Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Five Olympic Stories You Probably Haven't Heard About

We all know the scores and we all know who's leading in the latest hockey game (we are!). But what about all those little stories that do not make the front page of the Vancouver Sun, but are just as (if not more) interesting. So here are some of those stories that make the Olympic Games be about so much than just sports.

5. Oprah Winfrey saw the infamous red mittens on TV and mentioned how much she liked them to a journalist. The Hudson's Bay Company then sent her three hundred pairs, which she distributed to her audience. The mittens are going global!

4. The Russian House had a major party yesterday, celebrating the fact that the next Olympic Games will be in Sochi, Russia. I had the opportunity to be there last night, because my family was invited. Prime Minister of BC Gordon Campbell and the current mayor of Sochi, Anatoly Pakhomov, were both there, talking about the Games on stage. A couple of Russian athletes that recently won gold medals (Nikita Krukov, for example) were also spotted, dancing to the music. It was quite a party!

3. As was expected, during the duration of the Games, a bunch of protesters were arrested by the Vancouver Police. Notably, a group of people wearing masks and hoodies had a little run-in with the police when they were caught smashing windows in the Bay and spray-painting cars. Now, I might not know anything there is to know about protests, but I believe that a protest has to show something. And what does breaking a window do to anyone? Nothing, really. But anyways, public protests weren't that big a problem during the Games. They expected worse.

2. Joannie Rochette, a figure skater from Montreal, performed her routine beautifully, going on to win third place. What's truly remarkable, though, is that she performed so beautifully less than forty-eight hours after her mother's, Thérèse Rochette's, death. I am amazed at her strength and perseverance and I admire her like I admire very few people in this world. Way to go, Joannie!

1. The Richmond Oval has also experienced some problems... The zambonis kept on breaking down. On numerous occasions the athletes were at the Oval, ready to compete, but the ice wasn't ready, because the zamboni experienced a breakdown and wasn't able to resurface the ice properly. Now that's a pickle no one counted on! Luckily, emergency zambonis were quickly driven in from Calgary and the athletes were able to compete without delay. Whew!

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