Today’s a very exciting day for me and the world: The XX Winter Olympic Games in Torino (or Turin), Italy debut today! The Opening Ceremonies are scheduled for 1 p.m. EST today on the full CBC network.
This is a particularly exciting Winter Games for Canada. Aside from the unfortunate business of Gretzky’s illegal gambling ring story (which, at this point, I’m willing to give Gretzky the benefit of the doubt here), Canada’s going into the Games with an exceptionally talented team. I’ll predict here at least 20 medals for Canada; we’ve got medal contenders in every sport with the exception of Nordic Combined and will probably be in a horse race with Germany, the United States and Norway for the top positions in the medal standings.
How did Canada become so good at the Winter Games (while declining ever more preceiptiously in Summer Games – you think Athens was a poor performance, just wait until Beijing in 2008)? Well, a lot of it has to do with the legacy of the Calgary Games in 1988. You see, now that the athletes who directly benefit from those world-class facilities are reaching ages of amateur-level competition, it’s possible for us to do well and compete with the big boys like Germany and the U.S.
Of course, I have to show here the Turin Mascots, “Neve” and “Gliz.” Apparently, Neve is a “gentle, kind and elegant snowball” (as opposed to an aggressive, mean and ugly one?) and Gliz is a “lively, playful ice cube.”
Yes, they’re ridiculously cute. And the animated cartoon sequence on the Olympic.org site of them playing is haliriously campy and over-the-top.
NEW ARTICLE: I’ve got a new column on Beer.com – it’s a movie column that will discuss over the coming months the ongoings in movies, upcoming releases and such. Pretty cool stuff, I think.