coe who is on the London Organizing Committee and was asked about all the negative press from the British Media. He said he has been too busy to read much of the press but had nothing but praise for the venues, the athletes village etc. and he wants to bring this information back to London.As for the Georgian athlete that died. We all send our hearts out to his family. No-one wanted this to happen. But to start laying blame...c'mon people. Fri 19 Feb 2010 02:58:48 GMT+1 51mon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=69#comment156 I never knew Canadians were so sensitive - I am from Australia and we are now hearing the health and safety is very poor there but what winds up most is the fact the Canadians are taking no responsibility and passing the buck, put your hands up and admit you have made mistakes - England will also make mistakes but I doubt they will blame death and serious injuries on the people themselvesaccording to them an aussie girl with broken bones is at fault as they pushed on a safety barrier - I always thought they were there for that reason? Fri 19 Feb 2010 02:25:00 GMT+1 paulvanp http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=69#comment155 actually wouldn't one of the reasons why Canadians had so much more opportunities for training in or on the competition venues be that they were ready and complete (except Cypress of course) way ahead of time, as much as over a year even? And that is something no other olympics venue, winter or summer, has ever achieved before.... will London? Fri 19 Feb 2010 01:53:42 GMT+1 brad http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=69#comment154 Here I am A little tiny Canadian living here in your great country. I have been reading and watching and hearing your comments on Canada's winter olympics. I know from living here that Canada will just have to watch London in 2012 to see how it is done. Because I am sure it will be perfect with no complaints whatsoever. I know for a fact that just because they are held in your country none of your athletes will have any extra time or practice for any event. To sum up I realise that as Canadians we have lots to learn on holding big events, I hope that we will be able to learn from the UK in 2012. P.S. You know 99% of the time I love living here in the UK (I have a dual citizanship a British wife and have been here 15 years). Like I said 99% of the time I love it here and then there is now! Fri 19 Feb 2010 01:48:56 GMT+1 USGIRLinCanterbury http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=68#comment153 I'm a US citizen, did my uni in Canada, and now live in the UK. I love all three countries--that of my birth, that of my coming-of-age, and this one where I am doing well personally and professionally.I watched the Beijing games on the BBC two years ago, and was impressed by the coverage. Truthfully, the BBC coverage of the Vancouver games is disappointing, and who wants to watch awful coverage on line or on IPlayer?I've been thinking about why this is. Mr Furlong's comments about the negativity of the BBC coverage are true, but I think something else lies beneath the surface. The summer games are better covered because Great Britain is simply better at summer sport than at the winter games. So there's an undertone of bitterness behind everything, especially about the Canadian athletes. Sure, they have access to more practice runs. Part of that is they LIVE there. Fri 19 Feb 2010 01:08:31 GMT+1 USGIRLinCanterbury http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=68#comment152 Fri 19 Feb 2010 01:03:26 GMT+1 Have_a_Nice_Day http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=67#comment151 These negative views on Vancouver by the British Media doesn't surprise me as I have been to England and quite frankly it is on of the most unfriendly places we have visited. Furthermore I don't really understand why the 2012 Olympics are there - can you imagine being there and asking for directions only to be snuffed or told, "ask someone else". Lastly I am currently in Vancouver attending Olympic events and have enjoyed it immensely - people are soo friendly, contrary to what these British morons are portraying. Fri 19 Feb 2010 00:53:35 GMT+1 missphill http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=67#comment150 I feel sure the London games will be riddled with hiccups and problems. Just look at the millenium celebrations !! So the rest of the world will be laughing at us in 2 years time. Fri 19 Feb 2010 00:49:44 GMT+1 Tommy_Nuck http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=66#comment149 As a very proud English born and raised - now living in Canada I am ashamed. The British media are out of touch, and seem to grind away at their own pet peeves with no shame at their unbias.Canadians are surprised that the Brits are turning on them. They expect to be ignored by the Americans, sneered at by continental Europeans, but they expected support from Britain, not derision. What has Canada ever done to Britain to deserve this apart from unfailing support.Britain you worry me, you have become what we used to hate in other nations. Fri 19 Feb 2010 00:48:17 GMT+1 vangeoff http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=66#comment148 I live in downtown Vancouver and, frankly, I don't recognize the games that the British press are reporting on. The reports bear no relation to what I am experiencing.On the subject of the Georgian luger's death, everyone here is deeply saddened by it but to suggest that it was because of a lack of access to practice runs makes no sense. HE WAS ON A PRACTICE RUN WHEN HE DIED. I don't know how many additional runs he would have had before the actual competition but the fact is that it was during one such run that the accident occurred. It could just have likely occurred on his first run or his three hundedth.By the way, to my many family and friends in Britain, I know the press does not represent you all. Fri 19 Feb 2010 00:12:06 GMT+1 ccanada http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=65#comment147 Well, if they didn't keep making stupid decisions the media wouldn't have the ammunition.The story that has just been broken on CBC television, Canada's national broadcaster (complete with video) is the one about the Zamboni, where they have not only insisted on having the Zamboni name whited out on the machine, but when the ice needs treating, the broken Olympia machine goes around the ice first, doing. of course nothing, followed by the Zamboni, which does the work.How childish is that, when everyone knows the story.They also are the ones that chose to ignore the Zamboni company (who have provided reliable ice machines for years, and go with an unknown.It's a bit much, complaining about the British media, when the same stories are all over their own. Fri 19 Feb 2010 00:06:41 GMT+1 Glen http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=65#comment146 Ahh, where to start? First of all I haven't watched a single event as I don't own a TV and don't want to waste upload credit on my private tracker for Olympics recordings (you may or may not know what I mean ;-). l live within spitting distance of downtown Vancouver and really couldn't be bothered to witness the security and military occupation in action. There are half a dozen helicopters flying circuits around my neighbourhood all night and police randomly stopping people in the streets to see their "papers". The night before the opening ceremonies no less than 3 cop cars, a paddy wagon, and a 911 supervisor showed up at my apartment to apprehend a distraught woman that I could have taken down with one hand tied behind my back.Gotta spend that $1 billion somehow...VANOC deserves no slack. There's no transparency as far as spending goes and they have consistently acted in a dictatorial manner as far as enforcement of IOC dictats goes. While they are scooping up big salaries and bonuses, they are paying $10 an hour to event staff for back breaking labour. A friend of mine works at Cypress shoveling snow for that much and he had to provide all of his work gear, including snow boots. The initial budget was laughable. While the rest of the world gets to party here for 3 weeks, we will be paying it off for a generation. Please leave a tip on the way out. We sure could use it. Fri 19 Feb 2010 00:06:22 GMT+1 pcmacdonald http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=65#comment145 Let's not go overboard, people. Sure there have been problems with the 2010 Olympics. Name one Olympic Games that has not had problems or controversy. The point is, there are hundreds of journalists who are covering these games, and they have to write something. Otherwise, they aren't journalists, are they? They either write, or they join the unemployment line. So, you are going to have a few who decide to be critical. So what? For a few days they are in the spotlight, which is probably why they wrote the articles in the first place. Fri 19 Feb 2010 00:02:57 GMT+1 Bob Sherunkle http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=64#comment144 About the flame/fence debate.Every other Olympic flame has been inaccessible by the public as it is located high up in a stadium. The Vancouver flame is located outside as the stadium is covered and is the most accessible in the games history. Think about it... If the fence wasn't there it would be probably be targeted by protesters, etc. As it is the fence is there and the public complain, the organisers are in a no win situation. Fri 19 Feb 2010 00:02:26 GMT+1 derek http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=64#comment143 Congratulations on this piece. The ability to watch the extended interview and gain a fresh perspective is a perfect example of the power of the web in disseminating information. For my money, it is not hard to see how the BBC's web presence will continue to an influential one.Derek Thu 18 Feb 2010 23:59:59 GMT+1 thefrogstar http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=63#comment142 Because I'm a bit of a contrarian, I'll do what few others will, and say a few words in defence of the British press:They can be quite even-handed in their malicious cruelty. Come the summer Olympics in England (or is it London?), there will be no lack of things to complain about. And rest assured, Canadians, there WILL be people crucified by the British media (or is it London-media?). Thu 18 Feb 2010 23:57:41 GMT+1 Bluesteel14 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=63#comment141 I just wanted to echo the sentiments of many on here with regards to the media. The British newspaper press in particular are an embarrassment. I do expect better from the BBC however. I believe they have been overly negative in their reporting. As many on this forum have already stated, I fear much of the negativity stems from the simple fact that Britain has very few medal prospects and therefore the media feels it has to focus on something.I have just returned to the UK from spending a year in Vancouver. I grew to love the city and the country and developed a great affinity for the Canadian people. I have spoken to many friends (both British and Canadian) in the city since the games have begun and they say the atmosphere and overall 'olympic experience' has been excellent. I have heard very little reported here of all the free music and cultural events currently happening in the city that are associated with the games, or the international markets and tents dotted about around the city. VANOC and Canadians in general can be assured that the press here in the UK will be as equally unforgiving if the slightest thing goes wrong at the London games in 2012, be it to do with the weather, transport links etc etc. And heaven forbid what the media reaction will be if England do not win the football world cup in South Africa this summer!Organising and running an olympic games is a massive operation and should not be underestimated. I for one think Vancouver have done an excellent job. If people thought that it would all happen without a glitch then they were being extremely naive. Thu 18 Feb 2010 23:51:02 GMT+1 gordon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=62#comment140 london press are just doing what they are told to do. the goverment just wants to take the heat of of them for the huge cost overruns of their olympics. Thu 18 Feb 2010 23:50:53 GMT+1 HenryV http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=62#comment139 The point of a blog is for those thinking of contributing to read other peoples comments and discuss... Perhaps some contributors that are hell bent on having a go at anything and everyone British based on the in(s)ane ramblings of a couple of individuals, rather than contributing to the debate on this page, should realise they too are spinning the same standard of utter tosh as the original journo's!! Thu 18 Feb 2010 23:44:56 GMT+1 tomingo http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=61#comment138 Canadians, I beg of you, please ignore all the negativity and bitterness you read from British tabloid journalists - and blogs like this which just feed off the bile at a safe distance. They are an embarrassing joke.Please don't react to it, most of us are as frustrated by this as you are - and we have to live with it every day. Thu 18 Feb 2010 23:44:21 GMT+1 gfilmdog http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=61#comment137 Hey GB papers, you can't complain until your team has won a metal here. Stop whining and start winning so that you guys can have your own story to run:) Peace! Thu 18 Feb 2010 23:36:42 GMT+1 Littlest Hobo http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=60#comment136 So, carnegie_tino, the British are the ones to trust for organizing things badly?Let's see: Montreal took 30 years to pay off their Olympic deficit, the luge course at Whistler was boasted about as the 'fastest and most dangerous in the world'...then somebody tragically passed away and the VANOC officials had the chutzpah to suggest it was the fault of the athlete; Security concerns at BC Place; fencing off the Olympic flames; cancelling 20,000+ tickets at Cypress; malfunctioning problems at the opening ceremony; in-house complaints from the Canadian government about the lack of French content...shall or must I go on?Britain is not only the country which has held more world class events than Vancouver or Canada ever will. London itself holds events week in week out, year in year out that could never be staged here. As someone who is British but has lived in Vancouver for 7 years, I have experience both. Vancouver is beautiful, naturally stunning and a laid back place that is not half bad. London is historic, cosmopolitan and a true centre of European and world culture. Both have their advantages, but let us not pretend that Brits do everything badly or that these Olympics have been an unchallenged success. Thu 18 Feb 2010 23:29:56 GMT+1 newbie101 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=60#comment135 First off, I want to express my appreciation for the majority of British people who have defended Canada and Vancouver during the onslaught of irresponsible British press. I have read many articles online over the last four days, and almost every posted comment from British readers has been one in support of the games, Vancouver and the Canadians who live here; and condemning the seemly blind British press. So, as a Canadian who once called the UK home for over a year, let me say thank you. I just hope my fellow Canadians realize that there is a big difference between the British press and the British people (of who many I call friends).Secondly, I wonder exactly how many British reporters are actually here in Vancouver. While the weather is certainly warmer than normal, Whistler is still experiencing a fantastic skiing season. In fact, I was at the first event on Cypress, and while lines were long and there were some glitches, the event was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. To be honest, I am loving the weather we have had over the last four days. A sunny 16 degrees centigrade today and glorious sunshine forecast for the rest of the week… this weather makes for nothing short of a winter paradise. For those of you who have never been to Vancouver... on a sunny day, it is a sight to behold. Even if the games turn out to be a complete bust (though they are a complete success in my opinion), the very fact that the world spotlight is on one of the most beautiful cities in the world when the weather is this fantastic is enough to make me smile from ear to ear.And one final note for those of you in the British press who have been so negative... I was in the UK (London actually) during the summer of 2005. There were only two weeks of sun from the middle of June until the end of September... it rained the rest of the time. You think it is hard skiing in the warm sunshine?... try Track and Field in the poring rain. Karma baby... turn about is fair play.Cheers! Thu 18 Feb 2010 23:11:29 GMT+1 squirrel http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=60#comment134 Inaccuracies and poor reporting aside, it's not surprising that some British publications are latching on to whatever negative aspects they can to file a story. There's certainly not much else of interest happening at these Olympics for Brits. I mean look at the current medal standings:USA 15Germany 11Canada 7France 7Norway 6Britain 0Even Australia has a Silver and they're hardly a winter sport nation. Thu 18 Feb 2010 23:04:55 GMT+1 GoldenHind http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=59#comment133 This post has been Removed Thu 18 Feb 2010 22:52:26 GMT+1 John Sauve http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=59#comment132 So James and the BBC and all other negative press are you going to make a live conference and televise it all on BBC, ITV, Sky News Sky Sports and say "Un-like our American friends we will apologise deeply for all our negative comments regarding the Vancouver Games, and that we hope all Canadians will accept this deep apology and forgive us, we are a way out of line” If not I don’t think you will have many viewers come 2012...also may you should state that maybe the USA should also do the same, then again who cares for the USA, there are few Yanks who are OK though so dont take it wrong Thu 18 Feb 2010 22:49:43 GMT+1 xenosys2005 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=58#comment131 You'd expect the decent people of Canada to turn a blind eye to the opinions of a few journalists operating in the British Press. The moment people start getting overly defensive and then attacking back, it inevitably descends into juvenile playground insults between people from both the UK and Canada, and comparisons between Vancouver 2010 and London 2012 shouldn't be relevant. You'll get your fair share of idiots wherever you might go in the world. If it's bad news, it's good news to the press here and if it's good news, it isn't worth reporting on.Every major event will have it's fair share of minor & major problems to contend with. Nothing will ever go 100% according to plan.This certainly isn't the general consensus of a whole nation and most I speak to are commending the Canadians for putting on a spectacular show. That's a testament to the people and the organisational committee for creating a unique and entertaining games thus far. Thu 18 Feb 2010 22:39:50 GMT+1 phoenix http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=58#comment130 No its normal. Its just a milder form of xenophobia or the 'less trash johnny foreigner' and 'its never going to work unless the brits (white officers?) arent in charge'. For a better appraisal of this phenomenon see British Euroscepticism in action on the euroblog where this cultural manifestation reaches both its most pathetic and sublime nadir Thu 18 Feb 2010 22:38:13 GMT+1 AdamW http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=57#comment129 126: "Couldn't you write something else about how these games, where peak physical fitness is a must, are sponsored by MacDonalds and Coca-Cola, the worlds biggest purveyors of trans fat, hormones and corn syrup?"'These' games? McD and Coke are ongoing Olympic sponsors, they've sponsored every Olympics I can remember. Admittedly that's absurd and the IOC should never allow it, but it's hardly a knock against Vancouver. Thu 18 Feb 2010 22:35:07 GMT+1 pablo http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=57#comment128 I'm sure the rest of the world's media will get ample opportunity to take a swipe at Britain in 2012 if our media are giving us a bad reputation world-wide as bitter, cynical and overly critical. We could have 2 weeks of cloud and rain for example. And then there's whatever Mayor Boris might get up to!! Thu 18 Feb 2010 22:31:25 GMT+1 Over_40_Crowd http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=56#comment127 News from the Times today...http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/olympics/article7031487.eceThe Times has renamed The Olympics to "The Calamity Games" in case anyone is interested. Should be a good marketing grab in there somewhere. Who would have thought The Times, of all newspapers, would be so childish. Thu 18 Feb 2010 22:28:11 GMT+1 Stavrosian http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=56#comment126 What's with all the Canadians in here launching sweeping attacks on Britain? Have you not noticed that we're all here slating our press too? Thu 18 Feb 2010 22:27:37 GMT+1 cliveeta http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=56#comment125 Couldn't you write something else about how these games, where peak physical fitness is a must, are sponsored by MacDonalds and Coca-Cola, the worlds biggest purveyors of trans fat, hormones and corn syrup?Worrying about the weather is so boringly.... British. Thu 18 Feb 2010 22:21:45 GMT+1 Tom http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=55#comment124 Watching the games makes me want to go to Canada, not just to experience what seems to be a beautiful and welcoming country but also to get away from the constant negative polemic of our press. Thu 18 Feb 2010 22:20:41 GMT+1 cliveeta http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jamespearce/2010/02/vancouver_hits_back.html?page=55#comment123 The death of the Georgian luger and the lack of snow on the mountains have nothing whatsoever to do with the organisational abilities of the Olympic Committee.The technical failure at the opening ceremony was a mild disappointment - lets get this in perspective.However putting the Olympic flame in its own barbaric confinement is utterly stupid. Thu 18 Feb 2010 22:12:51 GMT+1