It’s little over a week until the start of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver and you’d think it’s an exciting time to be in the city. The build up here has provided me with some idea to what we can all expect to happen when then ‘five ring circus’ rolls into London in two years time.
Things is… the locals don’t seem too keen. I mean, I’m sure the majority are well up for it but whenever you turn on the local news or look in the paper you see TRAFFIC CHAOS and PUBLIC WALKWAY CLOSED headlines. The disruption is pretty huge, the Vancouver Olympic Committee (VANOC) resemble an invading army coming in and telling people where they can go and what they can do, so I’m not surprised that many Vancouverites are complaining about a ‘two-week skiing competition’ interrupting their daily commute.
Another example I read about today was that the British Columbian authorities have introduced a bylaw which bans the distribution of anti-Olympic materials and signage. Basically, if you don’t like it, don’t tell anyone or you’ll get banged up for the night. I was even told that the police have powers to come into private residences and remove anti-Olympic signage displayed from windows. They’re effectively suspending their constitutional rights for the duration of the games! Needless to say some dude is taking them to court…I’m sure he’ll win his case just after the closing ceremony fireworks have finished. Can we expect that in London?
On top of this there’s the moaning about the lack of snow (it’s being delivered by lorries to one of the competition areas), the high prices of everything, the changing bus timetables, oh, and the fact that people are docking massive cruise ships to use as floating hotels everywhere. Maybe it’s just the press picking up on the negative aspects to make a story but I can’t help thinking that if all these easy going, happy Canadians are kicking up a stink I can’t imagine what all the cockneys up the East End will make of it all.
Anyway, as a tourist, which is sort of what we are it’s going to be brilliant. And provided you don’t have to live and work in London in 2012, I’m sure it’ll be brilliant then too.
Cypress Mountain: Snow good, we’ll have to truck it in! honk honkp.s You can read more about our trip on Nich’s blog too! http://nicolaunderdown.posterous.com/