Put me on TV!

Like anyone, I go to Olympic events to a) Get on TV, b) eat overpriced hot dogs, and c) maybe watch some sports. So I was pretty excited about thinking up this particular sign for the Norway vs. Canada curling match. Team Martin (Canada) are famous for their flashy shots while Team Jensrud (Norway) are famous for their flashy pants. Pants that have over half a million fans on a Facebook fan page.

In case you don't get it, it's Canada (Team Martin) vs. Norway (Team Clown Pants)

Just as the sign was about to pass through the security checkpoint, an eagle-eyed VANOC volunteer woman flagged it for “illegal advertising”. Technically, the “martinizing” logo wasn’t part of the Olympic family, making it as illegal as Human Growth Hormone. I tried to reason with them, but I wasn’t getting anywhere. I had a better chance at smuggling in a bomb at that point.

Here’s me, right before I had to throw it out:

I cursed VANOC under my breath, and over my breath, for the next 3 hours. Fortunately, team Canada lessened the hurt with a decisive win. In the end, the pants didn’t stand a chance.

Fast forward to later that evening, when I happened to be at a party where Kevin Martin showed up. I happened to have a picture of the sign on my camera and showed it to him. Without hyperbole, he LOVED it. He even LOL’d for a good 5-7 seconds. “How can I reward you for your gold medal worthy wordplay?” he asked. “Maybe just a picture,” I said.

Take that, VANOC.

(Thanks to Chris Moore for the Art Direction)

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The Irish Bobsled Team, and the Art of Aerodynamics

Claire Bergin and 6ft 4inch Aoife Hoey training for the Games

Many who watched the Irish Bobsleigh team in their first two heats yesterday might have wondered how two girls can be more than 3 seconds back of the lead time. The answer might lie with driver and vowel-abuser Aoife Hoey, who stands at 6ft 4, making her the tallest girl at the Games.

Watching her climb in the sled is like watching Andre the Giant climb into a mini. Watching her go down the track with her head sticking out so high makes me want to play Whac-a-mole. Still, they’re ahead of the Russians, and close behind the Australians, who tried to have them punted from the event before the Olympics. Despite my criticisms, they’re my favourite non-contending team of these Games. I hope they smoke those boxing Kangaroos. Still, I can’t help but feel like I’m watching a submarine slowly meander down the track with a fully extended periscope.

(Thanks to Colin Hart for the photoshop magic)

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Parallel skis, parallel universes (by Marcus McLaughlin)


Apart from sharing the same name (compare them out loud, really, go on, it’s fun), these two fine gentlemen have much in common. Both have a fetish for well-cut grey pants. Both are yet to live up to their earlier promise. Both are partial to sharing shellfish with older women. Ashton / Anton, on behalf of all Global Villagers, I salute you for enriching our lives.

Learn more about Ashton’s private life here. http://twitter.com/

Learn more about Anton’s private life here. http://www.noc.by//

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The Irish Bobsleigh Team (by Anna Ryan)

Another story from our Irish correspondent, Anna Ryan, giving us a glimpse into the psyche of the Irish Women’s Bobsleigh Team the night before the big race.

I attach some rare professional video footage of the lesser known Irish women’s bobsleigh team to mark their inaugral participation in this fine event on Tuesday and Wednesday night. For your added viewing pleasure, try counting the number of times lady bosleigher on the left says “you know” during the interview.

Additional fun fact; Ireland’s Aoife Hoey, of the aforementioned “you know” fame, is also the tallest female athlete in the Winter Games at an impressive 6”4, which is roughly the same height as the Inukshuk on English Bay. Extended thanks go out to the nations of Australia and Brazil for their valiant, but ultimately failed efforts to get the Irish ladies booted out of the bobsleigh event. I hope Aoife stands on you accidentally.

Pindemonium!

I’ll be the first to admit that I collected and traded Olympic pins in 88. I’ll also confide that my pins were stolen from my backpack by a classmate. He was never caught, though I think I know who it was. There was no Encyclopedia Brown in my school to find that piece of case-breaking evidence for 25 cents. The culprit got a way with a pocket full of metal and enamel.

So you can understand why I’m a bit soured on the whole idea of pin trading. They can turn classmates into common thieves.

To me, pin traders are the band geeks of the Olympic movement. While the rest of the world is watching top athletes like Shaun White land mindblowing tricks like the Double McTwist 1260, or at least trying to pick up Swedish tourists at the bar, they’ll be in a pin trading pavilion exchanging some  obscure Sarajevo ’84 pin for a Heidi & Howdy ’88 pin (which was probably stolen from me).

I don’t expect everyone to get swept up in the sports, but the pin trading movement feels like someone trying to show off their spoon collection at a Metallica concert.

Then again, I’m sitting here blogging inside while the Olympics are happening all around me, so I feel a bit like the pot calling the kettle black.

On the topic of pins, PETA got into the spirit, creating their very own pin for the 2010 Games. Something tells me it won’t be endorsed by the Canadian Olympic Committee.

The Inukshuk goes clubbing

We Stand On Guard For Thee (by Jeff Funnekotter)

I know it sounds like it’s a made up name, but Jeff Funnekotter is a Canadian sports nut who made the strange choice of leaving Canada a few months before the Games to travel Europe. That didn’t stop him from filing this story about Olympic fever in Holland:

A lot of questions spring to mind when one sees this billboard all  over Amsterdam.  What does it mean?  Is this an affront to the  Canadian flag, or a compliment? How ironic and sophomoric is the JC  Decaux reference?  What’s with the disturbing amount of thigh hair?  Why is that strange man taking a photo of it?

I can’t answer most of these but I do know that it’s an ad for a Dutch  radio station, as it turns out.  It indicates that a team of DJs – I’m  not sure if they are shock (or in this case, sock) jocks – is heading  to the Olympics and will be broadcasting live.  They want to call  attention to their Olympic package, I guess.  Perhaps they are feeling cocky about the Dutch team’s chances.  Who knows?

What we know is that Evers Staat Op – translated loosely, it means Evers Is On, even though the three DJs who comprise the team are named
Niels, Edwin, and Rick – are in a specially-built broadcast in Holland  Heinken House. This is located at the Minoru Arena in Richmond.

It’s open daily from 9am to 2am and is fairly mental by most Olympic venues’ standards from past Games. Holland Heineken House started at  the 1992 Barcelona games, so they will be used to the temperature in  Vancouver.

The Dutch tend to really get behind their athletes (I suspect the same can be said of the hairy-quadricepped gentleman here too), so it’s
worth checking out at some point to see a country that really goes nuts for its team.

(Thanks to Jeff for filing this)

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Athletes to watch for shirtless reasons: pandering to women

Alright, enough already.

I’ve received this request for far too many female readers to ignore it anymore. I guess since Twilight: New Moon is now a few months old, all the girls out there need some new abs to rub their eyes all over.

So, I’m going to put up this link to a series of male Canadian Olympic athletes posing shirtless, so you can all leave me alone for awhile.

To all the fellas, I apologize. I’ll be providing some new foxy female athletes soon.

The Village People (February 10)

I think she liiiikes you.

Governor General Michaelle Jean welcomes the athletes, midget sidekick turns out to be a no-show.

Vanoc CEO John Furlong and Mayor Gregor Robinson locked in an epic staring contest

The Korean Team, seemingly excited about Christmas light bulbs.

Obviously some kind of swarm of asian paparazzi.

Turning Lugers into Winners

Chris Moore, training for the $1 million dollar prize. Photo by Philip Jarmain

Canada’s lugers have been offered a prize of $1,000,000 dollars if they win a gold medal. No, I didn’t accidentally hold the zero button down too long. That’s $1,000,000. For luging. That’s not dangling a carrot. That’s dangling an entire produce section.

The team’s sponsor, Fast Track Group out of Alberta, announced the incentive today. For a while it seemed like an incredibly selfless gesture. Then company founder Darren Weeks spoke and instead ended up sound kind of dickish.

“I guess I’m blessed financially and I wanted to share,” he said in a phone interview from St. Albert.

Then he probably hung up the phone, lit a cigar with a Borden, and went for a swim in his pool full of gold coins.

Other non-luging Canadian athletes have the chance to win $20,000 for a gold medal from the Canadian Olympic Committee (including those cash starved NHL’ers, thank god). Now that Fast track has offered (pinky pressed to lip) “one mill-yon doll-hers”, they’re making the COC cash incentive program look about as generous as a tip my Grandpa would leave at a restaurant.

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The Village People

The athletes began moving into the  village today, as proven by these exclusive photos and mildly funny captions.

Denmark's flag goes up. Moments later it was beaten up by the Australian fighting kangaroo flag

Apparently Sarah Palin could see the Russians arriving from her front door

Germans arrive right on time, showing that unmistakable German enthusiasm

Athletes, they're just like us! They struggle at Rock Band

The Olympic village fleet of luggage carts, stolen from YVR

The living room/games room, probably destined to become a Starbucks after the Olympics

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