2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics: Protests in the streets

tripatlas.com/new’s Olympic correspondent, Chris Kinasz, blogs from the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games with the latest updates, news, and going-ons from the Winter Olympic Games taking place in Vancouver, British Columbia. 

VANCOUVER- The day began with demonstrators protesting in downtown Vancouver on Robson Street. Protestors smashed the windows of the Hudson Bay store and apparently spray painted some cars. Television news stations tried to make the protest seem like a huge story, with their helicopters flying overhead, but really the protest was limited to about 100 participants. The protests did not take place close to any venues as the police have those areas highly secured. The Lions Gate Bridge was closed in both directions by police due to the protests. 

Protestors at Vancouver 2010 OlympicsOlympic organizers have since stated that they support protests as long as they do not turn violent. Protestors who become violent turn in to nothing more than vandals. Many of the protestors, at least the ones in the balaclavas causing all the trouble, called themselves “anarchists” and have been known to attach themselves to any cause, travel to any event that attracts media coverage and promote anarchy. Some people just crave attention and negative attention is attention too, but I do not think they accomplished much for their “cause.”

The first gold medal of the games went to Swiss ski jumper Simon Ammann. The men’s downhill was postponed in Whistler due to wet, slushy conditions. The Canadian women’s hockey team annihilated the Slovakian team by a record 18-0 margin in their opening game despite some people around Vancouver foolishly claiming pre-game that Canada had drawn a tough opening opponent. Olivier Jean just missed Canada’s first medal of the Games in the men’s 1,500m short track speed skating final. Alberta’s Jenn Heil won Canada’s first medal of these Olympics by winning silver in women’s moguls, but she was visibly upset with her result as she was a strong hope to be the first Canadian to win a gold medal on Canadian soil. 

By the end of the day, news came out that yesterday’s Opening Ceremony was the most watched television event in Canadian history. An average of 13.3 million Canadians watched every minute of the 3.5-hour event. 23 million Canadians, one third of the nation’s population, tuned in to at least some part of the ceremonies. I think it is safe to say that the Opening Ceremony was an unmitigated success, even when considering the technical glitch that prevented one of the pillars from rising to complete the Olympic cauldron.

Tomorrow’s luge event in Whistler should be extremely interesting considering all of the news that luge has produced at the commencement o f these Games. Apparently, some competitors are now complaining that the track is too slow after it was modified following yesterday’s tragic crash.

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